Most certified legal assistants live in San Diego, Los Angeles, or Orange County. For the test, you must pass the local bar exam and then sit for the state exam in San Francisco. You may be required to also take an exam for the administrative board in your particular state. Many people choose to do both, as it proves they know their stuff!
One of the first things you need to take into consideration when studying to take the certified legal assistant exam in California is what type of legal assistant you want to become. There are four main types of assistants to focus on, paralegals, solicitors, report writers, and secretarial. The last two are the hardest types to get through the exams for because it’s hard to understand all of the questions, and it’s easy to forget key information.
Paralegals work under attorneys in legal chambers. Your primary duty will be to provide legal advice to clients that have legal issues. Much of your work will revolve around drafting contracts and other paperwork as well as presenting cases for these clients. Paralegals must have extensive law experience and be able to research extensively to do this job well.
Solicitors is a legal assistant that works in the offices of lawyers. Their job will mostly revolve around administrative duties like filing documents and keeping lawyers informed of court proceedings. Many solicitors work independently, so they’ll need to take the Certified Legal Assistant Exam California in person. You will be asked to demonstrate your legal skills in an examination administered by the American Bar Association.
Secretaries can be divided up into two categories: general and transactional. General secretaries generally handle clerical duties. They may call or email or receive information about depositions, pleadings, and other court proceedings. They also may be responsible for keeping appointment schedules, sending out correspondence, and keeping records of appointments.
While you may think that being a secretary is a simple job description, you’ll soon realize that each position needs a different skill set to be successful. Transactional law secretaries usually work with attorneys. This means you will generally need to know how to communicate effectively with your client and arrange depositions and court hearings. It’s also your duty to keep legal files organized and ready for clients.
A certified legal assistant exam California requires you to take a written portion first. Once you pass this portion, you’ll move on to the practical test. This exam covers all areas of the law, from criminal defense to labor rights, to real estate to corporate law. Passing this certification test gives you the credential to become a certified legal assistant in the state of California.
The next step is the writing portion of your Certified Legal Assistant Exam California. You’ll learn how to draft documents, including motion papers and affidavits. You’ll also need to practice writing so you can learn the proper way to format documents and cover letters. This part will prepare you for all of the deposition services a legal assistant offers.
The last portion is the oral section of the exam. Here you’ll demonstrate your ability to take oral questions under pressure, as well as your ability to speak clearly and listen to clients. Candidates need to understand courtroom procedures and how to follow directions to efficiently complete their clients’ legal work. Candidates need to have flawless oral skills and a professional, friendly demeanor.
Becoming a certified legal assistant in California is a challenging program that tests not only your knowledge but your ability to perform your duties as an assistant to a lawyer. It is a high-paying career that gives attorneys a new way to practice their law. However, there are a lot of requirements that applicants must pass before they become certified. Candidates should take the time to learn all of the requirements before applying to be a certified legal assistant in California.