These titles are sometimes used interchangeably, but the general difference between legal assistants vs. paralegals breaks down like this:
- Legal assistants (alternatively named administrative assistant, legal secretary) handle a broad variety of office tasks, including scheduling, data entry, answering phones or other clerical duties.
- Paralegals often handle more technical legal tasks, including preparing documentation or performing research, and often requires more experience in law.
However, duties vary widely by firm and there are certainly employees titled “Legal Assistant” who perform paralegal duties—and vice-versa.
Herzing’s paralegal / legal assisting degree programs prepare you to thrive no matter the title!