Senior legal assistants are responsible for managing junior-level assistants. They also support lawyers with various legal tasks such as conducting legal research, drafting documents, and hearing trials. These assistants must work with attorneys and clients to review various legal documents to ensure their accuracy and completeness. They gather documents for attorneys and prepare witnesses scheduled for court hearings. Senior legal assistants must also arrange the delivery of subpoenas while preparing the required affidavit of service.

Senior Legal Assistant Responsibilities

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

  • Prepare and distribute payroll manage daily office operations and equipment and maintain supplies for office to run effectively.
  • Review all incoming subpoenas, document production and discovery requests and coordinate responses with appropriate units.
  • Prepare and run PowerPoint presentations for criminal trials.
  • Develop numerous PowerPoint presentations for conferences and teachings.
  • Provide general paralegal support for bankruptcy, litigation and transactions groups.
  • Perform extensive research on various corporate and litigation issues relating to bankruptcy law.
  • Supply administrative support to senior counsel and interact with merchandising, sales and marketing departments.
  • Develop cases by scheduling depositions, arbitration, preparing and forwarding citations and subpoenas, drafting motion and discovery.
  • Establish and maintain effective relationships with clients, opposing counsel and court staff with clear communication channels to ensure effective representation.
  • Answer and propound discovery/mandatory disclosure/financial affidavits.
Senior 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.

Senior Legal Assistant Job Description

Between the years 2018 and 2028, senior legal assistant jobs are expected to undergo a growth rate described as "much faster than average" at 12%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So if the thought "should I become a senior legal assistant?" Has crossed your mind, maybe you should take the growth rate into account. In addition, the number of senior legal assistant opportunities that are projected to become available by 2028 is 39,000.

A senior legal assistant annual salary averages $53,016, which breaks down to $25.49 an hour. However, senior legal assistants can earn anywhere from upwards of $34,000 to $81,000 a year. This means that the top-earning senior legal assistants make $47,000 more than the lowest-earning ones.

As is the case with most jobs, it takes work to become a senior legal assistant. Sometimes people change their minds about their career after working in the profession. That's why we looked into some other professions that might help you find your next opportunity. These professions include a law clerk, real estate paralegal, paralegal, and contractor-paralegal.

Senior Legal Assistant Jobs You Might Like

Senior Legal Assistant Resume Examples

Senior Legal Assistant Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 18% of Senior Legal Assistants are proficient in Legal Documents, Legal Advice, and Counsel. They’re also known for soft skills such as Communication skills, Computer skills, and Research skills.

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

  • Legal Documents, 18%

    Draft legal documents related to enforcement of environmental health according to department regulations.

  • Legal Advice, 15%

    Facilitated seminars for the elderly client on various legal issues affecting Georgians over 60 years of age.

  • Counsel, 6%

    Supplied administrative support to senior counsel and interacted with merchandising, sales and marketing departments.

  • Discovery Responses, 4%

    Prepared discovery responses, performed factual investigation, and analyzed medical and employment records.

  • Subpoenas, 4%

    Developed cases by scheduling depositions, arbitration, preparing and forwarding citations and subpoenas, drafting motion and discovery.

  • Administrative Tasks, 3%

    Assisted management with other administrative tasks.

"legal documents," "legal advice," and "counsel" aren't the only skills we found senior legal assistants list on their resumes. In fact, there's a whole list of senior legal assistant responsibilities that we found, including:

  • Arguably the most important personality trait for a senior 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 senior legal assistants can use communication skills to "established and maintained effective relationships with clients, opposing counsel and court staff with clear communication channels to ensure effective representation. "
  • While it may not be the most important skill, we found that many senior legal assistant duties rely on computer skills. This example from a senior legal assistant explains why: "paralegals need to be familiar with using computers for legal research and litigation support." This resume example is just one of many ways senior legal assistants are able to utilize computer skills: "scanned all documents in computer program files, and ordered office supplies as needed. "
  • Another skill that is quite popular among senior legal assistants is research skills. This skill is very critical to fulfilling every day responsibilities as is shown in this example from a senior 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." This example from a resume shows how this skill is used: "researched case law, applied legal defenses, and implemented defense strategies. "
  • In order for certain senior legal assistant responsibilities to be completed, the job requires the skill "interpersonal skills." According to a senior legal assistant resume, "paralegals spend most of their time working with clients and other professionals and must be able to develop good relationships" As an example, this snippet was taken directly from a resume about how this skill applies: "developed interpersonal skills through extensive client contact. "
  • Yet another important skill that a senior legal assistant must demonstrate is "organizational skills." Paralegals may be responsible for many cases at one time This is clearly demonstrated in this example from a senior legal assistant who stated: "trusted to supervise and execute all administrative and organizational tasks for boutique law firm. "
  • See the full list of senior legal assistant skills.

    We've found that 54.9% of senior legal assistants have earned a bachelor's degree. Furthermore, 6.1% earned their master's degrees before becoming a senior legal assistant. While it's true that most senior 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 seven senior legal assistants did not spend the extra money to attend college.

    The senior 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 senior legal assistants studied criminal justice and political science.

    When you're ready to become a senior legal assistant, you might wonder which companies hire senior legal assistants. According to our research through senior legal assistant resumes, senior legal assistants are mostly hired by Deloitte, Hartford South, and CACI International. Now is a good time to apply as Deloitte has 4 senior legal assistants job openings, and there are 3 at Hartford South and 1 at CACI International.

