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Legal Assistant Exam


LawUser
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LawUser

Hello All,

I am not from Legal educational back ground but I applied for a Legal Assistant job and I am asked to take a written exam as a next step in the application process. If I were to read one book as preparation, can you suggest which one that would be ? and from where can I borrow the book from ? I live in Ottawa and the university of Ottawa library is not currently open for the public. 

Thank you.

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LMP
  • Law Student

I don't think there is a single codified exam for legal assistant positions. Whatever the test might be it is almost certainly a homebrew of the organization you are applying to. So there wouldn't really be any book that could provide the type of assistance you'd want.

I'm assuming you have some background in the area so maybe just refresh yourself on that information. Also try and glean from the organisation's website or posting what it is they might be looking for.

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LawUser

They dont specialize in any particular law, they wrote the exam will be on the below 3 topics:

  • Knowledge of legal terminology and legal documents
  • Ability to prepare and format routine legal documents
  • Knowledge of the Federal Court rules

I like to read the federal court rules and legal terminology, can you suggest any books, that cover these 2 areas ? thank you

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Snax
  • Articling Student

I’m not a legal assistant nor do I work at a firm that does any significant amount of litigation, but I would strongly recommend against wasting the time it’d take to read the 500 pages of the federal court rules. 
 

know some major things (e.g. names of documents to be submitted), know some legal terminology related to litigation (I’m assuming it’s litigation-related firm or position, otherwise why ask you to know the federal court rules) like plaintiff, defendant, claimant, cross claim, discovery, cross examine, factum, motion record, affidavit, etc., and that should be good enough  

The second point sounds like they’re asking you to use Microsoft word because they can’t expect you to be able to do much more than that as an assistant regarding preparation of documents. 
 

Overall, remember that you’re applying to be an assistant and not a lawyer, so you shouldn’t be expected to know anywhere near as much about the practice of law as a lawyer. If they do expect that from their assistants, it raises serious issues, both professionally and otherwise, and I wouldn’t touch the job with a 10 foot pole. 

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LMP
  • Law Student
4 hours ago, LawUser said:

They dont specialize in any particular law, they wrote the exam will be on the below 3 topics:

  • Knowledge of legal terminology and legal documents
  • Ability to prepare and format routine legal documents
  • Knowledge of the Federal Court rules

I like to read the federal court rules and legal terminology, can you suggest any books, that cover these 2 areas ? thank you

I think more than anything else you should know where to find things. That's the differentiator.

You don't need to have all the knowledge already tucked away but know where to find it.

If you can demonstrate that you'll know to check something in the rules of civil procedure instead of the Federal Court Rules it can show that you'll be able to figure things out for yourself without too much supervision or hand holding. 

This isn't a perfect analogue but in the military when we do boards (a type of interview) there are often questions you don't know the answer to. The best response in those circumstances is always "I don't know, but I would check section x of document y". I'd imagine such a response would also be useful in your interview. 

 

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LawUser

thank you for your input, I have no work experience as legal assistant or the educational back ground and I don't expect I am the only one shortlisted for the job, I mostly will be competing with the ones who have those qualifications, I will let you guys know how it went.

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