Occupation Summary

Paralegals and Legal Assistants

O*NET 23-2011.00

Description:

Assist lawyers by investigating facts, preparing legal documents, or researching legal precedent. Conduct research to support a legal proceeding, to formulate a defense, or to initiate legal action.

Annual Wages:
$56,267.00
Employment Rate:
Employment is expected to increase by 22.20%.
Education Level:
Bachelor's Degree. According to O*Net, the majority of people employed in this occupation have this level of education.
Endorsement:
Public Service

  1. Prepare legal documents, including briefs, pleadings, appeals, wills, contracts, and real estate closing statements.
  2. Gather and analyze research data, such as statutes, decisions, and legal articles, codes, and documents.
  3. Call upon witnesses to testify at hearing.
  4. Direct and coordinate law office activity, including delivery of subpoenas.
  5. Keep and monitor legal volumes to ensure that law library is up-to-date.
  6. Appraise and inventory real and personal property for estate planning.
  7. Prepare affidavits or other documents, such as legal correspondence, and organize and maintain documents in paper or electronic filing system.
  8. Prepare for trial by performing tasks such as organizing exhibits.
  9. Meet with clients and other professionals to discuss details of case.
  10. File pleadings with court clerk.
  11. Investigate facts and law of cases and search pertinent sources, such as public records, to determine causes of action and to prepare cases.
  12. Arbitrate disputes between parties and assist in the real estate closing process, such as by reviewing title searches.

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National Industry Employment Patterns


Industry % of Paralegals and Legal Assistants employed Annual Growth Rate
Legal services 73.4 1.43


Labor Market Information


2018 Statewide average hourly wage $27.05
2018 National average hourly wage $26.20
2016 National employment 285,600
2016 Texas employment 22,460
Texas projected employment by 2026 27,445
Texas projected annual employment and Turnover openings through 2026 2,982




TEXAS COUNTY MAP BY WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT AREA
* Due to confidentiality rules, not all regions may have the data displayed. The sum of all the regions may not be equal to the state total.


Top 10 Relevant Knowledge Areas Relevant Importance Levels
English Language
Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
92.60%
Law and Government
Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
90.00%
Clerical
Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
82.20%
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
67.40%
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
61.80%
Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
51.80%
Communications and Media
Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
49.60%
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
49.00%
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
47.20%
Psychology
Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
43.20%


Top 10 Relevant Skill Areas Relevant Importance Levels
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
80.00%
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
75.00%
Writing
Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
72.40%
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
72.40%
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
65.00%
Time Management
Managing one's own time and the time of others.
62.40%
Judgment and Decision Making
Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
60.00%
Active Learning
Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
60.00%
Monitoring
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
60.00%
Coordination
Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
60.00%


Top 10 Relevant Abilities Relevant Importance Levels
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
85.00%
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
85.00%
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
85.00%
Written Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
80.00%
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
72.40%
Speech Clarity
The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
72.40%
Speech Recognition
The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
70.00%
Information Ordering
The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
70.00%
Category Flexibility
The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
67.60%
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
67.60%


  • Interacting With Computers
    -- Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Getting Information
    -- Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
    -- Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
    -- Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
    -- Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Other Activities


  • Analyze data to discover facts in case
  • Analyze existing evidence or facts
  • Analyze legal questions
  • Appraise personal property or equipment
  • Arbitrate disputes among groups or individuals
  • Communicate technical or scientific information
  • Compile evidence for court actions
  • Compile information for court cases
  • Compose draft or final legal pleadings
  • Conduct business, market, or managerial research
  • Conduct informational presentations
  • Conduct interviews to gather information
  • Conduct legal research
  • Confer with attorney
  • Decide causes of legal action
  • Determine admissibility of evidence
  • Determine if evidence is sufficient to recommend organizational or legal action
  • Direct serving of legal documents
  • Employ arrest, search, or seizure legal statutes
  • Employ rules of evidence procedures
  • Evaluate information in documents or manuscripts
  • Evaluate merit of a case based on precedents, policies, laws, or regulations
  • Examine data against legal precedents
  • Examine evidence to determine if it will support charges
  • File documents in court or with the proper agency division
  • File paper documents and related materials
  • Inventory real property or equipment
  • Maintain business or financial records, reports, or files
  • Maintain public records, reports, or files
  • Mediate individual, group, or organizational disputes
  • Obtain information from attorneys, witnesses, or litigants
  • Obtain information from clients, customers, or patients
  • Organize legal information or records
  • Organize reference materials
  • Participate in appeals hearings
  • Perform continuing education to maintain licenses, certifications, qualifications, and knowledge currency
  • Perform scientific research
  • Prepare legal documents
  • Retrieve files or charts
  • Review hearing transcripts
  • Submit state and federal reports
  • Supervise subordinate personnel or contractors
  • Write legal correspondence


  • Relationships
    - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
  • Support
    - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.



