Legal Secretary Job Description
Legal secretaries perform administrative tasks that require a solid knowledge of legal terminology and procedures.
They normally work under the supervision of an attorney, and prepare many types of legal documents that include subpoenas, court summonses, motions, and complaints. They also perform more typical administrative tasks, like answering phones and sorting paperwork.
In many cases, legal secretaries help lawyers collect the information they need for their court cases. For example, they might need to verify a quote that a client gave, or review a legal journal to help with research.
Work Environment and Schedule
Legal secretaries work in law offices, which are normally very comfortable.
This can be a stressful occupation at times, particularly during busy times or while creating documents for a big case.
Most legal secretaries are able to work normal business hours, but overtime may be required from time to time as the office gets busy.
How to Become a Legal Secretary
Most employers prefer legal secretaries to have a certification that demonstrates that they’re familiar with legal practices and terminology. Technical schools and community colleges often offer courses that teach the basics needed to work in this occupation.
There are a few available certification options for legal secretaries, and you may want to pursue all of them at different points in your career.
The first certification available to you is the Accredited Legal Secretary (ALS) certification. To qualify, you will need to have at least one year of experience in the field or have completed some training courses.
The second certification is the Professional Legal Secretary (PLS) certification. To qualify for the exam, you will need at least three years of experience in the legal field. This is a four part exam, and all parts must be taken at the same time.
The third and final certification is the Certified Legal Secretary Specialist (CLS). To quality for this exam, you will need a minimum of five years of law-related experience.
There are currently 233,200 legal secretaries in the United States, with 3,940 new legal secretary job openings created each year.
Legal Secretary jobs are not expected to see much growth beyond their current levels in the next decade.
Legal Secretary Salaries
Legal Secretary salaries can vary depending on your experience, the location, company, industry, and benefits provided. Nationwide, most legal secretaries make between $33,000 – $54,400 per year, or $15.86 – $26.13 per hour.