In addition to going to school to become a lawyer, there are also a wide variety of other jobs that you can pursue if you want to work in the legal field. One entry level position that is appealing to people that have an interest in law and also want to work in an administrative style job is a legal secretary.
About legal secretaries
Legal secretaries typically work in law offices and their primary job is to assist a lawyers or team of lawyers with the day to day operations of the office. Your position, duties, and salary will all be tied to how the law office utilizes your talents. While some legal secretaries will take on more responsibilities related to law and legal cases, others remain in a more traditional secretary or assistant role within the company. This is definitely something that you should inquire about when apply for legal secretary positions, especially if you want to get involved in the legal side of things.
Legal secretary job duties
Your role and responsibilities as a legal secretary will depend on how the law office views your position and the current needs of the practice. This means that while your role may be limited to start, you role could expand as you gain more experience and as things change in the practice over time.
Common job responsibilities include:
• Administrative duties such as reception, answering phones, and managing the office
• Preparing and filing legal documents
• Conducting research for active cases
• Interacting with clients and setting up meetings
• Assisting lawyers with legal proceedings
• Processing contracts and invoices
While these are the common duties for the position, other responsibilities could also be included with this position.
Education requirements for legal secretary positions
While there is not a specific education requirement for a position as a legal secretary, it will be difficult to obtain this position without a college diploma at a minimum. In terms of programs and degrees that would help you get prepared for this position, many legal secretaries have an administration based diploma in programs like human resource management, business, or administrative assistant.
Many legal secretaries also have college degrees with a legal background such as criminology, criminal justice, paralegal, and pre law. These programs will give you the legal knowledge you will need to successfully help lawyers manage multiple components of their law practice.
Once you gain experience, your position as a legal secretary could lead to a law office manager position as you gain a more detailed understanding about office requirements and how to effective meet the needs of the lawyers in the office.
Skills and abilities
There are a number of different skills and abilities that you will need to be successful in this career choice. They include:
• A good understand of the law and law related practices
• Technology and internet skills
• Research and analysis skills
• A high degree of organization skills
• An effective communicator
• The ability to work under pressure and in high stress situations with tight deadlines