A legal secretary (or legal assistant), performs daily clerical functions required for a legal office to efficiently operate. Legal secretary positions are becoming one of the top new hire positions in the job market today. It makes sense to invest in an education that will provide the necessary skill and experience required by this job specification.
Legal secretary jobs require a bachelor’s degree at a minimum. This program is available in various universities and colleges, whether on-campus or online. The curriculum includes courses that study the core paralegal education as on-the-job trainings that simulate the professional responsibility and ethics of the paralegal work. Acquiring advanced skills may prove to be helpful with the emergence of multimedia database technologies.
The role of a legal secretary has taken on a lot of new responsibilities compared to its previous job description. Beyond the usual filing, typing, dictation and phone-answering responsibilities, legal secretaries must now possess specialized skills unique to the legal profession. Legal secretaries are tasked to prepare correspondence and type legal documents (pleadings, motions, briefs, and subpoenas); maintain and monitor legal filing deadlines; create spreadsheets; index and update pleadings and discovery binders; schedule depositions, site inspections, hearings, closings, meetings and business activities needed by legal professionals.
When looking to fill legal assistant positions, employers prefer to look for applicants who hold exceptional communication skills (both in verbal and written form); excellent research skills; has an eye for detail and has the ability to edit carefully; possess good customer service skills; has a working knowledge of the law and shows strong organizational, computer and general office skills. Employers in the legal industry also follow a strict code of conduct and place high value to discretion and etiquette.
Legal services and other client-driven markets are expected to increase thereby continuously creating job opportunities for the legal assistant category.