Legal Secretary Job Descriptions, Average Salary, Interview Questions
A legal secretary fills a unique role in the world of law firms and legal departments — something of a hybrid position between that of a traditional secretary and a legal assistant or paralegal.
Legal secretaries perform essential secretarial and administrative duties, like arranging meetings and conferences, taking phone calls, and maintaining office inventory. They also possess a substantial amount of legal know-how so they can complete legal-specific tasks to assist with cases and litigation.
A legal secretary can do everything from preparing legal papers, correspondence, and reports to helping assemble trial and presentation materials, and transcribing legal dictation. They also assist with legal research. A legal secretary is a versatile and crucial member of a legal team.
Sample job description #1
To be successful in this role, you should possess an in-depth knowledge of legal procedures and terminology.
Provide secretarial support to one or more lawyers at the firm
Edit and proofread all legal documents
Maintain attorney calendar by scheduling conferences, depositions, and meetings
Welcome clients and conduct initial screenings of new clients
Go to court proceedings and type minutes
Organize all legal documents and ensure they are updated
Ensure all court documents are in order and filed before deadlines
Answer emails and phone calls, and when necessary, redirect calls, etc.
Research and authenticate important case information
Prepare different legal documents including appeals, motions, and petitions
High school diploma or equivalent qualification required
Associate degree in legal studies or related field
A minimum of 5 years experience in a similar role
In-depth knowledge of legal documents and terminology
Skilled with MS Office
Excellent time-management and organizational skills
Good written and verbal communication skills
(State) and (State) experience preferred
Sample job description #2
The Legal Secretary will perform a variety of secretarial duties for attorneys to whom assigned according to established policies and procedures. The Legal Secretary is assigned to assist several attorneys in a specific practice group and will support 5-9 attorneys. This position will be responsible for preparing practice-specific forms, updating electronic and paper files, preparing and filing court documents and e-filings, updating attorney calendars as needed and delegating work to appropriate departments, and completing other tasks as assigned in a timely and accurate manner.
Delegate attorney work to appropriate departments
Prepare practice-specific documents, paper court filings and e-filings, and update electronic pleading/correspondence/closing folders
Screen telephone calls and take messages for attorneys when requested. Receive clients and visitors. Maintain good public relations with clients. Observe confidentiality of attorney-client relationship
Read, sort, and date incoming mail when requested. Ensure that outgoing mail is delivered timely and specify types of delivery
Schedule and calendar meetings and deadlines for attorneys
Knowledge, skills and abilities required
Excellent spelling and proofreading skills. Typing (45+ wpm)
Effective delegation skills
Knowledge of court filing procedures, including electronic filing
Ability to organize, prioritize, and produce quality work
Self-motivated and flexible in order to complete assignments in a timely manner
Knowledge, skills and abilities desired
PDF conversions and manipulations
Education and experience
High school diploma or equivalent required
3-5 years of experience in similar field required. Previous law firm experience preferred
Sample job description #3
Update schedule with client interactions
Provide support for several attorneys
Transfer legal correspondence to clients
Handle assigned files and deliver legal services under attorney supervision
Conduct administrative tasks as necessary
Maintain and improve calendars and billing sheets
Strong communication skills are essential to communicate with clients in an effective and efficient manner
Utilize comprehensive knowledge of legal procedures
Provide assistance to attorneys in the effective and efficient resolution of files
Excellent communication and organizational skills
Knowledgeable in local jurisdictional and federal court rules and procedures
Able to manage time well
Possessing an understanding of word processing and spreadsheets is desired
Knowledgeable about and experienced with legal correspondence and court filing procedures is a plus
Proficiency in database management
Practical knowledge of travel arrangements
Well-founded grasp of conference room setup and cleanup
General familiarity with travel arrangements
Command of Draft Pleadings
Comprehensive knowledge of Draft Legal Documents
Foundational knowledge in Schedule Appointments
Proficiency in Draft Letters
Proven knowledge of billing software for attorneys
Schedule Depositions experience
3+ years of prior relevant experience
Average salary and compensation
The average salary for a legal secretary is $62,500 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
Sample interview questions
It is key as a legal secretary that you be organized. On a scale from 1 through 10 how do you rate yourself?
How do you decide which tasks to prioritize?
Do you have the ability to multitask?
How do you handle situations when a client is difficult?
Why are you choosing to leave your current job?
What was the best part of your job? What was your least favorite part?
What do you do to ensure your work is accurate?
What is your typing speed?
What steps do you take to make sure you are protecting your client’s confidentiality?
What do you do when you have multiple deadlines on the same day?
Has there ever been a time when you had technical difficulties at an inconvenient time? How did you handle that situation?
What’s your experience with subpoenas?
What form of communication do you prefer: email, phone, or in person? Why?
What experience do you have working with attorneys and judges?
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