White- Facts: Legal Assistant You need a criminal justice degree in order to be a legal assistant. In order to attain a criminal justice degree you must go to college for at least four years and study many different subjects. (Pictures)Legal Assistants organize law office activity and data needed for a trial. They call upon witnesses at a hearing to testify, research relevant cases and laws, fill pleadings withs court clerk, and participate in meetings between attorneys and clients in order to get more details on the case. They may have some college training, but it is not necessary to have a degree. Most people that work as a Legal Assistant have a criminal justice degree. Criminal Justice is a term for the act of which criminal conduct is investigated, data is gathered, arrests are made, charges are brought, defenses are raised, trials are conducted, sentences are rendered and a punishment is given. On average a legal assistant makes between $32,000-$48,000 depending on if they have an education in the field and the tenure levels.