Tools

Desktop computers: Desktop computers;

Laser fax machine: Laser facsimile machines;

Notebook computers: Notebook computers;

Optical character recognition systems: Optical character recognition equipment;

Personal computers: Personal computers;

Photocopiers: Photocopiers;

Scanners: Scanners; Image scanners;


Technology

Analytical or scientific software: Case analysis software; Dataflight Concordance; Electronic discovery software; LexisNexis Applied Discovery; LexisNexis CourtLink Strategic Profiles; Litigation support software; Uniscribe software; Wilson's Computer Applications RealEasy Appraisals; a la mode WinTOTAL;

Categorization or classification software: LiveNote software; Bowne JFS Litigator's Notebook;

Customer relationship management CRM software: Software Technology PracticeMaster; Thomson West ProLaw;

Data base user interface and query software: Relational database software; Saga Practice Manager; Practice management software PMS; Microsoft Access; LexisNexis CodeMaster; LexisNexis Time Matters software; Bridgeway eCounsel; LexisNexis CaseMap; eTrac software; Two Step Software CorporateFocus software;

Desktop publishing software: Blumberg Drafting Libaries; Dataflight Opticon; Digital Contracts software; ProForce Paralegal Pro-Pack; Sure Will Writer;

Document management software: PDF Snake Easy Bates; Summation Blaze; Records management software; LexisNexis Total Search; Microsoft Office SharePoint Server MOSS; OmniRIM software; Document management system software; CaseSoft DepPrep; CaseSoft TextMap; Appligent Citation FDFMerge; Accutrac software; Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat; Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat software; LexisNexis File and Serve; LexisNexis HotDocs; Electronic transcription management software; Inmagic DB/TextWorks; IntelliPDF software;

Electronic mail software: Microsoft Outlook; IBM Notes;

File versioning software: Zylab ZyImage;

Information retrieval or search software: Westlaw; Westlaw Real Property Deed Images; dtSearch software; Ovid SilverPlatter WebSPIRS; THOMAS Global Register; Thomson Saegis; Thomson West FindLaw; Online database search and retrieval software; Online public records search software; Online title search and property report software; LexisNexis Company Analyzer; Fastcase; FindForms; FindLaw Code of Federal Regulations CFR; LexisNexis SmartLinx; American LegalNet USCourtForms;

Internet browser software: Web browser software;

Library software: Computer access catalog software;

Office suite software: Microsoft Office software;

Optical character reader OCR or scanning software: Optical character recognition OCR software;

Pattern design software: CaseSoft TimeMap;

Presentation software: Microsoft PowerPoint;

Spreadsheet software: Microsoft Excel; Spreadsheet software;

Transaction server software: Tumbleweed SecureTransport;

Word processing software: Microsoft Word; Corel WordPerfect software; LexisNexis CheckCite; Legal MacPac software; Legal document software; Word processing software;


Related O*NET occupational titles for Paralegals and Legal Assistants include:
  • 43-3021.02 Billing, Cost, and Rate Clerks
  • 43-3031.00 Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks
  • 43-4011.00 Brokerage Clerks
  • 43-4061.00 Eligibility Interviewers, Government Programs
  • 43-6011.00 Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants
  • 43-6012.00 Legal Secretaries
  • 43-4031.02 Municipal Clerks
  • 13-2081.00 Tax Examiners and Collectors, and Revenue Agents
  • 13-2082.00 Tax Preparers
  • 23-2093.00 Title Examiners, Abstractors, and Searchers


Sources of Additional Information
  • For more information on the Certified Legal Assistant certification, schools that offer training programs in a specific State, and standards and guidelines for paralegals, visit: NALA – The National Association of Legal Assistants
  • For information on the Professional Paralegal certification, visit: NALS – The Association for Legal Professionals
  • For information on the Paralegal Advanced Competency Exam, paralegal careers, and paralegal training programs visit: National Federation of Paralegal Associations
  • Paralegals and Legal Assistants

  • Contact Texas Workforce Commission
    Labor Market and Career Information  |  101 E. 15th Street, Annex Room 0252  |  Austin, Texas 78778
    Official Website  |  1-800-822-PLAN (7526)  |  512.936.3200

    ** The information in this report may be derived from many sources like O*NET, BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), OOH (Occupational Outlook Handbook), and Career One Stop.