Legal Secretary Career Overview
A legal secretary performs secretarial tasks relevant to law. Legal secretaries prepare legal papers and correspondence with clients, so they must have a firm grasp on legal terminology. An overwhelming majority of legal secretaries work for law firms, but they are also in demand in corporate legal departments, employment services agencies, and all levels of government. With experience and training, many legal secretaries advance to become paralegals.
Legal Secretary Education
Legal secretaries need not have more than a high school diploma, though they must be computer savvy and undergo specific legal training through online degree programs, community colleges, or employment agencies. This training teaches legal language and processes, preparing trainees to draft formal legal documents and submit paperwork to court. Certification as an advanced legal secretary is available through the National Association of Legal Secretaries (NALS).
Legal Secretary Employment
Today there are approximately 258,000 legal secretaries working across the country. Washington, D.C. and California pay the highest wages, while New York offers the most job opportunities. Most work standard, forty-hour work weeks.
Legal Secretary Job Description
Employment of legal secretaries is expected to grow about 9 percent from 2006 to 2016, which is about average. As more legal services become available, the demand for office help will grow, though some of these jobs will be filled by paralegals.
Legal Secretary Salary Range
The salary of a legal assistant varies depending on education and experience. Those in the highest demand have exceptional computer and communication skills. *Most annual salaries fall between the following ranges:
Bottom 10 percent: $25,580
Top 10 percent: $62,290
*Bureau of Labor Statistics