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Legal Secretary Salary

Legal Secretaries in the United States tend to be well-versed in their field, and slightly less than two-thirds have more than 10 years of experience. Average salary is expected to be around $49K per year, but may range from $26K to $71K per year. In the world of Legal Secretaries, overall income ranges from $26K near the bottom to $71K at the top; this can include more than $3K from bonuses and more than $7K from profit sharing in exceptional cases. Earnings for this group are mostly affected by the company, followed by the particular city and years of experience. Job satisfaction for Legal Secretaries is high. Health benefits are not claimed by all — slightly less than a third lack any form of coverage — but more than half have medical insurance, and one-half have dental, too. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.

$30,289 - $72,064
(Median)
$30K
$49K
$72K
MEDIAN: $49,317
10%
50%
90%

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$10.35 - $28.63
(Median)
$10
$16
$29
MEDIAN: $16.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$25K$50K$75K
Salary
$30,289 - $72,064  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $3,072  
Profit Sharing
$800 - $6,920  
Commission
$0.00 - $0.00  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$25,914 - $71,375  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 5,731
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$18$36$54
Hourly Rate
$10.35 - $28.63  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $0.38  
Overtime
$14.82 - $53.54  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $3,072  
   
Commission
$0.00 - $0.00  
Profit Sharing
$800 - $6,920  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$25,914 - $71,375  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 3,056

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Job Description for Legal Secretary

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.

Common Career Paths for Legal Secretary


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Legal Secretaries who transition into an Attorney role may receive large pay increases as the latter position pays an average $81K per year. Legal Secretaries most frequently advance into Legal Assistant and Paralegal roles even though the median salaries are $8K lower and $4K lower, respectively.

Legal Secretary Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Legal Secretary


Legal Secretaries flock to Kirkland & Ellis Llp, Morgan Lewis & Bockius Llp, Greenbergs Traurig Llp, Ropes & Gray Llp, and Geico, highly regarded companies that employ a generous number of people in this profession. Heading up the field in terms of compensation, Cooley Godward Kronish Llp offers the most; Legal Secretaries earn $83K on average there. Other leaders in compensation levels are Gibson Dunn and Crutcher at $81K, Sidley & Austin Llp at $78K, and Latham and Watkins, Llp, where Legal Secretaries annually earn $73K.

Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include Geico at $34K, Buchanan Ingersoll PC at $48K, and K&L Gates LLP, where $54K is the norm.

Popular Skills for Legal Secretary


Legal Secretaries seem to wield many skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Litigation Case Management, Proofreading, Word Processing, and Microsoft Word are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 7 percent and 13 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Client Interaction, Filing, and Typing. Those familiar with Document Preparation also tend to know Drafting Correspondence and Client Interaction.

Pay by Experience Level for Legal Secretary

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Experience seems to be a major factor in determining the incomes of Legal Secretaries. Survey participants with less than five years' experience pocket $32K on average, but those with five to 10 years of experience enjoy a much bigger median of $41K. Legal Secretaries see a median salary of $49K after reaching one to two decades on the job. Individuals who have achieved more than 20 years of experience don't seem to earn much more than people who have 10 to 20 years under their belts; the more senior group reports an average income of $56K.

Pay Difference by Location


For Legal Secretaries, working in the bustling city of San Francisco has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. Legal Secretaries will also find cushy salaries in Washington (+57 percent), New York (+46 percent), Los Angeles (+41 percent), and Boston (+39 percent).

Legal Secretary Reviews

What is it like working as a Legal Secretary?

Legal Secretary in Nanuet:
"Searching for a rewarding, exciting and challenging career."
Pros: I work independently, my boss does not bother me. I work at my own pace and everyone mainly works on there own.
Cons: I would like to do and learn more about law. My job does not reward me nor do I have any benefits nor room for growth.

Legal Secretary in Muncie:
"100%"
Pros: I love the job that I do and the person I work for. I leave every day feeling as though I have truly accomplished a lot. We help people on a daily basis and that makes it easy to love my job.
Cons: I have no complaints about my current position.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Legal Secretary Salaries



National Average
$45,000



Skills That Affect Legal Secretary Salaries







Filing Court Documents
up arrow 4%

Transcription
up arrow 3%

Document Preparation
0%

Scheduling
0%

National Average
$45,000

Drafting Correspondence
up arrow 1%

Organizing
up arrow 2%

Typing
up arrow 4%

up arrow 8%


Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 1684 votes.

Gender

Female
98 %
Male
2 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
19%
5-9 years
15%
10-19 years
27%
20 years or more
35%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 69% dental benefits Dental: 48%
vision benefits Vision: 35% employee benefits None: 30%