Working as a Legal Secretary

Lawyers need legal secretaries in order to run their office properly. Legal secretaries are also called legal administrative assistants and assist with the preparation and processing of legal documents required for court. Legal secretaries usually spend a lot of their time communicating with people, either on the phone or in person. Serving as a link between lawyers and the clients, they keep everyone informed regarding progress of cases and relations to other legal matters.

Job description

Legal secretaries spend time dealing with other secretaries and assistants in offices. Those who work in large part medium-size firms, usually tend to specialize in one area of law. For example, a legal secretary and family law may have spent a lot of time preparing documents regarding separations, divorces and adoptions.

If a lawyer has a client who wants to buy a house, the secretary must prepare the necessary documents.They usually provide assistance with people in other offices to make sure that the purchase goes smoothly and efficiently. If the client is taking out a loan for that purchase, the attorney will have the legal secretary contact a mortgage broker in order to set up an appointment or they may contact the bank to ensure that money will be ready in time of the close sale.

In addition,legal secretaries keep lawyers organized and prepared. They make sure the lawyer is aware of current issues and that these issues are being dealt with correctly. Legal secretaries are well versed with telephone calls and forwarding messages.

Working conditions

Legal secretaries can be found in lawyer’s offices, in government departments or in other organizations that employ lawyers. Many legal secretaries usually work the regular Monday to Friday work week, with normal working hours. Some who work in very large firms may have to work late in order to take care of the work that must be completed in next day.

This job can be demanding and difficult because very often clients are stressed out and vulnerable. A legal secretary who is the only assistant to a lawyer, may have to run the office on their own if they are lawyer is away on business or in court. Legal secretaries must also be familiar with computers.

Earnings

Salaries for this position are based on location and the employer. Big law firms usually pay the most, followed by government salaries. Most legal secretaries work full-time and start anywhere between 25,000 to 35,000 the year, the average salary for a legal secretary is close to 36,000 per year.

Experienced secretaries can make as much a 60,000 to 80,000 per year, but they must have many years of experience. Full-time legal secretaries usually receive benefits such as health insurance, dental and pension plans. They are also given paid sick leave and vacation time.

Education

Several colleges and other institutions offer programs for legal secretaries that are for 1 to 2 years. Entrance to this program usually requires a high school diploma and some knowledge relating to law. You should also have good skills in writing and oral skills. Also, you should have a lot of organizational and research skills.