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Legal Secretary Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

A Legal Secretary provides both administrative duties and legal support to a legal team. Their responsibilities may include answering phones, scheduling appointments, sending emails, and preparing a wide range of legal documents.

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Legal Secretary duties and responsibilities

A Legal Secretary has many essential duties and responsibilities that help keep a law office running. Their duties range from general administrative tasks to specific work on legal documents and processes. General duties and responsibilities may include:

  • Drafting documents such as subpoenas, motions, and summonses
  • Filing case documents for Lawyers, Paralegals, and Law Clerks
  • Communicating with clients or other Lawyer’s offices through email, phone, or in-person meetings
  • Faxing and making copies of legal documents as needed
  • Billing and invoicing clients
  • Supporting other legal professionals with research
  • Acquiring records for cases to use in court
  • Managing general office administrative tasks such as arranging meetings, keeping track of office supplies, and ordering lunch
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What does a Legal Secretary do?

A Legal Secretary plays a vital role in a legal firm or department. They’re tasked with managing phone calls, emails, and documents. They also assist with preparing meetings, lunches, and important events for clients. A Legal Secretary can work in any legal environment, from a small law firm to a corporate legal department. They ensure all other legal staff have the time and resources they need to do their jobs well.

Legal Secretary skills and qualifications

There are many skills a Legal Secretary will need to be successful in their role. Some hard and soft skills are necessary, including:

  • Organization for managing communications, documents, and scheduling events
  • Interpersonal skills for communication with clients, Lawyers, other legal support staff, and other offices or vendors
  • Clear and concise written skills to ensure efficient and accurate communication
  • Strong values of honesty, transparency, and ethics
  • Attention to detail for reviewing important documentation
  • Legal knowledge and understanding
  • Proficiency with computer software like the Microsoft Office suite

Legal Secretary experience requirements

Look for a Legal Secretary with a strong administrative background in administration. Candidates who have already worked in a legal office are preferable, but administrative skills are transferrable to any field. One or two years of experience working in administration in an office setting is sufficient. Candidates who completed relevant internships in a legal office should be well-prepared for the role.

Legal Secretary education and training requirements

Legal Secretaries need a high school diploma, GED, or higher academic certification. Look for candidates with an associate or bachelor’s degree in business administration or a related field. There are several post-secondary programs across Canada that offer legal administration courses to prepare candidates for the role. Legal Secretaries with some pre-law courses are an asset, but if you already have Paralegals on staff, a Legal Secretary generally does not need in-depth law knowledge to be successful.

Legal Secretary salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Legal Secretary in Canada is $20.69 per hour. This depends on a variety of factors, including the office’s location, the candidate’s previous work experience, academic certifications, and the hiring company.

Job description samples for similar positions

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Legal Secretary job description FAQs

What is the difference between a Legal Secretary and a Paralegal?

Often a Legal Secretary reports to one or more Lawyers to support them in their day-to-day administrative work. They will most often work with the most senior of these Lawyers as their assistant. However, they may aid all office employees.

Who does a Legal Secretary report to?

As there are several types of law to practice, there are slight differences in a Legal Secretary’s responsibilities within different offices or fields. For example, in real estate law, a Legal Secretary needs strong numeracy and financial skills to aid in documentation and reporting related to the fast-paced, ever-changing industry. For offices that specialize in family law, Legal Secretaries may have responsibilities pertaining specifically to working with the families of clients.

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