Information About Legal Secretary Job Description

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 assistance of lawyers or attorneys. The job description of a legal secretary will give you an exact idea of what to expect if you wish to venture into the interesting world of law.

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 are required to keep records of case files and maintain law libraries and other important documents.
Legal secretaries also follow-up with pending court cases, by keeping a track of the latest court decisions and introduction of new laws that may affect the case, and assess legal publications for the same.
They aid attorneys by collecting and organizing client information such 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 another duty performed by a legal secretary.
Duties also include scheduling appointments, receiving and making telephone calls, drafting and typing office memos, and other administrative duties.
A legal secretary may not, under any circumstance, impart legal advice to a client. His/her duties only entail carrying out procedures that have been decided by lawyers or attorneys.

Real Estate Legal Secretary: Such a professional’s job includes all of the above, including knowledge of real estate laws and transactions, execution of wills and real estate closings, and conducting necessary research pertaining to any particular case. A real estate legal secretary 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 aforementioned duties as a legal secretary, it is imperative that you 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 important deadlines. Effective communication skills with superiors, subordinates and most importantly with clients, are essential. A legal secretary must be aware of the local, state and federal filing rules, elementary legal procedures, and legal terminology. Other necessary skills that are required is the ability to grasp new concepts for quick learning, 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 has a wide range that depends on the amount of experience she/he has. The salary may begin in the range of USD 25,000 – USD 28,000. Once a minimum experience of about three to four years is acquired, the salary may range from USD 45,000 – USD 65,000. As you continue to learn and grow in the field, the figures can further increase to anywhere between USD 65,000 – USD 75-000. The current average salary of a legal secretary is USD 52,000.

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.