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Legal Secretary Salary

Just below two-thirds of Legal Secretaries in the United States have been in the field for more than 10 years. Pay can fall anywhere from $26K to $71K per year, but median earnings come to around $49K annually. Total cash compensation for Legal Secretaries runs from $26K to $71K depending on bonuses that can occasionally exceed $3K and profit sharing that can reach almost $7K. Earnings for this group are mostly affected by the specific employer, followed by geography and experience level. Health benefits are not claimed by all — just under one in three lack any form of coverage — but the larger part have medical insurance, and approximately one-half have dental, too. The majority of Legal Secretaries claim high levels of job satisfaction. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$30,288 - $72,117
(Median)
$30K
$49K
$72K
MEDIAN: $49,365
10%
50%
90%

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$10.43 - $28.65
(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
$30,288 - $72,117  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $3,071  
Profit Sharing
$787 - $6,942  
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).
)
$26,088 - $71,384  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 5,744
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
$10.43 - $28.65  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $0.38  
Overtime
$14.77 - $53.57  
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 - $3,071  
   
Commission
$0.00 - $0.00  
Profit Sharing
$787 - $6,942  
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).
)
$26,088 - $71,384  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 3,029

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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' salaries may rise greatly for those who assume a higher-end position such as an Attorney. The average Attorney brings home $81K per year. A lot of Legal Secretaries advance their careers by becoming Legal Assistants and Paralegals. However, those positions offer $8K less and $4K less per year on average.

Legal Secretary Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Legal Secretary


Kirkland & Ellis Llp, Geico, Morgan Lewis & Bockius Llp, Greenbergs Traurig Llp, and Ropes & Gray Llp are among the top companies that take on many Legal Secretaries. Cooley Godward Kronish Llp offers the largest salaries in town — $83K on average. Those in search of high salaries should also consider Gibson Dunn and Crutcher, Sidley & Austin Llp, and Latham and Watkins, Llp, top-paying firms where Legal Secretaries rake in a respectable $81K, $78K, or $73K, respectively.

Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include Geico at $35K, Buchanan Ingersoll PC at $48K, and K&L Gates LLP, where $54K is the norm.

Popular Skills for Legal Secretary


Survey results imply that Legal Secretaries deploy a substantial tool kit of skills at work. 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. Most people familiar with Document Preparation also 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.


Legal Secretaries with a rich background of experience are typically rewarded with larger paychecks. The average beginner in this position makes around $32K, but folks who have been around for five to 10 years see a markedly higher median salary of $41K. Legal Secretaries bring in $49K after working for 10 to 20 years. 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


Surpassing the national average by 62 percent, Legal Secretaries in San Francisco receive some of the highest pay in the country. 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.

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United States (change)

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%

Document Preparation
0%

National Average
$45,000

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 1670 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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