what is a legal secretary?

As a legal secretary, you are a vital member of the legal team since you ensure the department runs smoothly. You perform administrative duties and support the lawyers with legal research and schedules. Most legal secretaries possess a range of skills since the role involves traditional administrative duties, such as answering phones, creating detailed reports and conversing with expert witnesses. With the complexity of your duties, it is important to be conversant with legal terms, procedures and documentation. You should be attentive to details and highly organised in order to perform various assignments and meet deadlines.

As a legal secretary, your work involves a lot of writing, from transcribing meetings to correspondence, memos and legal paperwork. You also proofread legal documents before mailing them and filing clients' paperwork. As a legal secretary, you can work in a law firm or government agency. You also work for companies with legal departments, like multinational corporations and media firms in the corporate sector.

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average legal secretary salary

According to Payscale, legal secretaries in India take home a median salary of ₹595,492 per year. When you join the profession, you start with a lower salary of ₹326,000 annually. After a few years of experience, your earnings increase gradually, and you can take home over ₹1 million per year.

how to increase your salary as a legal secretary

You can increase your earnings by gaining advanced degrees and certifications. Most employers base their salaries on your educational qualifications. With advanced qualifications, you qualify for promotions that boost your income potential. Your experience level also boosts your earnings as a legal secretary. If you are a legal secretary with over five years of experience, you will likely oversee junior legal secretaries, which increases your earning potential.

Your employer also influences your earnings as a legal secretary. Working in private law firms with substantial resources increases your earnings. You should also look for employers willing to pay more for your skills.


types of legal secretaries

Some of the legal secretaries include:

  • litigation assistants: as a litigation assistant, you provide support in various realms of law where legal action has been taken. That means you may work in bankruptcy, intellectual property (IP) and personal injury cases. Your job is to gather facts relevant to the case by interviewing witnesses and finding evidence to support your client's claims. Sometimes, you write press releases to control the public perception of a case.
  • judicial legal secretaries: your job is to assist judges with administrative work. You maintain their schedules and organise legal documents for various cases. The job also involves transcribing dictations and researching precedence and application of laws.
  • corporate legal secretaries: when you are a corporate legal secretary, you work for a specific company and ensure they don't break any laws. You assist the legal team with writing contracts and staying up-to-date with the changing regulations.
  • criminal legal secretaries: your job as a criminal legal secretary is to help lawyers with criminal cases. You organise discovery files and research for loopholes in the prosecution case to assist your client. You also accompany lawyers to court to ensure they have the necessary documents for the case.

working as a legal secretary

Working as a legal secretary involves providing administrative support to legal professionals. That means you carry out clerical, secretarial and administrative tasks to ensure your department runs efficiently. Discover the work schedules and job prospects of a legal secretary below.


education and skills

If you want to become a legal secretary, start preparing for the role after secondary class (10th). You should choose subjects like economics, law and political science for higher secondary level in school. After clearing 10+2, take the entrance test to qualify for a bachelor’s degree approved by the Bar Council of India. Some of the degree courses to pursue include a bachelor of arts and a bachelor of law. The entrance exams for a bachelor of law include the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) and the All India Law Entrance Test.

legal secretary skills and competencies

As a legal secretary, the following skills help you excel:

  • technology skills: lawyers and attorneys rely on tech-savvy legal secretaries to organise computer files, prepare presentations, audit timesheets, write spreadsheets and type documents. You also manage the software applications used to manage a law office.
  • interpersonal skills: you interact daily with paralegals, clients and opposing counsel. Hence, communication and interpersonal skills are vital. Interpersonal skills help you listen to others and collaborate with them. The skills also promote emotional intelligence and improve formality.
  • organisation skills: as a legal secretary, you are the right-hand person of an attorney or lawyer. You need organisational skills to run a law office smoothly. For instance, you manage electronic files, maintain calendars, schedule meetings and organise events.
  • transcription skills: as a legal secretary, you need transcription skills to excel. You require fast typing speed and active listening skills to comprehend voice dictation.

FAQs about working as a legal secretary

Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of a legal secretary.

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