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
  • Data entry
  • 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

Preferred qualifications

  • Highly organized
  • Self-motivated
  • 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.

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$41,750$56,500
Los Angeles, California$47,100$63,750
Denver, Colorado$39,250$53,100
Washington, DC$47,850$64,700
Miami, Florida$39,050$52,850
Orlando, Florida$36,050$48,750
Tampa, Florida$36,400$49,250
Atlanta, Georgia$38,150$51,650
Chicago, Illinois$43,900$59,400
Boston, Massachusetts$47,450$64,250
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota$37,850$51,150
New York City, New York$49,950$67,600
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$40,650$55,050
Dallas, Texas$39,600$53,600
Houston, Texas$39,450$53,350
Seattle, Washington$45,650$61,800
National Average$35,700$48,300

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.

Typical hours

The typical work hours for a legal receptionist can be from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday, in an office setting. 

Available certifications

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 certificate from 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.

Career path

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

2020 Employment160,400
Projected Employment in 2030126,700
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 21% decrease
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift33,600 decrease

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?

Legal Receptionist Jobs in Ashburn

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