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Legal Secretary Salary

With just below two-thirds of Legal Secretaries in the United States reporting more than 10 years of experience in the field, this area is heavily weighted toward experienced professionals. Pay ranges from $26K to $71K per year and averages out to $49K annually. Total cash compensation to Legal Secretaries bottoms out near $26K and approaches $71K on the high end; the biggest paychecks include approximately $3K from bonuses and almost $7K from profit sharing. Compensation for this group is mainly affected by the company, but geography and experience level are influential factors as well. The majority of Legal Secretaries claim high levels of job satisfaction. Health benefits are not enjoyed by everyone in this line of work, and slightly less than a third lack any coverage at all. Medical benefits are reported by a majority and dental coverage is claimed by approximately half. Participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.

$30,301 - $72,110
(Median)
$30K
$49K
$72K
MEDIAN: $49,357
10%
50%
90%

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$10.52 - $28.71
(Median)
$11
$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
$30,301 - $72,110  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $3,077  
Profit Sharing
$784 - $6,991  
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).
)
$26,158 - $71,421  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 5,745
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
$10.52 - $28.71  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $0.38  
Overtime
$14.81 - $53.73  
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 - $3,077  
   
Commission
$0.00 - $0.00  
Profit Sharing
$784 - $6,991  
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).
)
$26,158 - $71,421  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 3,027
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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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For Legal Secretaries, progressing to an Attorney role may result in a significant raise. On average, an Attorney can earn $81K annually. 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


Kirkland & Ellis Llp, Geico, Greenbergs Traurig Llp, Morgan Lewis & Bockius Llp, and Ropes & Gray Llp are all popular places to work. Legal Secretaries flock to Cooley Godward Kronish Llp for generous paychecks, where average earnings of $83K lead the pack in compensation. 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.

Workers at Geico, Buchanan Ingersoll PC, and K&L Gates LLP also face smaller salaries than the rest of the field — average earnings for these employers come to $35K, $48K, and $54K respectively.

Popular Skills for Legal Secretary


Legal Secretaries seem to require a rather large skill set. Most notably, skills in Litigation Case Management, Proofreading, Word Processing, and Microsoft Word are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 6 percent and 13 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Client Interaction, Filing, and Typing. Those proficient in Document Preparation are, more often than not, also skilled in 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.


In general, experience and pay appear to be strongly linked; those with more experience usually bring in higher incomes. Salaries for the relatively untried average out to around $32K, but survey participants with five to 10 years of experience earn a significantly higher median of $41K. Legal Secretaries see a median salary of $49K after reaching one to two decades on the job. People who have worked for more than 20 years report a median income of $56K, which is barely higher than the median for folks with 10 to 20 years of experience.

Pay Difference by Location


For those looking to make money, Legal Secretaries in San Francisco enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 62 percent above the national average. Legal Secretaries can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Washington (+56 percent), New York (+46 percent), Los Angeles (+41 percent), and Boston (+38 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

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Experience Affects Legal Secretary Salaries



National Average
$45,000



Skills That Affect Legal Secretary Salaries







Filing Court Documents
up arrow 3%

Transcription
up arrow 3%

National Average
$45,000

Document Preparation
up arrow 1%

Drafting Correspondence
up arrow 1%

Scheduling
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 1657 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: 29%
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