Legal secretaries perform and coordinate office activities and ensure that information is delivered in a timely fashion to staff and clients. Attorneys, managers, professionals, and other sup- port staff rely on them to keep administrative operations under control. Their specific duties depend upon their level of responsibilities and the type of company in which they are employed.
Legal secretaries are responsible for a variety of administrative and clerical duties that are necessary to run and maintain organizations. They use personal computers to create spreadsheets, compose correspondence, scheduling, word processing, manage databases, and create presentations, reports and documents by using desktop publishing software. Legal secretaries prepare legal papers such as summons, complaints, motions, responses, and subpoenas under the supervision of an attorney.
Law firms, corporate legal departments, real estate, insurance companies and various governmental agencies employ legal secretaries. Legal secretaries generally work a standard 40-hour week. As they gain experience, legal secretaries usually assume more varied tasks with additional responsibilities.
Legal secretaries, administrative assistants and secretaries held about 4.1 million jobs in 2002, ranking among the largest occupations in the U.S. economy. Changes in the office environment have increased the demand for legal secretaries who are adaptable and versatile.
Knowledge of computer software, law, legal transcription, and legal documentation preparation are increasingly important and most employers require it.
High school graduates who have basic office skills may qualify for entry-level legal secretarial positions. However, employers increasingly require extensive knowledge of software applications, such as word processing, spreadsheets, and database management.
*Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2008 (2006-07) Edition