What qualifications do you need to be a legal secretary?
Legal secretaries don't necessarily need extensive education or training to get a job in the field. At a minimum, employers look for legal secretaries who have a high school diploma and relevant work experience in an office setting. However, if you don't have relevant work experience or want to stand out from other job applicants, earning a legal secretary diploma and pursuing industry certification can help. Through online legal secretary training, you'll learn the administrative and legal skills and knowledge that secretaries need to succeed in a law office.
What does a legal secretary do?
A legal secretary's job functions most often to provide administrative support to lawyers. They help with legal research, maintain office records, type briefs, and subpoenas, maintain docket systems, record trial dates, and schedule witnesses. They may also schedule depositions and hearings, as well as updating discovery binders. Skilled legal secretaries are essential to a well-run law office.
What is the average salary of a legal secretary?
According to national averages from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for a legal secretary job is $48,780 per year.* Salary can vary based on your educational background, work experience, where you work, and even the state in which you live.
What is the difference between a legal secretary and a paralegal?
While the terms legal secretary and paralegal may be used interchangeably by some, there are several differences between the positions. A legal secretary plays an essential part in ensuring the law office is organized and well-run, completing clerical tasks, scheduling appointments, and maintaining records.
Paralegals are more involved in the practice of the law, supporting a lawyer through research into relevant jurisprudence, the drafting of official documents, and compiling evidence for court. Generally, paralegals require more education and many law firms may prefer certified paralegals over those who aren't. Legal secretaries do not necessarily need a degree or certification to find jobs in the field.
Becoming a legal secretary can be the first step on a career path toward becoming a certified paralegal for those who are interested in pursuing that career.