Legal Secretary: Career Diploma Summary

About this article
As a legal secretary you will play a vital role in the workings of a law firm or private legal practice. This article describes some of the qualifications you will derive from a legal secretarial program.
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What is a Legal Secretary Diploma Program?

A good legal secretarial diploma program will train you to perform highly specialized work requiring detailed knowledge of legal terminology and various procedures pertaining to the practice of law. As a legal secretary, you will be called upon to prepare correspondence and legal papers such as subpoenas, court motions, witness summonses, client response and complaints, and other necessary procedural components, under the supervision of the attorney or paralegal you work for. You may be needed to review legal journals in search of pertinent articles, or assist with legal research, fact checking, or quote verification. Most diploma programs will cover the various aspects and routines common to law offices.

Skills Acquired

A diploma program to become a legal secretary will provide you with the necessary skills to enter the job market with a competitive edge, and be able to step into your new role as seamlessly as possible. You will learn the language of the law office, and become versed in the various modes of expression common to legal communications and correspondence. You will learn techniques for proofreading and editing copy such as transcriptions, client statements, and other relevant paperwork. Most offices are fully automated and rely heavily on computers for record keeping, accounting, and word processing. A good legal secretarial diploma program will prepare you for the use of specialized software and various forms of computer technology, including advanced techniques for using the Internet. You will gain proficiency with databases, spreadsheets, presentation software, telephone and fax hardware, information management, arranging travel and accommodations, and more. Testing and certification for proficiency in entry-level law office skills can enhance your qualifications. This testing is available through organizations such as the National Association of Legal Secretaries, and Legal Secretaries International.

Coursework in a Legal Secretary Diploma Program May Include:

  • Law Office Management
  • Business English
  • Office Software
  • Corporate Records
  • Interview Documentation
  • Shorthand
  • Litigation Basics
  • Wills & Estates

Career Outlook and Salary Information

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment growth in the legal services industry should lead to job growth for legal secretaries. While opportunities are always best for experienced secretaries and administrative assistants, people trained to proficiency with modern software, and schooled in legal specific operations and procedures will have a distinct advantage in the job hunt. In 2004, the median annual earnings for legal secretaries were about $36K, with the highest paid earning as much as $56K per year.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. Kaplan University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master: Criminal Justice
      • Master: Legal Studies
    Bachelor's
      • Undergraduate in Legal Studies
      • BS in Legal Support and Services
      • BS in Legal Support and Services - Paralegal
      • Bachelor: Criminal Justice
    Associate's
      • AAS in Legal Support and Services
      • Associate: Criminal Justice
    Certificate
      • Postbaccalaureate Certificate - Pathway to Paralegal
  • Online Programs Available
    2. Northcentral University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MS - Organizational Leadership: Criminal Justice
  • Online Programs Available
    3. Regent University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Arts in Law - Criminal Justice
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Arts in Leadership Studies - Criminal Justice
      • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
      • Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies
      • Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies - Criminal Justice
  • Online Programs Available
    4. Penn Foster

    Program Options

    Certificate
      • Career Diploma - Virtual Assistant
      • Career Diploma - Legal Secretary
  • Online Programs Available
    5. Colorado Christian University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Criminal Justice, M.S.
    Bachelor's
      • Criminal Justice, B.S.
    Associate's
      • Criminal Justice, A.S.
  • Online Programs Available
    6. Baker College Online

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Criminal Justice - Bachelor
  • Online Programs Available
    7. Saint Leo University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BA: Criminal Justice
      • BA: Criminal Justice - Criminalistics
    Associate's
      • AA: Criminal Justice
  • Online Programs Available
    8. Penn Foster High School

    Program Options

    High School Diploma
      • Penn Foster High School with Early College Courses
      • HS Diploma
  • Campus Locations:
    9. Brightwood College

    Program Options

    Associate's
      • Paralegal Studies
    Certificate
      • General Practice Paralegal
  • Chula Vista, CA

    Southwestern College

Featured Schools

Kaplan University

  • Master: Criminal Justice
  • Undergraduate in Legal Studies
  • AAS in Legal Support and Services
  • Postbaccalaureate Certificate - Pathway to Paralegal

Which subject are you interested in?

Northcentral University

  • MS - Organizational Leadership: Criminal Justice

What is your highest level of education?

Regent University

  • Master of Arts in Law - Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Arts in Leadership Studies - Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

What is your highest level of education completed?

Penn Foster

  • Career Diploma - Virtual Assistant
  • Career Diploma - Legal Secretary

What is your highest level of education?

Colorado Christian University

  • Criminal Justice, M.S.
  • Criminal Justice, B.S.
  • Criminal Justice, A.S.

What is your highest level of education completed?

Baker College Online

  • Criminal Justice - Bachelor

What is your highest level of education?

Saint Leo University

  • BA: Criminal Justice
  • BA: Criminal Justice - Criminalistics
  • AA: Criminal Justice

What is your highest level of education completed?

Penn Foster High School

  • Penn Foster High School with Early College Courses
  • HS Diploma

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