    But if you're interested in companies where you might earn a high salary, senior legal assistants tend to earn the biggest salaries at Goldman Sachs, Deloitte, and Energy Transfer Equity LP. Take Goldman Sachs for example. The median senior legal assistant salary is $75,845. At Deloitte, senior legal assistants earn an average of $68,899, while the average at Energy Transfer Equity LP is $68,393. You should take into consideration how difficult it might be to secure a job with one of these companies.

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

    If you earned a degree from the top 100 educational institutions in the United States, you might want to take a look at LAW Offices, Skadden, and Robert Half International. These three companies have hired a significant number of senior legal assistants from these institutions.

    The industries that senior legal assistants fulfill the most roles in are the professional and finance industries. But the highest senior legal assistant annual salary is in the finance industry, averaging $72,897. In the professional industry they make $71,937 and average about $62,175 in the manufacturing industry. In conclusion, senior legal assistants who work in the finance industry earn a 36.7% higher salary than senior legal assistants in the insurance industry.

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

      What Law Clerks Do

      Law clerks are employees in a legal firm who handle clerical tasks for the office. They handle the office's official phone lines, answering incoming calls, and making outgoing calls. They also field office correspondence, often receiving incoming mail and distributing them to their addressees. They manage office documents and ensure that they are correctly filed and labeled in their respective storage bins. Law clerks help make office life more comfortable because they make sure that the office is running well. They also manage appointments and office calendars.

      In this section, we take a look at the annual salaries of other professions. Take law clerk for example. On average, the law clerks annual salary is $772 lower than what senior legal assistants make on average every year.

      While the salaries between these two careers can be different, they do share some of the same responsibilities. Employees in both senior legal assistants and law clerks positions are skilled in legal documents, legal advice, and counsel.

      There are some key differences in responsibilities as well. For example, a senior legal assistant responsibilities require skills like "administrative tasks," "trial preparation," "travel arrangements," and "legal department." Meanwhile a typical law clerk has skills in areas such as "legal memos," "pre-trial motions," "criminal cases," and "summary judgment." This difference in skills reveals how truly different these two careers really are.

      Law clerks tend to reach similar levels of education than senior legal assistants. In fact, law clerks are 4.5% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 64.5% more likely to have a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of a Real Estate Paralegal?

      A Real Estate Paralegal helps real estate lawyers with a variety of tasks, such as offering advice to clients, doing research, and preparing documents. They collaborate with landlords, housing managers, or other real estate personnel.

      Now we're going to look at the real estate paralegal profession. On average, real estate paralegals earn a $2,608 higher salary than senior legal assistants a year.

      Not everything about these jobs is different. Take their skills, for example. Senior legal assistants and real estate paralegals both include similar skills like "legal documents," "legal advice," and "counsel" on their resumes.

      In addition to the difference in salary, there are some other key differences that are worth noting. For example, senior legal assistant responsibilities are more likely to require skills like "discovery responses," "administrative tasks," "trial preparation," and "travel arrangements." Meanwhile, a real estate paralegal might be skilled in areas such as "title companies," "loan portfolio," "affidavits," and "lenders." These differences highlight just how different the day-to-day in each role looks.

      It's been discovered that real estate paralegals earn higher salaries compared to senior legal assistants, but we wanted to find out where real estate paralegals earned the most pay. The answer? The hospitality industry. The average salary in the industry is $64,951. Additionally, senior legal assistants earn the highest paychecks in the finance with an average salary of $72,897.

      In general, real estate paralegals study at similar levels of education than senior legal assistants. They're 2.1% less likely to obtain a Master's Degree while being 64.5% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      How a Paralegal Compares

      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.

      Let's now take a look at the paralegal profession. On average, these workers make lower salaries than senior legal assistants with a $11,257 difference per year.

      Using senior legal assistants and paralegals resumes, we found that both professions have similar skills such as "legal documents," "legal advice," and "counsel," but the other skills required are very different.

      As mentioned, these two careers differ between other skills that are required for performing the work exceedingly well. For example, gathering from senior legal assistants resumes, they are more likely to have skills like "administrative tasks," "legal department," "expense reports," and "pacer." But a paralegal might have skills like "affidavits," "internet," "lexis," and "foreclosure."

      Additionally, paralegals earn a higher salary in the manufacturing industry compared to other industries. In this industry, they receive an average salary of $53,708. Additionally, senior legal assistants earn an average salary of $72,897 in the finance industry.

      When it comes to education, paralegals tend to earn similar education levels than senior legal assistants. In fact, they're 0.3% less likely to earn a Master's Degree, and 0.6% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

      Description 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.

      The fourth career we look at typically earns lower pay than senior legal assistants. On average, contractor-paralegals earn a difference of $220 lower per year.

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

      Even though a few skill sets overlap, there are some differences that are important to note. For one, a senior legal assistant might have more use for skills like "administrative tasks," "expense reports," "scheduling appointments," and "telephone calls." Meanwhile, some contractor-paralegals might include skills like "ensure compliance," "contract database," "contract paralegal," and "contract review" on their resume.

      Now, let's take a closer look at the financials in each career. The pharmaceutical industry tends to pay more for contractor-paralegals with an average of $73,230. While the highest senior legal assistant annual salary comes from the finance industry.

      In general, contractor-paralegals reach similar levels of education when compared to senior legal assistants resumes. Contractor-paralegals are 0.0% less likely to earn their Master's Degree and 1.4% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.