Legal Assistant vs. Paralegal - How Are They Different?

Friday, March 12, 2010


Subtle difference between legal assistant training and paralegal career training

Calgary, AB - March 12, 2010 - What is the difference between a Legal Assistant and a Paralegal? Although these are extremely similar careers in the field of law, there are a few significant differences.

A legal assistant generally performs more administrative tasks than a paralegal. Duties may include word processing, filing and taking phone messages. Paralegals will most often conduct more research for the attorney and the caseload. A paralegal's time is also billable in most private law firms similar to the attorney's time but at a lower rate. A legal assistant's time, however, may not be.

Paralegal studies and legal assistant training are different, although you can receive certification to be either a legal assistant or paralegal. Generally, the two titles are interchangeable and are sometimes synonymous, but there is often a difference in the pay because paralegal time can be billed to the client, resulting in a higher rate.

If you're not sure which position to take, it is recommended that you look into the courses that are provided for both and which one offers the education that you are most interested in. It may help to also research desired employers to determine the certification that they are looking for as well.

For more information, check out the Legal Administrative Assistant program and the Paralegal diploma program offered at Reeves College.

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