Legal ReceptionistJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends
Legal receptionists are receptionists that work in a law firm, and as such, they are required to have a few more skills. Unlike regular receptionists, legal receptionists will be working with confidential information often, and they must be able to field legal questions when someone calls in. This may include figuring out whether or not a client has an applicable case to their firm, dealing with rude or impatient clients, or taking payments.
A legal receptionist needs to be very professional. Since they are the first face that most people will see when coming to the law firm, it’s important that legal receptionists have an extensive knowledge of their practice, are friendly, and can put a client at ease. Though no legal education is necessary, legal receptionists will need to know basic laws that apply to their law firm’s field of practice.
Sample job description
Without successful legal receptionists, we wouldn’t be able to provide clerical support to law office teams as effectively. One of the most important roles a legal receptionist plays is operating the switchboard, responding to and routing all incoming calls to the law office. You do this by keeping a positive and resourceful attitude in the workplace with strong customer-focused communication. [Your Company Name] is hiring experienced legal receptionists. If you have experience in providing support to office staff, this could be the perfect fit.
Typical duties and responsibilities
Answer, screen, and transfer all incoming phone calls
Take and relay messages
Conference room scheduling, set-up, and clean-up
Assist with filing
Education and experience
This position requires a high school degree or GED and some experience in a legal or office setting.
Required skills and qualifications
Professional and courteous with a positive can-do attitude
Skilled at multitasking
Can work with minimal guidance and oversight
Proficient in MS Office Suite applications
Expertise in typing
Excellent communication skills
Average salary and compensation
The average salary for a legal receptionist is $42,000 in the United States. Position salary will vary based on experience, education, company size, industry, and market.
Los Angeles, California
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
New York City, New York
Typical work environment
Most legal receptionists work at desks in offices. They keep regular daytime hours, primarily reporting to the office manager but also to other lawyers, paralegals, and administrative assistants. They receive packages as well as do light office work, such as copying and finding various documents. Multitasking and housekeeping also are useful skills for a legal receptionist.
The typical work hours for a legal receptionist can be from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday, in an office setting.
Most law firms will need a legal secretary to handle clerical tasks, so many institutions offer different certifications to help. Check out the following:
Legal Secretary Certificate. This certificatefrom Purdue University assists soon-to-be legal secretaries by teaching them to prepare legal summonses, motions, and subpoenas so that lawyers and paralegals can focus on preparing cases. Learn all about legal services and policies. It’s an eight month long course.
Legal Secretary Career Diploma. This career diploma offered by Penn Foster will explain interpersonal communication skills, records management, legal terminology, and legal writing.
The career path for a legal receptionist starts by first obtaining a high school degree or GED. Many firms do prefer some experience in a legal or office setting, but that may not always be a requirement, depending upon the individual firm. Also, to advance in a front-office role such as this, there are receptionist certification programs available.
US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook
SOC Code: 43-6012
Projected Employment in 2030
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift
While some phone automation may coexist with legal receptionist jobs, there is still a real need for professional, skilled humans in these positions; that trend looks to continue in the future.
Sample interview questions
What motivates you at work?
What are your primary strengths and weaknesses?
How do you see a typical day at work going?
What is your biggest weakness?
Are you familiar with Microsoft Office Suite?
How familiar are you with ___ technologies?
What will you bring to the firm?
Why did you leave your previous role?
How do you prioritize and manage multiple tasks at once?
How do you ensure that your work is accurate?
How do you maintain confidentiality?
Describe a tough case you’ve participated in.
How do you prioritize work when reporting to multiple supervisors at once?
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