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all about legal assistant jobs

Legal assistants work for larger corporations or law firms in a support role. As a legal assistant, you will provide administrative support for legal departments and lawyers, assisting them with managing deadlines, reviewing legal documents, filing documents with court and regulators. It is a high stress and fast paced position that involves prioritizing many different tasks. If you have an interest in law, a strong work ethic, and a degree in law or related fields, this is a career option worth considering.

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what legal assistant jobs entail

Legal assistants work in a fast paced office environment. Like most jobs in law, expect to work long hours, especially when deadlines are approaching. You can expect to report to a lawyer or a law clerk if you work at a law firm, or a senior member of the legal department if you work for a corporation. Some travel may be required for research and offsite meetings.

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average legal assistant salaries in canada

The average salary for a legal assistant currently working in the Canadian market is just over $45,000 per year. Professionals new to the position can expect a starting salary of about $35,000. With experience or specialization in a certain type of law, you could have a higher starting rate. At the top end, you can make up to $70,000 per year. Performance bonuses and other financial incentives could also be included in your compensation package. Experience with legal compliance, corporate law, commercial real estate, and litigation case management can help increase your earning potential. 

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your day to day tasks

As a legal assistant, you are expected to perform a wide variety of tasks. Being a strong multitasker is vital as you will be working on a variety of projects and cases simultaneously. Some of the tasks you can expect to be included as part of your responsibilities includes the following:

  • inputting data and updating records and case files
  • dictating meetings and preparing meeting notes
  • providing support to legal staff
  • scanning and copying files
  • setting up and scheduling meetings
  • storing documents
  • writing briefs, summaries and other legal documents
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where you can work

Legal assistants typically work for law firms or within corporate or government legal departments. You could also find work in the court system or for other companies requiring legal assistance, such as in a paralegal office. Opportunities for legal assistants exist in regions with large legal systems. The greater the presence of law firms, the more opportunities will exist. 

legal assistant jobs in canada

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what you bring to the table

Legal assistant positions require flexibility, multitasking and the ability to work in a fast paced environment. Some of the key skills companies look for when recruiting legal assistants include:

  • knowledge of litigation and case management
  • ability to manage tight deadlines and multitask
  • ability to work in stressful environments
  • experience with legal document review and preparation
  • ability to review documents with high attention to detail
  • filing court documents
  • customer service and client management
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training and certifications

Educational requirements vary based on the law firm, company and the province you live in. In most cases, law assistants must have a bachelor’s degree in law or college diploma in legal studies. It’s also important for legal assistant candidates to be up to date with current legal issues and developments.  Additional training may be required. On the job training is typically provided. 

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where your career is headed

Legal assistants often start out working in the legal department with corporations or with a law firm. After a number of years’ experience, some legal assistants go back to school to become paralegals or law clerks. Others take on more senior legal assistant positions with law firms or within the court system. Some move on to work as an office manager or in HR.

latest legal assistant jobs available

  • Administrative Assistant Saint-Laurent

    2018-12-10 Saint-Laurent, Québec Temporary $ 23.00 - $ 26.00 per hour

    The advantages of taking a contract! - ability to learn about a new industry - junior profiles are accepted, allowing you to gain experience - flexibility between the different contractual posts - earn higher wages A company specializing in industrial valves for nuclear, co-generation, chemistry ...

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  • Executive Assistant - Burnaby BC

    2018-12-10 Burnaby, British Columbia Temporary $ 24.00 - $ 30.00 per hour

    Our client, a leading electronics distribution and services company is seeking an Executive Assistant in their Burnaby office in BC. Responsibilities include but are not limited to: - Assists managers by performing secretarial as well as administrative tasks with minimal supervision, handling high ...

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