A Legal Secretary is someone that works in a law office assisting the firm’s lawyers. In many ways, they are the administrators of the firm that run the office to improve the efficiency of the service provided by the lawyers to their clients. Legal secretaries play an important role in allocating the resources in a law office. Here to point out that a legal secretary does not require any detailed knowledge of the law other than some common people. They are widely known as Legal Managers by the law office.
Legal secretary Job Description.
Their role is primarily an administrative one. Here are the basic roles…
- Keeping a diary of events for those she/he is working.
- To book appointments for clients.
- Writing up administrative letters for the law office.
- To arrange meeting between a lawyer with potential witnesses.
- In some cases, keep track of the issues that are required to be dealt with.
- To maintain communications with various lawyers working in that firm.
- Office maintenance such as equipment and stationary.
- Some other work would be like ad-hoc duties.
Difference between Paralegal and Legal Secretary.
In my last post, I explained how to become a Paralegal. Now you might be thinking what the difference between Paralegal and Legal Secretary is. Though both the designations seem synonymous, they have different role and responsibilities. Here are the main differences…
- The main difference is the role. A legal secretary job is mainly administrative whereas a Paralegal works as assistant to the lawyer.
- Paralegal role is law related… legal secretary is law office and data related.
- Both paralegal and legal secretary helps the lawyer for preparing a case. A legal secretary assists with data, schedule, files, witnesses etc. Paralegal assists with the case presentation, arguments, analysis, and query handling.
- Both have different education levels. The paralegal course is much more vast.
- Due to the nature of the education and job, paralegals earn higher salaries than a legal secretary does.
Must Read: How to Become a Paralegal? The Ultimate Guide.
How To Become Legal Secretary.
Education For Legal Secretary Job.
A degree is not an absolute requirement to become a legal secretary. Though many law firms now seek such qualification. Many legal secretaries traditionally hold a degree either in a business related subject such as business administration and then obtain a qualification of a legal secretary. If one does not have a degree in a legal administrative course, they should seek to gain a certification from an accredited legal course that will help them to become an accredited legal secretary.
The course might be provided at colleges, universities or other course providers such as specialized legal schools. It is very important that the course is fully accredited so it enables a person to qualify fully certified.
What can you Expect from a Legal Secretary Training Course?
- You will learn legal vocabulary. This is very important in a law firm.
- Gain administrative skills to be able to run an office efficiently.
- Get training to work on computer packages.
- Learn to handle legal documents.
Again, if you are taking such a course, you have to ensure that the course is fully accredited. Law firms require their secretaries to have received accredited education.
A legal secretary will need to be extremely confident. He/she will interact with the boss on a regular basis. She will arrange meetings for the lawyer(s) working at the office and their clients. High level of communication is extremely important for the post.
Legal Secretary Training Schools.
Here is the list of Top 10 Legal Secretary Training Schools categorized in…
- Best 10 schools (full time).
- Best 10 schools (online).
- and most affordable.
Available Jobs for Legal Secretary.
There are many jobs available for legal secretaries. More and more law firms now employ legal secretaries. It tends to improve the efficiency of a law firm as it helps to run the firm better. It also helps the lawyers to put more concentration on the case.
It’s true that this job is often limited in so far as the ability to progress within a firm. Legal secretaries’ skills are very well defined and, so, they tend to remain in the profession for a long time. However, there is no restriction in them trying to progress from a smaller firm to a larger firm with better pay and other remunerations.
There are several ways to find Legal Secretary Jobs…
Many national and local newspapers have job listings section that publishes jobs from a wide range of industries. Some of them carry a legal section where you should be able to locate listings of jobs for legal secretaries.
You can also visit your local recruitment office to find listing of jobs in the legal sector. They can help you preparing a high quality CV. They even help you for the interview preparation.
Online Job Portals.
Of course, today, it’s extremely convenient to search for jobs by scouring online job portals. Many good ones allow search using specific criteria such as location, salary, etc. There are also websites that deal with jobs for particular cities or towns.
Getting contact details of law firms is very easy now. You can easily find their email, phone number or address from various directories. You can contact them with your latest CV and unique covering letter. This definitely increases you chance for getting an interview call.
Salary of a Legal Secretary.
Average salary of a legal secretary ranges from just over $18,000 to just under $46,000 per year. This is excluding other benefits like bonus and allowances. Generally, those new to the job can expect to earn a lower salary. Those with a lot more experience tend to be in the higher end of that range. It is also likely that larger law firms are more likely to pay their staff higher salary.