About Working With Legal Assistants

About Hiring and Working with Your Family Law Attorney | About Working with Legal Assistants
About Financial Disclosure in Family Law Cases | About Wills, Living Wills, and Powers of Attorney
About Domestic Violence | About Divorce

About Working with Legal Assistants

What is a legal assistant?

The National Association of Legal Assistants recognizes a legal assistant as a person who assists an attorney in the delivery of legal services. Through education, training and experience, legal assistants have knowledge regarding the legal system which qualify them to do work of a legal nature under the supervision of an attorney.

Why and how does Thompson Family Law use legal assistants?

We use legal assistants, who receive ongoing training and supervision, to save attorney time, thereby reducing legal fees to clients. Legal assistants gather, analyze and prepare many legal documents that would otherwise be prepared by an attorney.

Why do I want to work with legal assistants?

Working with legal assistants benefits you because they are usually more available to answer routine questions, collect and relay information and work on discovery and disclosure required by our legal system. Their time is billed at a much lower hourly rate. We use legal assistants because they save attorney time, enable us to serve clients more quickly, and provide legal services at a lower cost to you.

Why should I discuss personal and financial issues with someone in the law firm other than my attorney?

Our office staff will ultimately work on your file as directed and confer with you about documents you provide, documents received from the other party, telephone calls, and mail from the opposing counsel. We maintain the highest standards of confidentiality. A legal assistant is bound to protect the confidences of a client and is guided by bar associations' codes of professional responsibility and rules of professional conduct.

It is time- and cost-efficient to begin working with an assistant early in your case. For instance, the assistant will help you prepare the Financial Affidavit, a document each party involved in family law litigation is required to file. He or she will need your full cooperation to produce an accurate affidavit and other related documents which conforms to the requirements of Florida courts.

Will the legal assistant be able to give me advice and answer my questions?

Legal assistants do not give legal advice and cannot make legal judgments. However, they can often answer procedural questions, help you understand the status of your case, help explain documents received from opposing counsel, etc., using discretion and professional judgment commensurate with their knowledge and experience.

If you have questions or situations where an attorney's judgment is required, the assistant will recognize this and can take notes and distill the information, if appropriate, for a quicker response from the attorney.

If your question has not been answered here, please contact us.