An ever increasing demand for legal services and efforts to reduce legal costs has given rise to employment opportunities for legal secretaries. They work to ensure the smooth functioning of a legal office or a firm. A Trust and Estate Legal Secretary assists a trust and estates attorney with a view to handle all the secretarial and clerical aspects of the trust and estates responsibilities. Duties may include: preparing correspondence and type legal documents, including pleadings, motions, briefs, discovery documents and subpoenas maintaining complex docket systems to track the myriad of legal filing deadlines; creating spreadsheets; index and update pleadings and discovery binders; scheduling depositions, site inspections, hearings, closing and meetings; and drafting correspondence and routine legal documents such as deposition notices and legal invoices. Work activities may also include assisting with legal research and communicate with attorneys, experts, opposing counsel, vendors and other staff. Legal secretaries are mainly office-based. The National Association for Legal Professionals (NALS) bestows an ALS designation upon legal secretaries who pass a four-hour, three-part examination. They may have the option of working part-time, flexi-time or on job sharing basis, and this has become more prevalent in recent years. Knowledge of legal terminology, legal documents, and legal processes is always expected from a Trust and Estate Legal Secretary. Strong computer proficiency in the use of Wordperfect, Word, Outlook and Excel is required. Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal are needed.
Here are a few sample trust and estates legal secretary job descriptions:
Trust and Estates Secretary
The candidate will assist a team of 5 (including 3 T&E Partners and 1 paralegal). Serve as liaison between the attorneys and the clients.
Qualification and Experience: The candidate should preferably have College Graduate. High School Diploma is a must (and will be checked). Paralegal Certificate and/or Notary a plus. Strong administrative and organizational skills required. Excellent computer skills essential. Extensive knowledge of Microsoft Office. Especially Access, Excel and Word (tables of contents, tables, correspondences, etc.). Familiar with accounting and tax preparation software. Ability to maintain highest level of confidentiality regarding internal Firm and client information. Other duties will include client billing, digital dictation, call screening, coordinating meetings, and light reception work.
Trusts / Estates Legal Secretary
The candidate will be providing comprehensive administrative support including calendaring and travel; initiating, drafting, editing, and finalizing correspondence, reports, and/or other materials as requested; preparing engagement letters; opening and maintaining client files; processing, reviewing, and editing client bills; proofreading all work including correspondence, memoranda, and other legal documents; screening incoming calls, recording messages, and reading, sorting, and processing mail; establishing and maintaining calendar and deadline reminder systems, opening new files, maintaining all client and general files, preparing files to be closed, processing bills, proofing billing sheets, and reviewing and editing bills; and maintaining systematic follow-up systems to ensure that deadlines are met and that information and material required from other offices is received on a timely basis. Should have 8+ years of secretarial/executive assistant experience. Previous experience working in an Estate Planning practice group is strongly preferred. Proficiency in the Microsoft Office Suite of software programs, accuracy, solid attention to detail, and excellent proofreading skills are required.
Responsibilities: Will provide legal and non-legal administrative support to attorneys, paralegals, and clients. Proofread all documents and correspondence for accuracy. Coordinate meetings including videoconferences, conferences calls, equipment, catering, presentation materials, visitors, and rooms/offices. Manage attorney contacts and calendar. Manage attorney phones including incoming calls, messaging, transfers, and conference calls. Schedule travel as required. Process expense reports and check requests. Work with billing specialist to prepare invoices, create cover letters, and send out invoices. Enter time for timekeepers and print reports as requested. Process the intake of new clients, run conflicts checks, create client files, and search and print reports.
Qualification Requirements: The candidate should have 7+ years' experience in a setting serving wealthy families. Exceptional legal secretary skills to interact with clients, attorneys, staff, and outside vendors. Ability to multi-task in a fast-paced environment with minimal supervision.Demonstrated proficiency in Word and Excel. Demonstrated proficiency in document management and time entry systems. Ability to prepare and execute electronic and paper court filings. Excellent teamwork and collaboration skills. Exceptional organizational and file management skills. Excellent proofreading skills. Exceptional oral and written communication skills. Capable of handling confidential client information in a professional and trustworthy manner. Ability to remain flexible and manage changing priorities, including availability for overtime when needed. Good judgment skills and the ability to manage in high pressure situations. Strong willingness to learn and the ability to interpret and follow instructions quickly and efficiently.
Trust and Estate Secretary
The candidate must have 3-5 years of trust and estate experience, preferably in a large firm environment.
Trust/Estates Litigation Legal Secretary
The candidate must have 3-5 years of experience and strong Litigation skills including calendaring and court filing (probate court experience a plus). Prior Trust and Estate Litigation experience desired. Work closely with clients, attorneys and paralegals. Ideal candidates will possess excellent organizational, written/verbal communication and time management skills. Advanced computer skills with MS Word, Legal MacPac and OpenText eDocs Document Management desired.
Trust and Estate Litigation Legal Secretary
The candidate should have 3-5 years of experience and strong Litigation skills including calendaring and court filing (probate experience a plus). Prior Trust and Estate Litigation experience desired. Transactional experience in Corporate law also desired. Must possess excellent organizational, written/verbal communication and time management skills. Advanced computer skills with MS Word, Legal MacPac and OpenText eDocs Document Management desired.
Trust & Estate Litigation Secretary
The candidate will be responsible for filing and e-filing documents and pleadings with the state and federal courts, drafting and formatting documents including Tables of Content and Tables of Authority. Support includes calendaring court dates and appearances, entering timekeepers' billable time, coordinating travel, and processing expenses.
The candidate should have 3+ years of litigation experience. Trust and Estate Litigation and Probate Court experience is a plus. Proficiency with Microsoft Office, MacPac. OpenText eDocs Document Management desired.