The litigation associate is a professional who works on a particular project, handles the presentation of the case and actively participates in the preparation of the same. If you have strong researching and good writing skills with a passion to learn more about the legal field, then you can definitely handle the litigation associate responsibilities in a better way. This professional needs to handle discovery as well as other mid level associate functions that need to be performed with minimal supervision. He/she functions as an integral part of the legal team and is accountable for supporting all aspects of litigation. The litigation functions include conducting research, drafting and preparing pleadings, collecting evidences, managing discoveries, defending depositions, managing the client database, etc.
The litigation associates are like attorneys, but they are the individuals who have not attained the partnership status. Such associates usually have less experience and can generally work in the legal firms. They either practice individually or work in house for some corporate organizations. They are engaged in a wide range of tasks and are responsible for handling the day to day communication with the clients and the opposing counsel. They are involved in drafting of complex documents like pleadings, correspondence, discovery, contracts, position statements, etc. Being one of the key team members, they need to carry out the following important duties:
Thus, the litigation associates are involved in every part of the case, right from the preparation to its final stage. It includes gathering the factual information, interviewing, doing all the research and writing work so that it can be presented before the litigator. This is definitely a meticulous job. Apart from these duties, they are engaged in preparing and delivering the legal correspondence to the respective clients, court officials, or witness either by mail, fax or through any other source. They make sure that all the relevant documents are completed and that the law libraries are maintained. They need to be present during the legal meetings, client interviews, depositions, and hearings to take down the notes.
They also review the legal publications and perform research work on the available data and try to identify laws and court decisions that are related with the pending cases. They compile, type, proofread and ensure that the correspondence is revised along with the other critical legal documents. They conduct corporate leadership briefings and inform the management about the implications of judicial rulings and legislation. They implement a standard research method that assists in scanning the research findings quickly. They are involved in discoveries that include interrogatories and are responsible for documenting the requests, depositions, etc. They witness interviews, evaluations and inspections, so as to make the case stronger. They draft, edit, and review articles related to operating agreements, company contracts, business plans, etc., so as to ensure a sound structure and integrity of clients' business ideas. The other important duty is to meet all the deadlines of the court, timely and accurately. Their work is mainly focussed on commercial matters that may range from real estate litigation, employment, construction, general business disputes, etc.
The litigation associate should have excellent people skills. He/she should be able to communicate effectively with the clients and should be good at collecting facts as well as possess excellent interrogative skills. Good analytical power along with excellent interpretation skills about the data researched will definitely be helpful. Strong research and writing skills will be an added advantage. He/she should be able to demonstrate a professional demeanor with strong work ethics. Solid organization skills with the ability to meet deadlines will be beneficial. Good management skills are required for managing the client database and updating it from time to time. Ability to multi task while working independently, proficiency in computers, etc., are some other essential skills.
The basic educational requirement is that the individual should have completed a bachelor's degree in library sciences, journalism, liberal arts, criminal justice, etc. A satisfactory completion of state bar exam and ethics exam are essential.
The work hours may vary depending on the project requirements and its deadlines. Normally, the duty hours are limited to eight to nine hours per day and may need to work overtime as per the situational need.
The litigation associate salary may vary depending on whether he/she is experienced, his/her qualifications, skills, etc. The survey conducted recently by one of the sites has shown that the average remuneration offered for this position is close to $84,000. The location, type and size of the organization are equally important factors that may create a difference in the salary.
The opportunities for the post of litigation associates is definitely going to rise in the coming years. At least a thirteen percent rise is expected. With the growing business and its related transactions, there is ample scope for these professionals to move to higher positions. People who have got the right experience and caliber will surely prosper.
Therefore, make sure that your carry out the litigation associate responsibilities in a professional manner and execute them effectively.