Legal AssistantSample Job Descriptions, Salaries, and Interview Questions

Legal assistants play an essential role in the day-to-day operations of the law office or legal department. They help with case management, document preparation, maintaining calendars, communicating with clients and court officials, and assisting with attorneys’ needs. Legal assistants must have excellent communication skills and keen attention to detail. They should also be comfortable working independently as well as part of a team. 

Sample job description #1

The Legal Assistant will perform administrative duties to support the Chief Legal Officer and the legal department.

Essential role functions

  • Acts as liaison between company attorneys, outside counsel, organizations and management.
  • Facilitate contract review, administration, and management of ABC Company entity contracts using contract management software.
  • Drive annual and other periodic corporate reporting and filings with secretaries of state and other business registration/qualification authorities.
  • Coordinate with global subsidiaries regarding annual reports, minutes and other documents; obtain necessary signatures from officers and ensure timely return of documents.
  • Drive and expedite due dates, deadlines, and task completion for legal team as needed.
  • Support M&A activities.
  • Perform administrative and secretarial duties for the legal department.
  • Conduct intermediate level legal and factual research on assigned matters.
  • Assist Chief Legal Officer with preparations for Board meetings.
  • Assist with integrations of acquired entities with the legal department.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.
  • Strong analytical, organization, and communication skills accompanied by flexibility to quickly adapt in a fast paced, changing environment.

Minimum qualifications

  • 5+ years’ experience as a legal secretary or legal assistant
  • Associates degree
  • Proficiency in Office365 – including Microsoft Word, Teams, PowerPoint and Excel

Bonus qualifications

  • Experience in an in-house corporate law practice
  • Legal Assistant or Paralegal certification
  • College degree
  • Notary Public

Core competencies

  • Problem solving: Strong analytical skills. Identifies and resolves problems in a timely manner, gathers and reviews information appropriately. Uses own judgment and acts independently; seeks input from other team members as appropriate for complex or sensitive situations.
  • Oral/written communication: Listens carefully and speaks clearly and professionally in all situations. Edits work for accuracy and clarity, is able to create, read and interpret complex written information.
  • Planning and Organization: Prioritizes and plans work activities and uses time efficiently. Strong organizational skills.
  • Adaptability: Adapts to changes in the work environment, manages competing demands and is able to deal with frequent interruptions, changes, delays, or unexpected events.
  • Dependability: Consistently on time and at work, responds to management expectations and solicits feedback to improve performance.
  • Interpersonal Skills: Capable of developing strong interpersonal networks and trust within the organization.

Sample job description #2

ABC Company is seeking an experienced full-time Legal Assistant/Legal Secretary in the firm’s Houston office. The ideal candidate will ensure smooth running of the office and effective case management by providing legal services under the supervision of attorneys, including one in our Dallas office. This individual will communicate frequently with the clients, and have exceptional organizational skills, attention to detail, ability to prioritize, and a strong ability to multi-task. This position offers competitive pay, parking and potential for bonus.

Responsibilities

  • Provide administrative support to lawyers
  • Handle communication with clients
  • Locate and develop case relevant information
  • Prepare documents (pleadings, discovery, discovery responses) for review by attorneys.
  • Monitor compliance with deadlines
  • Administrative filings, court filings, electronic transcription, expense reimbursement processing, travel arrangements, and calendar maintenance.

Qualifications

  • Associate’s degree or equivalent experience
  • 2 years or more recent experience in legal assistance
  • Familiarity with the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure
  • Proficient in MS Office applications, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.
  • Ability to learn and effectively utilize various computer applications and other forms of technology.

Sample job description #3

ABC Company, a multi-office national firm, has an immediate opening for a full-time legal Assistant for our Orlando, FL Office.

Job summary

The individual in this role will assist attorneys in defending civil litigation matters in the areas of Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice. This is a hands-on position that involves working collaboratively with clients and employees of the firm.

Responsibilities:

  • Maintains calendar for trial and discovery deadlines
  • Schedules depositions, hearings, legal proceedings and appointments for attorneys
  • Submits invoices and assists attorney with time entry on billing software
  • Ensures organization of files including opening, closing, management and maintenance of files
  • Under attorney direction drafts and prepares correspondence and other written documents as required including responses, reports, filings, pleadings, answers, motions, interrogatories, contracts, opinions, position papers, letters, etc., and other documents as necessary
  • Organizes and analyzes documentary evidence including contracts, medical records, reports, depositions, discovery, investigative and other documents and summaries. Interpretation and preparation of chronologies and summaries as requested
  • Prepares, issues and handles tracking and disposition of subpoenas or other request for information
  • Performs other duties as assigned

Qualifications:

  • 1+ years of prior legal assistant experience supporting litigators in defense litigation preferably in personal injury and medical malpractice defense and in a high-volume, fast-paced law firm environment.
  • Florida State Court filing including E-Filing experience required.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office applications such as Excel, Word Perfect, Power Point and Outlook required.
  • Requires critical thinking skills, excellent communication and organizational skills, decisive judgment and the ability to work with minimal supervision.
  • High School Diploma or its equivalent required.

Physical demands

This position is considered to be mostly sedentary and will require the employee to sit for extended periods of time. It will also require the employee to occasionally stand, walk, and reach with hands and arms. They may engage in bending, stretching, reaching and other motions in the course of a working day. They will be engaged in using office equipment and computers. They may engage in lifting of supplies and materials up to 20 pounds from time to time. While performing duties of this position, the employee is regularly required to see, talk and hear.

Working conditions

This job is located primarily in an indoor office environment with varying noise levels. There may be varying degrees of temperature. The employee may be interrupted from time to time.

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for a legal assistant is $56,300 in the United States. Position salary will vary based on experience, education, company size, industry, and market.

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$56,000$75,750
Los Angeles, California$63,150$85,450
Denver, Colorado$52,650$71,200
Washington, DC$64,150$86,750
Miami, Florida$52,400$70,900
Orlando, Florida$48,350$65,400
Tampa, Florida$48,800$66,050
Atlanta, Georgia$51,200$69,300
Chicago, Illinois$58,850$79,650
Boston, Massachusetts$63,650$86,100
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota$50,750$68,650
New York City, New York$67,000$90,650
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$54,550$73,800
Dallas, Texas$53,100$71,850
Houston, Texas$52,650$71,200
Seattle, Washington$61,250$82,850
National Average$47,850$64,750

Sample interview questions

  • Why have you chosen to pursue being a legal assistant?
  • What is your work experience like?
  • How are your skills with research?
  • What are your plans for your career?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What soft skills do you have?
  • How do you ensure your work is accurate?
  • If you report to multiple attorneys, how do you prioritize your work?
  • Recall a complex legal decision you’ve dealt with, and describe the process that you utilized in order to finalize your decision. 
  • Where did you go to school?
  • How do you establish rapport in a professional context?
  • How do you stay organized?
  • What are some challenges you faced in your last role?
  • What is the biggest challenge you foresee in this position?
  • What motivates you?

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