An Executive Legal Assistant provides comprehensive support to lawyers and legal offices. They start as entry-level assistants before specializing in a field after a few years with experience; litigation, criminal law, family law, international law. Their duties include performing legal research by gathering case information for presentation, writing legal reports based on research and interviews, scheduling meetings, organizing travel arrangements, and organizing documentation for easy accessibility. An Executive Legal Assistant must be well organized, analytical research skills, and experience in case management. They typically spend long work hours spent in libraries and offices, requiring occasional travel.

Executive Legal Assistant Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real executive legal assistant resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Implement and manage system for disbursement payment and cost-sharing among defense counsel in complex litigation matters.
  • Perform notary republic duties for the firm.
  • Create briefing reports for attorneys on corporate governance issues.
  • Maintain key corporate governance and compliance documents and relate files.
  • Provide notary assistance as requested.
  • Prepare documents for mergers, buy-outs/acquisitions.
  • Proofread documents for grammatical and typographical errors.
  • Proofread and edit material for grammatical and factual accuracy.
  • Handle QuickBooks information, which include recording and maintaining accurate accounts.
  • Work on PowerPoint creating presentations and proposals utilizing company templates for meetings.
Executive Legal Assistant Traits
Communication skills shows that you are able to relay your thoughts, opinions and ideas clearly to those around you.
Computer skills involves understanding how to operate a computer, as well as computer programs and applications.
Research skills involves being able to find information on a topic and analyzing that information to find an answer for a question.

Executive Legal Assistant Job Description

When it comes to understanding what an executive legal assistant does, you may be wondering, "should I become an executive legal assistant?" The data included in this section may help you decide. Compared to other jobs, executive legal assistants have a growth rate described as "much faster than average" at 12% between the years 2018 - 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, the number of executive legal assistant opportunities that are predicted to open up by 2028 is 39,000.

An executive legal assistant annual salary averages $58,996, which breaks down to $28.36 an hour. However, executive legal assistants can earn anywhere from upwards of $33,000 to $105,000 a year. This means that the top-earning executive legal assistants make $72,000 more than the lowest-earning ones.

Once you've become an executive legal assistant, you may be curious about what other opportunities are out there. Careers aren't one size fits all. For that reason, we discovered some other jobs that you may find appealing. Some jobs you might find interesting include a paralegal, contractor-paralegal, litigation paralegal, and corporate paralegal.

Executive Legal Assistant Jobs You Might Like

Executive Legal Assistant Resume Examples

Executive Legal Assistant Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 10% of Executive Legal Assistants are proficient in Legal Documents, Powerpoint, and Expense Reports. They’re also known for soft skills such as Communication skills, Computer skills, and Research skills.

We break down the percentage of Executive Legal Assistants that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Legal Documents, 10%

    Prepared legal documents and correspondence pertaining to actor and screenwriter agreements and contracts, patent infringement, administrative and litigious matters.

  • Powerpoint, 7%

    Prepare PowerPoint Presentations for speeches and upcoming seminars, ensuring topic conveyed accurately and professionally.

  • Expense Reports, 7%

    Coordinate and manage domestic and international travel arrangements, prepare travel itineraries, and prepare/submit expense reports as needed.

  • Counsel, 6%

    Provided executive-level administrative support to the General Counsel and Secretary of a publicly-traded premium denim design, manufacture and retail organization.

  • Legal Advice, 5%

    Created manager training presentations and publications relating to legal issues for new manager recruits.

  • Law Firm, 4%

    Reviewed and tracked received prosecution related communication from law firms or patent office relating to patent estate applications.

Most executive legal assistants list "legal documents," "powerpoint," and "expense reports" as skills on their resumes. We go into more details on the most important executive legal assistant responsibilities here:

