Summary Report for:
43-6012.00 - Legal Secretaries
Perform secretarial duties using legal terminology, procedures, and documents. Prepare legal papers and correspondence, such as summonses, complaints, motions, and subpoenas. May also assist with legal research.
Sample of reported job titles: Confidential Secretary, Judicial Administrative Assistant, Legal Administrative Secretary, Legal Assistant, Legal Secretary, Litigation Assistant, Magistrate Assistant, Secretary
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Prepare and process legal documents and papers, such as summonses, subpoenas, complaints, appeals, motions, and pretrial agreements.
- Mail, fax, or arrange for delivery of legal correspondence to clients, witnesses, and court officials.
- Receive and place telephone calls.
- Organize and maintain law libraries, documents, and case files.
- Schedule and make appointments.
- Make photocopies of correspondence, documents, and other printed matter.
- Assist attorneys in collecting information such as employment, medical, and other records.
- Draft and type office memos.
- Complete various forms, such as accident reports, trial and courtroom requests, and applications for clients.
- Prepare and distribute invoices to bill clients or pay account expenses.
- Attend legal meetings, such as client interviews, hearings, or depositions, and take notes.
- Review legal publications and perform database searches to identify laws and court decisions relevant to pending cases.
- Submit articles and information from searches to attorneys for review and approval for use.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Digital cameras
- Digital duplicators — Digital duplicating machines
- Digital voice recorders — Digital audio recorders
- Laser fax machine — Laser facsimile machines
- Microfiche or microfilm viewer components or accessories — Microfiche machines
- Notebook computers — Laptop computers
- Paper shredding machines or accessories — Document shredders
- Personal computers
- Personal digital assistant PDAs or organizers — Personal digital assistants PDA
- Photocopiers — Photocopying equipment
- Pocket calculator — Handheld calculators
- Premise branch exchange PBX systems — Switchboards
- Scanners — Document scanners
- Special purpose telephones — Multi-line telephone systems
- Typewriters — Electric typewriters
- Word processors
Technology used in this occupation:
- Accounting software — Amortization calculation software; Billing software; Intuit QuickBooks; Sage Peachtree software (see all 5 examples)
- Analytical or scientific software — Litigation management software
- Calendar and scheduling software — Appointment scheduling software
- Data base user interface and query software — Database software
- Desktop publishing software
- Document management software — Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat; Filing system software; Microsoft Office SharePoint Server MOSS
- Electronic mail software — Email software; IBM Lotus Notes; Microsoft Outlook
- Expert system software — Legal software
- Graphics or photo imaging software — Microsoft Visio
- Information retrieval or search software — Legal research software; LexisNexis software; Thomson West WestlawPRO
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office software
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Project management software — Case management software
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Video conferencing software — Web conferencing software
- Web page creation and editing software — Web page design and editing software
- Word processing software — Electronic diary software; Microsoft Word; Transcription software; WordPerfect
- Clerical — 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.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Customer and Personal Service — 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.
- Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Active Listening — Giving 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.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating 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 e-mail.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Detailed Work Activities
- Answer telephones to direct calls or provide information.
- Prepare documentation for contracts, transactions, or regulatory compliance.
- Prepare legal documents.
- Search files, databases or reference materials to obtain needed information.
- Schedule appointments.
- Operate office equipment.
- Record information from meetings or other formal proceedings.
- Send information, materials or documentation.
- Record information about legal matters.
- Prepare business correspondence.
- Provide information to coworkers.
- Obtain personal or financial information about customers or applicants.
- Issue documentation or identification to customers or employees.
- Electronic Mail — 99% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 97% responded “Every day.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 98% responded “Every day.”
- Letters and Memos — 89% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 81% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 67% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 49% responded “More than half the time.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 65% responded “Extremely important.”
- Time Pressure — 51% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 53% responded “Extremely important.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 42% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Deal With External Customers — 42% responded “Extremely important.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 44% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 38% responded “Extremely important.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 30% responded “Moderate results.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 44% responded “Some freedom.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 31% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 44% responded “Never.”
|Title||Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.|
|Related Experience||Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, occupational therapy assistants, and medical assistants.|
|SVP Range||(6.0 to < 7.0)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|41||High school diploma or equivalent|
Interest code: CE
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2014)||$20.56 hourly, $42,770 annual|
|Employment (2014)||216,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2014-2024)||Decline (-2% or lower)|
|Projected job openings (2014-2024)||22,700|
|Top industries (2014)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data and 2014-2024 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Secretaries and administrative assistants . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition.
- Legal Secretaries International Inc. , 2302 Fannin St., Suite 500, Houston, TX 77002-9136. Phone: (610) 865-4611.
- NALS , 314 East 3rd St., Suite 210, Tulsa, OK 74120. Phone: (918) 582-5188. Fax: (918) 582-5907.