June 6, 2019

7 Technology Skills Every Legal Assistant and Paralegal Needs to Know

By: Colleen Jilio-Ryan | Posted in: legal firms

legal assistants and paralegals

Technology has made working in the legal field easier than ever. Technological advancement has an impact on almost every task performed within the office and offers benefits that save both time and money. Paralegals and legal assistants need to have a basic working knowledge of available technologies to work more efficiently and stand out in their profession.

Here are 7 technological skills every legal assistant and paralegal must know:

  1. Document Management Systems

    Document management systems allow paralegals and legal assistants to make quick work of files that need to be sorted, filed, or sent to another office. These systems allow data to be shared quickly and easily making it easy for several people to have access at one time.

  2. Office Machines

    Office machines and multi-line phone systems are what hold an office together. Files can be scanned, copied, and transferred without having to rely on a courier. Managing a multi-line phone system means several offices can be included on one call without gathering everyone in the same room. Most office machines are capable of completing several tasks, so becoming familiar with each one will make your job easier.

  3. Document Creation: Word Processing, PowerPoint, Spreadsheets

    Programs used to create documents help to improve accuracy and can even make formatting an easy task. Most systems can create a variety of reports with just a few simple clicks of a mouse. Document creation can be time-consuming and tedious, but with the right tools, it becomes almost effortless.

  4. Electronic Filing

    Most courts have started using electronic filing systems. This is a must-know for anyone who is required to file summons and complaints, pleadings, or any other type of file with the court. This allows legal offices and the courts to handle and record files promptly without dealing with stacks of paper that can be lost or misplaced.

  5. Web Conferencing

    Web conferencing is an ideal way to take depositions or host meetings. There is no traveling involved, and everyone has access to the conference and can attend or ask for a recorded copy. Web conferencing may require specialized kinds of equipment that will allow for a secure connection and protect confidentiality.

  6. Research

    In any court case, a lot of research is needed on a variety of resources. Using electronic research tools like Lexis/Nexus, you can find the case files and documentation you need in a few short minutes compared to the long hours of research that would have been required a few years ago.

  7. The Process of Electronic Discovery

    Discovery is a term used to produce information that is required to build a compelling case. Now, most types of discovery can be performed electronically making it much easier to create a case file and review documents that are needed when representing the case.

You should learn to use as many systems and programs as possible to be a successful paralegal or legal assistant in a technologically advanced legal office.

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