  • Arguably the most important personality trait for an executive legal assistant to have happens to be communication skills. An example from a resume said this about the skill, "paralegals must be able to document and present their research and related information to their supervising attorney." Additionally, other resumes have pointed out that executive legal assistants can use communication skills to "supported board of directors with communications, documentation & planning international board meetings. "
  • Another commonly found skill for being able to perform executive legal assistant duties is the following: computer skills. According to a executive legal assistant resume, "paralegals need to be familiar with using computers for legal research and litigation support." Check out this example of how executive legal assistants use computer skills: "employed well-developed computer skills: word processing, internet applications, e-mail, etc. "
  • Executive legal assistants are also known for research skills, which can be critical when it comes to performing their duties. An example of why this skill is important is shown by this snippet that we found in a executive legal assistant resume: "paralegals gather facts of the case and research information on relevant laws and regulations to prepare drafts of legal documents for attorneys and help them prepare for a case." We also found this resume example that details how this skill is put to the test: "document preparation (litigation and corporate), court filings, legal research, organize and maintain client files. "
  • A thorough review of lots of resumes revealed to us that "interpersonal skills" is important to completing executive legal assistant responsibilities. This resume example shows just one way executive legal assistants use this skill: "paralegals spend most of their time working with clients and other professionals and must be able to develop good relationships" Here's an example of how this skill is used from a resume that represents typical executive legal assistant tasks: "used interpersonal skills to build on firms current client base. "
  • Another common skill for an executive legal assistant to be able to utilize is "organizational skills." Paralegals may be responsible for many cases at one time an executive legal assistant demonstrated the need for this skill by putting this on their resume: "provide organizational support through set up and maintenance of contracts and firm and client files. "
  • See the full list of executive legal assistant skills.

    We've found that 52.3% of executive legal assistants have earned a bachelor's degree. Furthermore, 6.0% earned their master's degrees before becoming an executive legal assistant. While it's true that most executive legal assistants have a college degree, it's generally possible to become one with only a high school degree. In fact, one out of every six executive legal assistants did not spend the extra money to attend college.

    The executive legal assistants who went onto college to earn a more in-depth education generally studied business and legal support services, while a small population of executive legal assistants studied criminal justice and political science.

    When you're ready to become an executive legal assistant, you might wonder which companies hire executive legal assistants. According to our research through executive legal assistant resumes, executive legal assistants are mostly hired by Frontline, Robert Half International, and Amazon.com. Now is a good time to apply as Frontline has 6 executive legal assistants job openings, and there are 5 at Robert Half International and 2 at Amazon.com.

    But if you're interested in companies where you might earn a high salary, executive legal assistants tend to earn the biggest salaries at Abbott Laboratories, FJ Management, and Las Vegas Sands. Take Abbott Laboratories for example. The median executive legal assistant salary is $94,818. At FJ Management, executive legal assistants earn an average of $85,855, while the average at Las Vegas Sands is $83,371. You should take into consideration how difficult it might be to secure a job with one of these companies.

    View more details on executive legal assistant salaries across the United States.

    We also looked into companies who hire executive legal assistants from the top 100 educational institutions in the U.S. The top three companies that hire the most from these institutions include LAW Offices, Skadden, and Robert Half International.

    For the most part, executive legal assistants make their living in the professional and finance industries. Executive legal assistants tend to make the most in the professional industry with an average salary of $89,534. The executive legal assistant annual salary in the telecommunication and finance industries generally make $77,215 and $76,364 respectively. Additionally, executive legal assistants who work in the professional industry make 37.4% more than executive legal assistants in the hospitality Industry.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious executive legal assistants are:

      What Paralegals Do

      Paralegals are law firm or legal department employees who work on cases with lawyers. They handle different activities, usually administrative or clerical, such as organizing and maintaining files, updating records, and managing correspondences, among others. Paralegals also handle different activities directly related to active cases being worked on by lawyers in the firm or department. They assist lawyers on cases by preparing materials needed for trials, conducting legal research, verifying trial facts, helping during interviews, getting statements from those involved in the case, and creating presentation materials. Paralegals should have knowledge of laws and should be familiar with landmark cases.

      In this section, we compare the average executive legal assistant annual salary with that of a paralegal. Typically, paralegals earn a $16,958 lower salary than executive legal assistants earn annually.

      Even though executive legal assistants and paralegals have vast differences in their careers, a few of the skills required to do both jobs are similar. For example, both careers require legal documents, powerpoint, and counsel in the day-to-day roles.

      As far as similarities go, this is where it ends because an executive legal assistant responsibility requires skills such as "expense reports," "confidential information," "legal department," and "special projects." Whereas a paralegal is skilled in "discovery responses," "document review," "affidavits," and "litigation support." So if you're looking for what truly separates the two careers, you've found it.

