WHAT DO LEGAL SECRETARIES DO?
Legal secretaries work in law offices and perform secretarial tasks that are specific to the law field: writing legal documents, such as summonses, motions, subpoenas, etc., conducting research and reading legal articles, and more, as well as standard secretarial duties, that might include answering phones and email, filing, creating and maintaining schedules for lawyers, ordering supplies, copying, faxing and maintaining the office.
HOW MUCH DO LEGAL SECRETARIES MAKE?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, legal secretaries made a median annual income of $41,500 in 2010, or $19.95 per hour.
WHAT ARE THE EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS?
A high school diploma plus office, computer and grammar skills will help you get in the door, but legal secretaries often need more education, such as classes from a community college in law or business administration, or similar vocational coursework. Certification is not required, but may help you land the job.
JOB SKILLS AND REQUIREMENTS
- Listening and Communication Skills: You will be expected to follow instruction from your boss, and your ability to understand those instructions with little or no follow up will be appreciated. Understanding legal terminology and being able to apply it correctly will also help. Good listening and communication skills ensures that the information is relayed correctly.
- People/Interpersonal Skills: You might be the first line of communication between your legal office and the outside world, potentially speaking with clients, law enforcement, judges and other lawyers. Your people and interpersonal skills will help you do well.
- Organizational Skills: Legal assistants help keep the working day in order. Scheduling meetings, court dates, travel plans, billing, etc. will all require terrific organizational skills.
- Computer Skills: Writing emails, transcribing notes, researching legal documents faxing, copying, and creating spreadsheets or printing documents figure heavily in a legal assistant's day.
CAREER PATHS FOR LEGAL SECRETARIES
THE FUTURE OF LEGAL SECRETARIES
According to the BLS, legal secretary jobs will grow much slower than average between 2010 and 2020.