How to Write a Legal Assistant or Paralegal Job Description

Posted January 25th, 2023 by Urban Legal Recruitment

A well-written job description saves the organization time and money by attracting qualified and suitable candidates. Job descriptions also help set performance expectations as well as providing performance evaluation criteria.

Overall, a job description is an essential tool for effectively managing and operating any organization.

What do paralegals and legal assistants do?

A refresher for employers: Paralegals and legal assistants work alongside lawyers to provide research, clerical, and administrative support. Essentially, these professionals help lawyers so that legal cases move forward efficiently. 

A reminder that the terms “paralegal” and “legal assistant” are often used interchangeably. Legal support staff generally draft contracts or other documents so that they’re available for lawyers. They assemble filings, maintain records before and after cases go to court, and communicate with clients as needed.

Sounds simple, right? Hiring top-qualified legal support staff will ensure your practice runs smoothly.

Attracting the right candidates, however, is essential. This is why writing a comprehensive job description is so important.

How to write a compelling paralegal job description 

To connect with talented, qualified legal support staff, you’ll need to write an engaging job description. The listing should be clear, well-organized, relatively concise, and free from typos.

Specifically, your job description should include the following sections:

Summary of the role

Here you’ll want to describe what the paralegal or legal assistant role will look like at your firm. It’s important to summarize your expectations and goals for the position. Be sure to include whether there are any specific job functions the candidate should be aware of.


Our law firm is seeking a paralegal to join our team. You will be supporting our team of lawyers by preparing affidavits, overseeing legal correspondence, and organizing files. You may be asked to file pleadings and prepare for trials. To succeed in the role, you will need to be proficient in Microsoft Office platforms, work comfortably with others, and multitask efficiently.

Position responsibilities

A bulleted list of duties will let the applicant know what they would be responsible for if you hire them. This list helps to illustrate what the position will look like and clarify whether the candidate is qualified. If the responsibilities align with the jobseeker’s skillset, then they could be an ideal fit. 


  • Summarizing cases and preparing legal reports
  • Conducting research and checking facts 
  • Drafting legal documents such as contracts and depositions
  • Preparing and filing court documents
  • Organizing and storing documents involving completed and/or ongoing cases
  • Communicating case details with lawyers and clients
  • Minimum qualifications

To reach the right candidates, you may choose to list the minimum qualifications for the paralegal position. This will help you weed out those who lack the experience you’re looking for. 


  • Associate degree in Paralegal Studies or certificate of completion from an approved Paralegal Certification program
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Outlook, Word, and Excel
  • Exemplary oral and written communication 
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Excellent ability to multitask, manage deadlines, and navigate a fast-paced environment
  • Administrative experience

At the end of your job description, let the applicant know how you would like them to submit their cover letter and resume. This will help you vet your top candidates further and find the very best legal assistants for your practice.

Learn more about attracting competitive legal support staff

Is your law firm or legal department looking to hire legal assistants or paralegals? 

My name is Shona Tischner, and my human resources background at an international law firm has helped me finetune my recruitment skills over three decades. Today, in my role at Urban Legal Recruitment, I connect directors and HR managers with the legal talent they need to excel.

So look no further for access to top-tier legal applicants. I can help hiring managers like you navigate a pool of candidates covering the full range of legal expertise. Please contact me for more information on crafting the perfect job description, or complete our job order submission form with a summary of the position you hope to fill. I look forward to hearing from you!