While attorneys are busy strategizing their trial tactics, legal assistants are helping prepare their case and organize the courtroom presentation. Legal assistants keep a busy attorney organized and on track. Legal assistants may not be allowed to practice law; however, many attorneys are delegating more of their tasks to legal assistants these days. Legal assistants are starting to perform many of the same tasks that attorneys have executed in the past, but still, they are prohibited from practicing law in any way. That prohibition also prevents the legal assistant from presenting cases in court, consulting clients who inquire seeking legal advice, and other services that require a license to practice law.
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Some important jobs performed by legal assistants include helping prepare cases for trial, investigating to confirm the facts of the case, and making sure all evidence is secured and relevant, as well as making sure all evidentiary leads are considered. Assistants also organize all information and gather new information that is relevant to the case, such as other court decisions and laws enacted. Most legal assistants work for a law firm, in fact seven out of ten paralegals work in a private practice, while the remainder work for government agencies and in corporate legal departments. Job prospects for legal assistants are on the rise. Because attorneys are becoming more expensive, clients are trying to cut costs by hiring legal assistants and paralegals to do the same work as their attorneys previously provided. Qualified legal assistants may have an associate's or bachelor's degree in paralegal studies and work experience in the field. Again, more experience and higher education may have the best job opportunities and highest pay.