“I want a job in legal”. As what, a lawyer? The answer to this question depends on the person. Legal assistants aren’t given much thought for those who don’t work in the industry. But they’re an invaluable part of the office, wherever they work. Here are some reasons why people work as a legal assistant.
Out of school, into the office
Some high school students choose to work full-time after finishing Grade 12 or leaving school earlier. To work as a legal assistant, they’d need to complete a Certificate III in Business Admin or Certificate IV in Legal Services. Some also choose to take on work experience in a legal office of some kind while they study. This can turn into a full-time job once they graduate both school and the course. A legal assistant job is busy, steady and you certainly get an education without ever setting foot in a classroom.
A change of scene
The Balance says that the average person changes jobs up to 15 times over their lifetime. This is a bit extreme, but at some point, you’ll meet someone who’s changed, or will change their career. They’ll go from one industry to another that seems like their polar opposite.
Law is a high-paced, exciting field. It suits people who are organised, self-starting and go above what the job requires. These are common traits among good legal assistants. If you want a job in legal, though, make sure you’re prepared for the shock of the change and the pressure that comes with the position.
Experience now, uni later
School leavers don’t want to go to university straight away. It comes down to personal choices, not wanting to have HECS debt or not having completed school. A Certificate IV in Legal Services or a Diploma in Legal Services has no prerequisite so anyone can take the courses. These and a few years of working will count as experience when applying for university later.
Legal assistants might not want to stay in their role forever. It’s common for them to work their way up the ladder. After a few years, a legal assistant can become an executive assistant who manages the office staff. Legal assistants can further their education and become paralegals after a year or two. The benefit about starting at the bottom is the room you have room to move up in the world; or at least in the office.