      Paralegals really shine in the manufacturing industry with an average salary of $53,708. Whereas executive legal assistants tend to make the most money in the professional industry with an average salary of $89,534.

      Paralegals tend to reach similar levels of education than executive legal assistants. In fact, paralegals are 2.1% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 4.9% more likely to have a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of a Contractor-Paralegal?

      A Contractor-Paralegal works for a law firm or corporate legal department for a specified amount of time, or for a specified task. They can be specialized in the entertainment industry or in providing services to healthcare companies and insurance providers.

      Now we're going to look at the contractor-paralegal profession. On average, contractor-paralegals earn a $5,921 lower salary than executive legal assistants a year.

      A similarity between the two careers of executive legal assistants and contractor-paralegals are a few of the skills associated with both roles. We used resumes from both professions to find that both use skills like "legal documents," "powerpoint," and "counsel. "

      But both careers also use different skills, according to real executive legal assistant resumes. While executive legal assistant responsibilities can utilize skills like "expense reports," "confidential information," "special projects," and "calendar management," some contractor-paralegals use skills like "discovery responses," "ensure compliance," "contract database," and "document review."

      On average, contractor-paralegals earn a lower salary than executive legal assistants. There are industries that support higher salaries in each profession respectively. Interestingly enough, contractor-paralegals earn the most pay in the pharmaceutical industry with an average salary of $73,230. Whereas, executive legal assistants have higher paychecks in the professional industry where they earn an average of $89,534.

      In general, contractor-paralegals study at similar levels of education than executive legal assistants. They're 1.8% less likely to obtain a Master's Degree while being 4.9% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      How a Litigation Paralegal Compares

      A litigation paralegal is a specialist who is responsible for assisting attorneys throughout the trial process. On the plaintiff side, litigation paralegals conduct initial client interviews and legal research for case preparations. They assist with the preliminary examinations of witnesses and jury selection in the courtroom. Litigation paralegals often assist attorneys with case settlements and help identify issues for appeals. They must also possess excellent skills in verbal and written communication and should have great attention in detail.

      The third profession we take a look at is litigation paralegal. On an average scale, these workers bring in lower salaries than executive legal assistants. In fact, they make a $9,124 lower salary per year.

      While looking through the resumes of several executive legal assistants and litigation paralegals we discovered that both professions have similar skills. These similarities include skills such as "legal documents," "powerpoint," and "counsel," but they differ when it comes to other required skills.

      There are many key differences between these two careers as shown by resumes from each profession. Some of those differences include the skills required to complete responsibilities within each role. As an example of this, an executive legal assistant is likely to be skilled in "expense reports," "confidential information," "legal department," and "special projects," while a typical litigation paralegal is skilled in "discovery responses," "document review," "affidavits," and "litigation support."

      Litigation paralegals make a very good living in the professional industry with an average annual salary of $57,346. Whereas executive legal assistants are paid the highest salary in the professional industry with the average being $89,534.

      Litigation paralegals are known to earn similar educational levels when compared to executive legal assistants. Additionally, they're 1.4% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 6.3% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of a Corporate Paralegal

      A Corporate Paralegal helps attorneys gather information and materials in preparation for different kinds of cases, hearings, or meetings. They also work in the legal departments of large corporations and for government agencies.

      Corporate paralegals tend to earn a lower pay than executive legal assistants by about $7,725 per year.

      According to resumes from both executive legal assistants and corporate paralegals, some of the skills necessary to complete the responsibilities of each role are similar. These skills include "legal documents," "counsel," and "legal advice. "

      Each job requires different skills like "powerpoint," "expense reports," "law firm," and "confidential information," which might show up on an executive legal assistant resume. Whereas corporate paralegal might include skills like "governance," "mergers," "ucc," and "proxy."

      In general, corporate paralegals make a higher salary in the insurance industry with an average of $74,164. The highest executive legal assistant annual salary stems from the professional industry.

      In general, corporate paralegals reach similar levels of education when compared to executive legal assistants resumes. Corporate paralegals are 2.9% more likely to earn their Master's Degree and 8.2% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.