A legal secretary works to assist the attorneys and paralegals of the law firm and has a number of different responsibilities largely dependent on the daily needs of the firm. The secretary may be asked to prepare and process legal documents such as summonses, complaints, subpoenas, appeals, affidavits, motions, and pretrial agreements. The employee will take care of mailing, faxing, or arranging for alternate delivery of correspondence to clients, witnesses, and court officials. A legal secretary schedules appointments, answers the main line for the firm, makes copies, and drafts office memos. The secretary will organize and maintain the firm's law libraries, documents, and case files as well as assist attorneys in collecting employment, medical, and other records related to cases. Taking notes at legal meetings, client interviews, and hearings or depositions will be required. A legal secretary will also spend time reviewing legal publications and searching databases to identify laws and court decisions relevant to the firm's cases. A professional demeanor is required in dealing with the firm’s attorneys and clients, and good grammar and spelling are expected in any written correspondence whether it is emailed, faxed, or sent through the postal service. Office hours vary based on the caseload and schedule for the firm, but often exceed forty hours per week. A legal secretary must be able to efficiently use standard office equipment such as computers, printers, copiers, scanners, fax machines, telephones, and calculators. A legal background is required, whether through a degree in a related field or by previous experience working for a law firm.
Legal Secretary Tasks
- Organize and maintain law libraries, documents and case files.
- Schedule appointments, answer phones, make photocopies, draft and type office memos.
- Mail, fax, or arrange for delivery of legal correspondence to clients, witnesses and court officials.
- Assist attorneys in collecting employment, medical and other records.
- Prepare and process legal documents and papers; summonses, subpoenas, complaints, appeals, motions and pretrial agreements.