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What is a Legal Assistant?

Legal assistants work under the supervision of attorneys and are bound by the professional ethical conduct requirements for attorneys as prescribed by the California Bar Association. Legal assistants help prepare the documents needed in legal matters being heard in courts and administrative hearings. They draft memos, letters, and official documents based on research. Research methods may include interviewing people, library, and computer work.

The legal assistant frequently acts as an important contact between their supervising attorney and the client and so must enjoy working with a wide variety of people and interests. They must also enjoy keeping up with a rapidly changing professional environment. Legal assistants do not give legal advice.  Only a licensed attorney may give legal advice to clients.

Legal assistants undertake a broad range of responsibilities, including:

Legal assistants may specialize in a variety of practice areas, such as:

(See also Career Opportunities)