A Legal Secretary performs secretarial duties utilizing legal terminology, procedures, and documents. The Legal Secretary prepares legal papers and correspondence, such as summons, complaints, motions, and subpoenas. They may also assist with legal research.
Job Tasks for Legal Secretaries:
- The Legal Secretary prepares and processes legal documents, such as summonses, subpoenas, complaints, appeals, motions, and pretrial agreements.
- The Legal Secretary mails, faxes, or arranges for delivery of legal correspondence to clients, witnesses, and court officials.
- The Legal Secretary is responsible to receive and place telephone calls. They must schedule and make appointments for themselves and other members in the firm.
- The Legal Secretary must make photocopies of correspondence, documents, and other printed matter.
- The Legal Secretary organizes and maintains the law libraries, documents, and case files.
- The Legal Secretary assists attorneys in collecting information such as employment, medical, and other records.
- The Legal Secretary attends legal meetings, such as client interviews, hearings, or depositions, and takes notes.
- Then the Legal Secretary must draft and type office memos.
- The Legal Secretary reviews legal publications and performs database searches to identify laws and court decisions relevant to pending cases.
A Legal Secretary must have knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology. The Legal Secretary must have knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic process. They need knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar. The Legal Secretary must also have knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
The Legal Secretary must have understanding of written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents. They must give full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times. They must be able to manage their time well in order to make all the commitments that they are required to make. Often the Legal Secretary communicates effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience. The Legal Secretary understands the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making events. Each client is treated differently and with respect to their privacy. The Legal Secretary selects and uses training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things. The Legal Secretary must consider the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one. The Legal Secretary adjusts actions in relation to others’ actions. The Legal Secretary must use logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
The Legal Secretary must use computers and computer systems including hardware and software programs to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information. The Legal Secretary performs day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paper work. Part of their duties requires them to observe, receive, and otherwise obtain information from all relevant sources. The Legal Secretary communicates with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or email. The Legal Secretary is expected to provide information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in writing, or by an e-mail. In some situations the Legal Secretary is expected to present the information in person to their supervisors and co-workers.
The Legal Secretary develops specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish work as directed by their supervisors. They know that part of their job function is to transcribe, record, store and maintain information in written or electronic form. They deal directly with the public and maybe required to entertain or host people in public places such as restaurants, stores, or open forums. They are expected to monitor and control their resources and oversee the spending of money on each account that they are involved with and sometimes on other accounts that others in their department are involved.