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How do I Become a Corporate Legal Assistant?

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  • Written By: Elva K.
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 15 May 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Corporate legal assistants work as assistants to lawyers within a corporate environment. For example, corporate legal assistant work might involve keeping up to date with government laws, preparing financial reports, helping prepare employees' contracts, shareholders' agreements, employees' benefits plans, filing of annual reports, or preparing forms if the company seeks to borrow money. If you aspire to become a corporate legal assistant, you will generally need a college degree and specialized paralegal training.

You have two educational options if you seek to become a corporate legal assistant. One option involves earning a bachelor's degree in paralegal study from a paralegal program accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA). Another option involves earning a bachelor's degree in any subject and then attending a paralegal certificate program accredited by the ABA.

Paralegal curriculum typically includes courses such as legal research, civil procedure, and computer applications. Also, practicum experience is usually required where you work for a few months under the supervision of an attorney. If you are aspiring to become a corporate legal assistant, you will typically do a practicum in a corporate setting as opposed to other types of work settings because being supervised and trained in a corporate setting will likely enable you to function more successfully as a corporate legal assistant after completion of your education.

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You will typically apply for a legal assistant job in a corporate setting upon completion of your paralegal education and practicum. The career services department of your college can be helpful in assisting you to find a corporate legal assistant job. In some cases, your practicum supervisor may be able to offer you a job.

Getting certification is not required; however, certification can be helpful, as it demonstrates your knowledge of law-related topics and your dedication to your career. You can earn certification through the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA). Certification requires attainment of paralegal education and successfully passing a test on your knowledge of legal principles.

Of note, if you want to become a corporate legal assistant, it is helpful to have good communications skills in addition to having the necessary legal skills. Also, being competent in computer use and legal research is important because corporate legal assisting involves a lot of computer use and legal research. In addition, being willing to work overtime hours can be helpful particularly during times of year when deadlines must be met, such as when annual reports are due or when there are other important corporate events.

To become a corporate legal assistant, you must work hard and get the necessary education. It is not an easy process. Granted, if you are willing to do the necessary work and if you are able to learn fast on the job, you can be a corporate legal assistant.

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