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A Workers Compensation Legal Secretary performs a spectrum of secretarial, administrative and supportive duties for attorney(s) at the law firm. The duties typically include:
Organize and maintain files pertaining to litigation under the supervision of an attorney
Assist the attorney(s) with secretarial and clerical duties
Maintain calendar for assigned attorney(s)
Knowledge of document formats of a legal nature.
Discretion and good judgment when in contact with witness
Performance of basic legal research for attorneys strictly under their supervision
Assist in other legal work like contract preparation, visa application and regulatory matters that involve insurance departments
Complete requested research results to be included in the paralegal research database
Efficient use of a Dictaphone
Understanding of technical legal and medical terminology
Providing good customer service skills to clients
Proficiency in typing, transcription, data entry and filing
A Workers Compensation Legal Secretary is not usually required to have a degree but instead firms usually seek a candidate who has worked between 2 and 5 years as a Workers Compensation Secretary in another firm. This way the candidate comes trained and ready to work. A good background besides experience might be paralegal work in the area of Workers Compensation. At that, the applicant would still need to have outstanding typing skills, proof reading skills and familiarity with legal forms on the secretarial side of the job. The job can also require some litigation experience in a law firm because the Workers Compensation Secretary will support the attorney(s) in litigation.
Typing is usually done with a Microsoft Word program and typing speed should be around 70 words per minute. Research provided by the Workers Compensation Legal Secretary must go into the research database for the trial with other research done by the paralegals or lawyers. In the case of research the attorney will closely oversee the work. There are a couple of research databases that might be used, Lexis-Nexis or NILS. There is often litigation software that attorneys use during large cases when they need to keep information organized and at hand.
The working environment is pleasant but can be stressful with occasional overtime when attorney(s) are preparing for court. There is much close work on the computer, reading and sitting for long periods of time. The salary is based on the amount of experience a candidate has coming into the position. Annual remuneration ranges between $30K and $65K.
The job outlook is measured by the changing skills of the Legal secretary. Since automation is the movement, secretaries must be very skilled with computers and software. A Workers Compensation Legal Secretary works in Law Firms but it is possible to see this trend flow over into corporate legal departments and the government. The colleges are implementing more courses to support the legal secretary and specific areas of the law like Workers Compensation. In the future the Workers Compensation Legal Secretary with more formal education and highly sufficient skills will come out on top. A demand for legal services and efforts to reduce legal costs will continue to create jobs for attorney support positions.
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