There are many administrative jobs which you can pursue if you feel an office job is the career field for you. But, if you want an administrative position which can challenge you on a routine basis, a position that will require you to continue learning throughout your career, a position that will provide you with the opportunity to specialize and offers offer great prospects for advancement, and one in which you can actually make a difference in people’s lives, then the administrative position of legal secretary may be the career for you.
Just as with all secretaries, a legal secretary performs routine functions such as transcribing and drafting documents, filing, answering phones, and scheduling. However, a legal secretary also must have specialized knowledge of legal terminology and legal procedures. A high school diploma and some basic office experience may help you get your foot in the front door, but specialized legal training and a legal secretary certificate will greatly improve your opportunities to get started and the field, and certainly will crucial to advancing your career. One of the most flexible and rapid ways to get the training needed is to get complete an online certificate program. This allows you to complete the training at your own pace from home when it is convenient for you – allowing for students who are currently working, or busy moms, to successfully complete a program.
Some of the specialized work duties which a legal secretary performs include preparing specialized correspondence and legal documents including pleadings (documents to be filed with the court), discovery, estate documents such as wills and trusts and patents. They may also be required to review legal journals and assist with legal research, help prepare for trial by preparing exhibits and subpoenaing and scheduling witnesses and experts, as well as preparing complex appeals for filing. As well, often secretaries are the ones who teach newly graduated attorneys the day-to-day functions of the law office/firm, as well as how to prepare documents to be filed with the court. Any smart, new attorney knows his best friend is a skilled, experienced legal secretary.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for secretaries and administrative assistants were expected to increase by 11% from 2008 through 2018, which is about average when compared to all occupations. However, it is expected that growth in the legal services industry would increase faster than normal during this period of time. According to an article by the EMSI in 2013, approximately 75% of the legal secretaries at that time were over the age of 35, and approximately 27% of those were over the age of 55. These figures would tend to support the industry’s prediction that there will indeed be a greater growth rate of legal secretary positions within the next 10-20 years. The average medial salary for legal secretaries in 2012 according to the BLS was $46,990. This is slightly more than the average median salary for other secretaries, approximately $42,000.
If you are seeking an interesting, challenging, well-paid, administrative position, legal secretary may be the position for you. Look into the online certificate opportunities available today.