What Are the Training Requirements to Become a Legal Secretary?

There are no formal training requirements to become a legal secretary, as long as you have the appropriate skills. However, training will make you a more desirable candidate for a legal secretary position. Look for an Associate of Applied Science degree or a legal secretary certificate program. The training you receive will help you master the requirements for a challenging career as a legal secretary. Schools offering Legal Administrative Assistant degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Training to Meet Legal Secretary Job Requirements

Secretarial skills such as fast and accurate keyboarding, accurate filing, phone manners and multitasking are essential in the often high-pressure environment of a legal office. A legal secretary also might assist in legal research and prepare documents such as summonses and subpoenas, so some legal training is a requirement. You may choose to demonstrate your expertise by applying for certification from a legal secretary professional association.

Important Facts about this Occupation

Average Salary (2014) $45,670 per year
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 4% decline
On-the-Job Training Extended training period may be required
Certification Voluntary; Beneficial to employment prospects
Similar Occupations Paralegals and Legal Assistants, General Office Clerks, Information Clerks, Medical Secretaries, Bookkeeping and Accounting Clerks, Medical Transcriptionists

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Associate of Applied Science - Legal Secretary

This 2-year degree may be earned at many community colleges. Work experience such as an internship or 'co-op' may be required as part of your training. This level of education is not typically necessary for a secretary position, but may be helpful for those interested in becoming a legal assistant or paralegal. Coursework may include:

  • Office administration
  • Legal research and writing
  • Computing
  • Business law

Legal Secretary Certificate

Certificate programs are also easily found at community colleges and may be completed in a year of full-time study or less. Some schools offer a legal secretary certificate program online. These programs may not spend much time on basic secretarial skills like keyboarding. Their courses tend to focus on:

  • Legal terminology
  • Technology of the law office
  • Proper document preparation and citation
  • Law office management

Basic Training Courses for Legal Secretaries

No degree or certificate is required for becoming a legal secretary, but legal knowledge is. You may gain that knowledge through individual legal secretary training courses. NALS, the association for legal professionals, offers basic and advanced training courses at locations across the country. More information can be found on the NALS website www.nals.org.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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