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What Does it Take to Be a Legal Secretary?

Occupation Description Perform secretarial duties using legal terminology, procedures, and documents. Prepare legal papers and correspondence, such as summonses, complaints, motions, and subpoenas. May also assist with legal research.

  • Review legal publications and perform database searches to identify laws and court decisions relevant to pending cases.
  • Draft and type office memos.
  • Attend legal meetings, such as client interviews, hearings, or depositions, and take notes.
  • Submit articles and information from searches to attorneys for review and approval for use.
  • Receive and place telephone calls.
  • Prepare, proofread, or process legal documents, such as summonses, subpoenas, complaints, appeals, motions, or pretrial agreements.

When polled, Legal Secretaries say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Time Management: Managing one’s own time and the time of others.

  • Secretary
  • Legal Secretary
  • Paralegal Secretary
  • Litigation Legal Secretary
  • Coordinating Legal Practice Assistant

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 194,700 jobs in the United States for Legal Secretaries.

Legal Secretary jobs are decreasing by a rate of -19.1%. This means the total job opportunities are shrinking. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a loss of -37,100 jobs for Legal Secretaries by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 15,000 job openings in this field each year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Legal Secretaries in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Legal Secretaries are Maryland, Montana, and North Dakota.

Watch out if you plan on working in California, New York, or Ohio. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

The typical yearly salary for Legal Secretaries is somewhere between $27,920 and $78,280. The median salary is $46,360.

Salary Ranges for Legal Secretaries
Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary

District of Columbia

$86,190

Massachusetts

$59,020

California

$56,570

New York

$55,920

Washington

$54,590

Connecticut

$53,780

Minnesota

$53,000

Maryland

$52,950

Delaware

$52,270

Illinois

$51,140

Pennsylvania

$50,980

New Jersey

$50,660

Oregon

$49,960

New Hampshire

$49,230

Alaska

$48,260

Rhode Island

$48,220

Hawaii

$48,140

Arizona

$47,320

North Carolina

$47,030

Vermont

$46,540

Texas

$46,430

Virginia

$46,400

Nevada

$46,350

Ohio

$46,060

Georgia

$45,680

Florida

$45,550

Michigan

$45,140

Wisconsin

$44,380

North Dakota

$44,350

Missouri

$44,130

Tennessee

$43,480

Utah

$42,240

Wyoming

$42,140

Indiana

$41,940

Alabama

$41,840

Louisiana

$40,330

Mississippi

$40,080

South Carolina

$39,670

Kansas

$39,100

Nebraska

$38,900

Iowa

$38,680

West Virginia

$38,460

Maine

$38,050

New Mexico

$37,640

Oklahoma

$37,150

Arkansas

$36,930

Idaho

$36,600

Kentucky

$36,440

South Dakota

$35,540

Montana

$34,130

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Legal Secretaries may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Office
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • ADP Workforce Now
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Intuit QuickBooks
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft Access
  • Microsoft Visio

What education or degrees do I need to become a Legal Secretary?

Legal Secretary Degree Level Legal Secretary Work Experience Legal Secretary Sectors

Those thinking about becoming Legal Secretaries might also be interested in the following careers:

  • Telemarketers

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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