Legal Secretary Job Description

CareerStint Staff Nov 25, 2018
A legal secretary performs several duties and functions as assistants to lawyers and clients. Read on for an in-depth information about this profile.
A legal secretary is one who works backstage, and contributes to the grand scene of events that occur in a court on a daily basis. The paperwork, the compilation of documents, and the necessary communication, are all carried out by a legal secretary.
Previously underrated, this job is now becoming increasingly popular with various law firms and corporates hiring them to carry out relevant legal procedures under the guidance of lawyers or attorneys. The job description of a legal secretary will give you an idea of what to expect if you wish to become a legal secretary.

Job Description

All of these duties may or may not be included in the job description of every legal secretary.
  • Legal secretaries assist attorneys in devising, proofreading and executing legal documents that include motions, appeals, accident reports for clients, complaints, subpoenas, and summons.
  • They keep records of case files and maintain law libraries and other important documents.
  • They follow-up with pending court cases by keeping up with latest court decisions and new laws that may affect the case by assessing legal publications.
  • They aid attorneys by collecting and organizing client informationsuch as their employment status and records, and their medical history.
  • They take notes in important meetings such as legal hearings and client meetings and interviews and maintain relevant records.
  • A legal secretary's job also entails taking care of client documentation by filling out forms such as those pertaining to accidents and courtroom requests.
  • Other duties include maintaining necessary correspondence with clients by keeping them informed about the latest developments regarding the case, and sending across necessary documents via e-mail, fax or post. They also communicate this information to the relevant subordinates, colleagues and superiors.
  • Compiling, verifying and categorizing data is performed by a legal secretary.
  • They schedule appointments, receive and make telephone calls, draft and type office memos, and perform other administrative duties.

Legal secretaries may not, under any circumstance, give legal advice to a client. They can only carry out tasks decided by lawyers or attorneys.

Real Estate Legal Secretary:

Their job includes all of the mentioned duties, including knowledge of real estate laws and transactions, executing wills and real estate closings and conducting research pertaining to a case. They may be directly hired by a real estate firm rather than a law firm.

Corporate Legal Secretary:

This professional's duties include all law transactions pertaining to employee relations, such as preparing employee contracts and benefits. It also includes filing reports and documents that include tax forms, SEC filings and letters of incorporation.
Keeping up with latest regulations and keeping the company informed about such changes is another duty. As such a corporate legal secretary may directly be hired in a corporate firm rather than a law firm.

Skills and Education Requirements

To successfully perform the duties of a legal secretary, you must have certain skills and personal abilities. The most significant skills are strong organizational abilities with an eye for detail and effective time management to meet deadlines. Effective communication skills with superiors, subordinates and most importantly with clients are essential.
A legal secretary must know local, state and federal filing rules, elementary legal procedures, and legal terminology. Other necessary skills are the ability to grasp new concepts, good comprehension and writing abilities, and proficiency while using computers and other necessary equipment such as fax machines, copiers and work related software.
The minimum educational qualification required to become a legal secretary is a high school diploma, along with relevant experience. Formal training, such as that received in college, will definitely enhance prospects for persons looking to enter this field.
Programs that offer short courses in criminal, family, corporate, or real estate law, litigation and wills, will familiarize students with different terminology and other procedures pertaining to the field of law.
You may start out in this field by being hired under an experienced legal secretary in a law firm. After getting acquainted with the necessary work requirements and procedures, you may then become an independent legal secretary and work on more challenging projects.
Though basic legal procedures are universal, several law firms have their own manner of working and handling cases. As such, they carry out regular training programs to acquaint the staff with their manner of work, with the use of the necessary software, and also update them about important changes in the latest technologies and software.

Salary

The salary of a legal secretary depends on his/her experience. It may begin in the range of US$23,301 - US$51,124. With experience of about 3 to 4 years, the salary may range from US$28,936 - US$64,892. With experience, the figures can increase to anywhere between US$38,657 - US$84,264 . The current average salary of a legal secretary is US$51,966.
If you are enticed by the challenges of this interesting field, and all the exposure and experience you can receive by entering this field after reading about this job description, take the plunge and make a career choice that is only going to take you upwards hereon.