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Steps to Become A Legal Secretary

Legal Secretaries are supposed to run all clerical as well as administrative services of the institutions they work for. For instance, they may be required to type and edit legal documents, organize files in the office, answer phone calls and so on.

What Does a Legal Secretary Do?

The legal secretaries are key components of a legal institution. Although their specific job requirements may somewhat vary based on the type, size and location of their organization, a few duties are quite common. They may get employed with public or private law firms, businesses, courts etc. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, legal secretaries are typically required to,

  • Create, edit and file legal documentation
  • Keep all databases and filing systems up to date
  • Create and maintain memos, billing accounts and other required reports
  • Keep and maintain office financial statements
  • Receive and send all mail or faxes regarding office correspondence
  • Take messages, answer or transfer all phone calls
  • Schedule appointments and update the event calendars accordingly
  • Make arrangements regarding staff meetings as needed

Steps to Become a Legal Secretary in the US

Although, there are no specific higher education requirements to enter this career, there are a few requirements you must complete in order to work in this field. For example, you must complete the following general requirements. All prospective legal secretaries must,

  • Be at least 18 or 21 years old US citizens
  • Have completed at least a High School Diploma or a GED
  • Have the knowledge of basic legal terminologies
  • Possess excellent time-management skills
  • Possess the required skillset needed for this job such as having,
    • Excellent communication skills
    • Very good organizational skills
    • Computer literacy
    • Financial or bookkeeping skills
    • Attention to detail etc.
  • Having some experience in the field or getting some training enhances job prospects

A high school graduate with excellent computer literacy may get an entry-level job in this line of work. However, in order to thrive in this career, they must also get an understanding of legal terminologies and bookkeeping skills since they would be required to create legal documents and proofread them. In addition to being proactive and getting some training for this job through internships or apprenticeships is a great start, legal secretaries are also given on-the-job training.

How Much Can I Earn as a Legal Secretary in the US?

As per the data reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2019, Legal Secretaries and Administrative Assistants working in the US earned an annual mean salary of $50,900 which approx. amounts to $24.47 mean wage per hour.

In addition to that, BLS listed Scientific Research and Development Services as the top paying industry for this profession with an annual mean income of $99,780. Not only that, California was named as the state with the highest employment rate (26,710) and District of Columbia was reported as the top paying state with an annual mean income of $86,820 by the BLS in 2019.

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