Legal Secretaries

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Also known as:  Accredited Legal Secretary, Certified Legal Secretary Specialist, Law Secretary, Legal Administrative Assistant

ABOUT LEGAL SECRETARY CAREERS

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT Expand
Legal secretaries are skilled clerical workers who assist attorneys. Though they perform many typical secretarial chores, such as typing and filing, they're also familiar with legal terminology, documents, procedures, and research. They're an important part of the team in the intense world of the le ...
gal profession.

Legal secretaries prepare complicated documents like subpoenas, complaints, and motions that have specialized formats and specific timetables for filing. They may spend hours in law libraries, reading legal journals and assisting with research, such as verifying quotes and citations in legal briefs.

A 40-hour workweek is common, and overtime is normal. Most law firms prefer a college degree, with course work in a legal secretarial or related program. Experienced legal secretaries can earn certification through professional organizations, or train to become paralegals-the next step up in the ladder in a law office.
SNAPSHOT Expand
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.
Leadership
LOW
Critical decision making
LOW
Level of responsibilities
LOW
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
LOW
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
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DAILY TASKS Expand
Complete various forms, such as accident reports, trial and courtroom requests, and applications for clients.
Draft and type office memos.
Schedule and make appointments.
Prepare and process legal documents and papers, such as summonses, subpoenas, complaints, appeals, motions, and pretrial agreements.
Organize and maintain law libraries, documents, and case files.
Assist attorneys in collecting information such as employment, medical, and other records.
Make photocopies of correspondence, documents, and other printed matter.
Receive and place telephone calls.
Mail, fax, or arrange for delivery of legal correspondence to clients, witnesses, and court officials.
MAIN ACTIVITIES Expand
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Performing Administrative Activities Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE Expand
Clerical Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Law and Government Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Telecommunications Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
KEY ABILITIES Expand
Written Comprehension The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Near Vision The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Oral Comprehension The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Written Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Oral Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Speech Recognition The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Speech Clarity The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Information Ordering The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
TOP SKILLS Expand
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
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.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Time Management Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
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