What Legal Office Assistants Do
Legal office assistants can perform all of the typical duties of an administrative assistant, and in addition, they are trained to handle specialized responsibilities in the field of law. As a legal office assistant, you will be trained in legal terminology and legal processes. In your job, you might be expected to work with an attorney or paralegal to prepare legal papers such as motions, summonses, or subpoenas. You will handle legal correspondence and help to support the work of attorneys and other staff members.
Job titles for legal office assistants may vary, and include such titles as legal secretary, legal assistant, and executive legal assistant.
Where Legal Office Assistants Work
As a legal office assistant, you will be prepared to work in any office environment. You might work in one of the following places:
Corporate legal department
College or university
The Professional Environment
As a legal office professional, you will be working primarily in an office setting. You will be expected to spend a good deal of your time on a computer, as well as on the telephone. You may also need to be familiar with the technology that your office uses, such as projectors, photocopy machines, scanners, and other devices. Most legal offices require business attire or business casual attire.
The job outlook for legal office assistants is moderate. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook, employment of secretaries and administrative assistants is expected to grow by 12 percent from 2010 to 2020. This rate is about as fast as the average for all occupations. Employment for legal secretaries is predicted to grow by about 4 percent in that time period. Assistants who are skilled in computer software applications tend to have better opportunities than those who are not.
The handbook explains that technology developments can sometimes impact the job growth for administrative assistants, but that the human touch is still needed. The handbook says, “Responsibilities such as planning meetings, working with clients, and instructing staff require tact and communication skills. Because technology cannot currently substitute for these interpersonal skills, secretaries and administrative assistants will continue to play a key role in most organizations.”
Salaries and Wage Trends for Legal Office Assistants
What can you expect to earn as a legal office assistant? A good place to learn more about wage and salary trends is the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook. In this handbook, you can find the annual median wage for secretaries and administrative assistants. Please note that salaries across the country can vary because of factors such as where you live, your level of experience, your skill set, and the type of office where you work. As you gain more experience and perform well in your job, you can expect your income to increase.
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