Legal Secretary and Administrative Assistant resized

Legal Secretary or Administrative Assistant

While legal assistants and legal secretaries share some common duties, there are key differences in the two positions. Secretaries and assistants often work under the supervision of a licensed attorney and are subject to laws and regulations in the industry, such as the discretion between an attorney and their clients.

A legal assistant is a legal professional who assists licensed attorneys with different procedures, paperwork and other duties. Legal assistants typically perform research and administrative duties so an attorney can focus on a particular case. For example, if a case is complex and requires research into other similar cases, an attorney might ask their legal assistant to gather required documents and conduct research. The legal assistant might then compile pertinent information for the attorney and deliver it within an appropriate time frame.

A legal secretary is a licensed professional who performs clerical and administrative duties in a law office or firm under the supervision of a licensed attorney. Legal secretaries are similar to legal assistants but often perform more clerical duties to ensure organization and efficient processes in law offices.

To be a legal assistant, it’s important to have such skills as document drafting, case preparation, understanding of laws and legal procedures, patience, organization, communications and research skills. Legal secretaries should be good at communication, organization and time management, have software skills, pay attention to detail and be discrete. Legal assistants organize and draft legal paperwork, perform legal research and report findings, assist attorneys with open cases by conversing or offering suggestions and communicate with clients and update them on court cases or findings. They also verify case costs and balances with clients and attorneys and prepare case materials such as paperwork, evidence and other important items.

Legal assistants organize and draft legal paperwork, perform legal research and report findings, assist attorneys with open cases by conversing or offering suggestions, and communicate with clients and update them on court cases or findings. They also verify case costs and balances with clients and attorneys and prepare case materials such as paperwork, evidence, and other important items.

A legal secretary organizes important legal paperwork, drafts legal documents, files and backs up legal documents in company software programs, conducts phone calls and takes messages, communicates between clients and attorneys and maintains calendars and schedules meetings or court dates. In addition, they transcribe court meetings or other documentation.

Legal secretaries and legal assistants often possess extensive training in the law. However, one of the key differences between a legal secretary and a legal assistant is that secretaries typically don't require formal education to work in a law office. Legal assistants often complete paralegal programs.

$31,854

entry level salary estimate

$55,688

experienced level salary estimate

997

projected annual job openings

Programs for Legal Secretaries and Administrative Assistants

Careers in service to our community.

To serve, protect and defend. If you feel called to a career in human and public service, there are many different avenues you can explore. From front line responders and social workers to city planners and environmental scientists, all play a crucial role in the well-being of our communities. For some of these positions, you’ll need a certificate or short-term training, while for others you’ll need more advanced training or a bachelor’s degree.

Human public service

Sources:

Texas Labor Market Information, Texas Workforce Commission. Statewide wages by occupation, 2021. Statewide projections by occupation, 2020-2030.

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