What does a Personal Injury Legal Assistant Do?
Have you ever wondered what it is like to be a Legal Assistant? We are the organizers. Organizers of our lawyers’ calendar, appointments, their time, files, etc. The role of a Legal Assistant is to assist your lawyer and ultimately the entire firm. Legal Assistants schedule telephone calls, meetings with clients, opposing counsel, examinations for discovery, mediations, pre-trial, trials, etc. Legal Assistants also draft correspondence, pleadings, do dictation, and we are, in most cases, a main contact person on the file. There is a lot to keep track of so attention to detail is very important.
When you first get in for the day, a good idea is to look for any urgent emails to see if there are any urgent tasks that may have arisen. Next, check the daily calendar. Does your lawyer have an appointment today? If so, are they ready for it? do they have the file and their meeting notes? It is your job to help prepare the lawyer for whatever meeting/appointment they are attending.
Once any urgent matters are taken care of and your lawyer is set for the day, it is now time for tasks. The ability to prioritize is key. Look ahead at dates. What can you do to help move the matter forward? If you see that a defence has been served, you can schedule examinations for discovery, if you see that an examination for discovery has proceeded and undertakings are underway, you can request a private mediation, or set it down for Trial. All of these things will help progress a file.
It’s important to keep in mind, however, that if you come into work with a plan for the day, one phone call, one email, or one conversation can change your day completely. You need to be adaptable. Adaptability and assisting others when needed is very important. Ultimately the role of the Legal Assistant is to keep files moving forward by working with the Lawyer and of course, the client.
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