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Tips on how to get the best Legal Secretary Jobs

published November 12, 2008

By CEO and Founder - BCG Attorney Search left
( 90 votes, average: 4.2 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.
What Are the Duties of a Legal Assistant?

There are many temporary legal jobs which may lead to full-time work if the need arises and the employer is pleased with the work being done. Strong computer skills are another very important aspect of legal assistant jobs. Managing projects for the attorneys and conducting research will be another key part of the job description.

Tips On How To Get The Best Legal Secretary Jobs

Another very important part of legal secretary jobs is the ability to use all sorts of office equipment, including:

1. Fax machines

2. Photocopiers

3. Scanners

4. Telephone systems

5. Video conferencing equipment

The use of all of this equipment and more will be a standard requirement for the role of a legal secretary. Of course, the more that a legal secretarial job requires, the more money you will have the ability to make. There are as many types of legal secretaries as there are different aspects of the legal system. Some may work for court systems at the state or federal level, and others may work for private attorneys. Starting out as a legal assistant can be a prelude to advancement for those who choose to work towards becoming a legal professional.

Executive legal secretaries are responsible for supporting the executives in an office. They will not be responsible for as many clerical duties as the typical legal secretary. Their job description will include supervising the clerical staff, conducting research, and preparing the daily itineraries of the other members of the office. Setting meetings for the executives and their committees will also be part of the job description. There will likewise be reports that will have to be prepared and incoming reports and correspondence that will have to be screened.

Depending upon the locations of the offices for which they work, legal secretaries may have to purchase office supplies, maintain any leased equipment, take care of corporate libraries, and handle clients. The administrative assistant will perform many administrative duties which will depend upon the type of office they are responsible for running. If there are out-of-town or out-of-country guests, the administrative assistant will make sure that travel accommodations for the guests are taken care of.

Some types of legal assistants will have to have knowledge of technical terminology to take care of preparing the legal papers required for clients. There may be subpoenas, summonses, and motions that the legal assistant will have to prepare with the approval and supervision of an attorney. A well-seasoned legal assistant may also help to train new lawyers to prepare the legal documents that have to be submitted to the courts.

What Sort of Training Is Required for This Job?

There are many students who graduate from high school with the office skills necessary to qualify for the initial entry into a legal office. Preferably, they will have classes in office administration and other skills that will help them to perform the basic tasks of a legal assistant. Of course, they will still have to learn the terminology used in legal research and the preparation of documents for court.

An aspiring executive secretary should have a college degree in order to increase their chances of employment. These secretaries work more closely with the top legal executives in the company, so a degree in the type of work they are seeking will give them a better chance of finding the kind of position they want. The ability to keep up with ever-changing software and procedures is another requirement that will be absolutely necessary.

There are a number of organizations through which a legal secretary can receive certification. The International Association of Administrative Professionals is one, as is Legal Secretaries International, Inc. Certification through the Certified Professional Secretary program can be obtained by meeting certain experience and educational requirements and passing an exam.

What Is the Pay Rate for Legal Assistants?

Secretarial and administrative assistant positions accounted for about 4.2 million jobs in 2006. This means they account for one of the largest job markets in the US. Executive secretaries and administrative assistants were about 1,600,000 of that total, while legal secretaries numbered about 275,000.

The median earnings for a legal secretary were $38,190 per year; the middle cohort earned from $29,000 to $48,000. The highest 10% earned more than $58,000, while the lowest 10% earned about $23,870. Secretaries who are certified may earn more than the average, and the area of the country in which secretaries work also has an impact on salary.

See New York legal secretary jobs here.

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Alternative Summary

Harrison is the founder of BCG Attorney Search and several companies in the legal employment space that collectively gets thousands of attorneys jobs each year. Harrison’s writings about attorney careers and placement attract millions of reads each year. Harrison is widely considered the most successful recruiter in the United States and personally places multiple attorneys most weeks. His articles on legal search and placement are read by attorneys, law students and others millions of times per year.

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LawCrossing has received tens of thousands of attorneys jobs and has been the leading legal job board in the United States for almost two decades. LawCrossing helps attorneys dramatically improve their careers by locating every legal job opening in the market. Unlike other job sites, LawCrossing consolidates every job in the legal market and posts jobs regardless of whether or not an employer is paying. LawCrossing takes your legal career seriously and understands the legal profession. For more information, please visit