How to Become a Legal Secretary

How to Become a Legal SecretaryIndividuals who have a passion for law and working with other people may wish to consider a career working as a legal secretary. In this field, individuals will work one-on-one with attorneys, providing resources, answering questions, and formulating documents. Attention to detail is incredibly important. To become a legal secretary, individuals need to study not just administration work, but also a focus on legal studies. These individuals at not board-certified attorneys. They are professionals that will play an essential role in the office of any attorney.

What Does a Legal Secretary Do?
Associates Degree
Find Related CareersSOURCE: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

As the National Association for Legal Professionals states, individuals working in this field will be responsible for a range of tasks on a daily basis. This includes things like answering phones, taking dictation, and handling paperwork. it also includes working to process documents, interact with clients and associates, and to prepare virtually every document and resource needed for court. These documents include subpoenas, pleadings, discovery documents, and motions. As a secretary, the individual will need to handle some type of legal research as well as handling discussing cases intelligently not only with the attorneys in the office, but also opposing counsel, court staff, vendors, and experts. The job of these professionals will change though, from one position to the next, based on the needs of the attorneys within the office.

Is There a Demand for Legal Secretaries?

If you are considering entering into this career path, you may be interested in knowing whether or not there are jobs available within it. According to the Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is demand. For the period of 2010 through 2020, an 18 percent growth rate in available jobs in this field is likely to occur. That is about as fast as the average pace of improving job availability. Consider just how important this individual is to the average attorney’s office as well as the ever-growing need for attorneys and you can clearly see the value of studying in this field.

What Type of Education Is Required?

The educational process for working as a legal secretary will combine both education in administrative areas as well as in legal aspects. There are educational programs available in many colleges, universities, and in some of the larger community colleges. Some technical centers also offer careers in this path.

Individuals generally study for one to four years, depending on if they wish to become a legal secretary or to continue their education to work as a paralegal. The initial years of training will involve courses such as:

  • Administrative education
  • Law terminology
  • English, mathematics, and other basic courses
  • Business-oriented courses

Many individuals will then sit for their certification as a legal secretary. This is done through the National Association for Legal Professionals. This test helps individuals to show that they have this specific designation and can work well in such an office.

Continuing education for the average legal secretary is not often necessary. However, many people in this field work to advance their skills to take on higher paying and more in-demand work. For example, many people work in this field and take courses to become a paralegal. Others aspire to be an attorney as well. When this is the case, it is often a good idea to continue education through online means. Online courses for legal secretaries can help improve skill, make the individual more in demand, and help the student to obtain new knowledge and skill to work at higher levels within the organization.

Once you know how to become a legal secretary, you can better understand if this is a course right for you. There is demand and this is a high paying position in the field. It may be exactly what you need and want to do.

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