what is a legal secretary?

As a legal secretary, you are a vital member of the legal team since you ensure the department runs smoothly. You perform administrative duties and support the lawyers with legal research and schedules. Most legal secretaries possess a range of skills since the role involves traditional administrative duties like answering phones, creating detailed reports and conversing with expert witnesses. With the complexity of your duties, you need to be conversant with legal terms, procedures and documentation. You also have to be highly organised and attentive to details to perform various assignments and meet deadlines.

what does a legal secretary do?

As a legal secretary, your work involves a lot of writing, from transcribing meetings to correspondence, memos and legal paperwork. You also proofread legal documents before mailing them and filing clients' paperwork. As a legal secretary, you can work in a law firm or government agency. Some legal secretaries work for judges and attorneys in the public sector. You can also work for companies with legal departments like multinational corporations and media firms in the corporate sector.

Would working as a legal secretary suit your organisational skills and interest in law? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a legal secretary role.


legal secretary jobs

legal secretary salary

According to National Careers, a legal secretary earns £20,000 per year. The pay structure usually relies on your skills, academic qualifications and experience level. As you improve your skills and experience, your earnings can increase to £45,000 per year. Experienced legal secretaries usually receive various perks in the compensation package. For instance, you may receive annual bonuses, and your benefits package may include medical and transport allowances.

how to increase your salary as a legal secretary

As a legal secretary, your compensation package depends on your employer. For instance, if you work for government agencies, your earnings are lower than working in the private sector. Corporate companies have unlimited resources and can afford to pay more. Besides, they usually demand better qualifications and higher experience levels; hence the pay structure should reflect your expertise. The location also affects your primary salary. Some towns have a high demand for legal secretaries, increasing the salary prospects. Large towns also have a high cost of living, and the basic salary should reflect the cost of living. Small towns usually have few law firms and low living costs, reducing the average salaries for legal secretaries.


Randstad employer brand photo, internal, people, consultants, branch, branches
Randstad employer brand photo, internal, people, consultants, branch, branches

types of legal secretary

Some of the legal secretaries include:

  • litigation assistant: as a litigation assistant, you provide support in various realms of law where legal action has been taken. That means you may work in bankruptcy, intellectual property and personal injury cases. Your job is to gather facts relevant to the case by interviewing witnesses and finding evidence to support your client's claims. Sometimes you have to write press releases to control the public perception of a case.
  • judicial legal secretary: your job is to assist judges with administrative work. You maintain their schedule and organise legal documents for various cases. The job also involves transcribing dictations and researching precedence and application of laws.
  • corporate legal secretary: when you are a corporate legal secretary, you work for a specific company and ensure they don't break any laws. You assist the legal team with writing contracts and staying up-to-date with the changing regulations.
  • criminal legal secretary: your job as the criminal legal secretary is to help lawyers with criminal cases. You organise discovery files and research for loopholes in the prosecution case to assist your client. You also accompany lawyers to court to ensure they have the documents for the case.


working as a legal secretary

Working as a legal secretary involves providing administrative support to legal professionals. That means you carry out clerical, secretarial and administrative tasks to ensure your department runs efficiently. Discover the work schedules and job prospects of a legal secretary below.



education and skills

Some of the academic qualifications to land you a role as a legal secretary include:

  • college courses: take a Level 3 Diploma for legal secretaries or audio transcription and legal systems training. For the diploma courses, you need 4 or 5 GCSEs in grades 9 to 4. When you complete the diploma course, you can get an internship to gain relevant experience.
  • apprenticeship: there are various apprenticeships in paralegal and legal services. An intermediate apprenticeship requires a few GCSEs with English and maths. The advanced apprenticeship requires 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4. You can also find other professional courses from The Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs.

skills and competencies

As a legal secretary, the following skills help you excel:

  • technology skills: lawyers and attorneys rely on tech-savvy legal secretaries to organise computer files, prepare presentations, audit timesheets, write spreadsheets and type documents. You also manage the software applications used to manage a law office.
  • interpersonal skills: you interact daily with paralegals, clients and opposing counsel; hence communication and interpersonal skills are vital. Interpersonal skills help you listen to others and collaborate with them. The skills also promote emotional intelligence and improve formality.
  • organisation skills: as a legal secretary, you are the right-hand person of an attorney or lawyer. You need organisational skills to run a law office smoothly. For instance, you need to manage electronic files, maintain calendars, schedule meetings and organise events.
  • transcription skills: as a legal secretary, you need transcription skills to excel in your role. You require fast typing speed and active listening skills to comprehend voice dictation.



FAQs about working as a legal secretary

thank you for subscribing to your personalised job alerts.