Legal Secretary Job Description
If you are interested in the legal field, are passionate to gain more knowledge of law without being at the center stage in the interiors of the court room, then you can definitely take up a career as a legal secretary.
The legal secretary plays a pivotal role in the law firm and needs to carry out a wide variety of legal secretary responsibilities.
The duties mostly comprise keeping, maintaining, and updating the legal records, typing the legal documents, answering the phone calls, scheduling the appointments, attending the court, doing legal research work, preparing the court forms, typing the legal documents, preparing the legal correspondence, etc.
Key Responsibilities of Legal Secretary
The legal secretary is generally required to perform all the clerical and administrative work related to the law firm.
Though their general work is more or less similar to the other normal secretaries working in an organization, here the legal secretary needs to have indepth knowledge of the various legal documentation and legal proceedings.
This professional is engaged in preparation of court subpoenas, legal briefs, and manages all the other legal correspondence and files.
They may assist in the preliminary research work, compile the necessary data and documents that would be helpful during the legal proceedings and is responsible for submitting the legal documentation to the court houses.
Thus, under the guidance of some senior personnel in the law firm, They needs to perform some really complex legal secretarial work.
The points given below will help you to understand the role of a legal secretary in detail and the kind of responsibilities that need to be handled by him/her:
- To receive and transcribe the legal dictation and ensure that it is complete and accurate
- To open, maintain and update the legal files; to type various reports and legal documents which require indepth knowledge of the civil procedures, legal terminology, etc.
- To research, prepare and file legal documents with various agencies and court
- To provide assistance in various cases by composing a variety of legal correspondence
- To compile data from various resources so that it can be incorporated in special reports and to review and approve the legal documents for disposition or recordation
- They receives the telephone calls, screens the incoming visitors, provides adequate information to the inquiries made and updates the status of various cases.
- They are responsible for arranging meetings with the clients by taking appointment, maintaining the diaries, etc.
- They are involved in taking the legal dictation, noting down the minutes of meeting, proofreading the prepared material and checking if there are any spelling or grammar errors, etc.
- They are involved in logging, docketing as well as scheduling administrative hearings.
- They are accountable for entering the data, retrieving, updating and deleting the information using the computer database.
- They sort the incoming mails and composes the routine legal letters.
- They ensures that all the legal documents are reviewed properly so that they contain all the required information that is acceptable to the courts.
- They may make recommendations to improve the operational procedures.
- They are involved in establishing and maintaining the office files, legal references and other vital legal records that may be required in the future.
- They assists in the preparation of travel vouchers and may make requisitions for various office supplies, equipment, etc., and also schedules the repair and maintenance work if necessary.
- They maintains complete confidentiality and provides best services by assuring proper follow up and resolving the pending issues if any.
Thus, the duties are varied and need to be carried out professionally.
Essential Skills and Abilities
- The individual aspiring to make a career as a legal secretary should possess extensive knowledge of the legal field as well as should be well acquainted with the various legal terminologies.
- They should have knowledge of various office practices, machines, procedures and equipment and should be able to make correct use of English language with respect to grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc.
- Good telephone etiquette, organization and administrative skills, good drafting and typing skills, strong communication skills and ability to follow the given instructions are some of the other required skills that would prove to be a great advantage.
- They should have the ability to transcribe the documents that are in oral, written or computerized format.
- Proficiency in doing mathematical calculations, word processing, etc., would also be a plus point.
Some employers may hire individuals who have not taken any formal training. However, if a person has completed some legal secretarial program that is being offered by a technical center, community college or some private school, then such individuals would definitely have an upper hand. Those with an ALS certification would definitely be preferred more.
The legal secretary works for at least forty to forty five hours per week, Monday through Friday. But since at times, there is pressure to complete some urgent legal work on a priority basis, this professional may need to work over time, sometimes even on the public holidays and weekends.
The remuneration package of the legal secretary will deviate depending on the size of the law firm, geographic location, experience, skills and educational background of that individual. However, the average salary offered for this professional varies in the range between $30,000 to $66,000.
There has been a huge growth in this field, and there are many opportunities available for this position. Though the job openings are multiplying, those with a successful track record will definitely have bright chances for growth and promotion.
Therefore, if you want to ensure a rewarding career ahead in the legal field, then the legal secretary responsibilities must be carried out in a professional manner.