Career summary

Details for Legal Secretaries


Description

Perform secretarial duties utilizing legal terminology, procedures, and documents. Prepare legal papers and correspondence, such as summonses, complaints, motions, and subpoenas. May also assist with legal research.

Tasks

  • Prepare, proofread, or process legal documents, such as summonses, subpoenas, complaints, appeals, motions, or pretrial agreements.
  • Mail, fax, or arrange for delivery of legal correspondence to clients, witnesses, and court officials.
  • Receive and place telephone calls.
  • Schedule and make appointments.
  • Organize and maintain law libraries, documents, and case files.
  • Make photocopies of correspondence, documents, and other printed matter.
  • Assist attorneys in collecting information such as employment, medical, and other records.
  • Draft and type office memos.
  • Complete various forms, such as accident reports, trial and courtroom requests, and applications for clients.
  • Prepare and distribute invoices to bill clients or pay account expenses.
  • Submit articles and information from searches to attorneys for review and approval for use.
  • Make travel arrangements for attorneys.
  • Review legal publications and perform database searches to identify laws and court decisions relevant to pending cases.
  • Attend legal meetings, such as client interviews, hearings, or depositions, and take notes.

Interests

  • Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Education, training, experience

  • Education - Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.

Knowledge

  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.

Skills

  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Related careers

  • Correspondence Clerks
  • Court Clerks
  • Law Clerks
  • Medical Secretaries
  • Office Clerks, General
  • Paralegals and Legal Assistants
  • Secretaries, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive
  • Title Examiners, Abstractors, and Searchers