Legal Secretaries


Employment Prospects


Approximately 180,100 legal secretaries are employed in the United States. The majority of legal secretaries work for law offices or law firms. Some government agencies on the state and national level also employ legal secretaries. More law firms and offices are located in Washington, D.C., and in larger metropolitan areas, so these regions offer more opportunities. However, most law offices and firms are now online. The Internet enables workers to send information easily from the law office to the courtroom, so offices are not forced to be located close to the courts. Legal secretaries are in demand anywhere lawyers practice.

Starting Out

Many legal secretaries get their first job through the career services offices of their college or vocational school. Still other legal secretaries start by working part time, gaining experience toward a first full-time position. Some begin as a floater, a secretary who is not assigned to any particular lawyer, but fills in for absent secretaries and handles overflow. Working as a floater exposes you to a wide variety of legal practices—useful when deciding which area you want to specialize in. Don't forget to contact local law offices in your area to let them know you are available; often direct contact now can lead to a job later. Professional associations can also provide resources to aspiring legal secretaries. NALS…the association for legal professionals offers job listings on its Web site.

Advancement Prospects

Experienced legal secretaries are often promoted to oversee less experienced legal secretaries. Some firms have senior legal secretaries who are given more responsibility and less supervision duties. Legal secretaries may continue their education and become paralegals or lawyers themselves. Many of the skills legal secretaries obtain can be transferred to almost any other office setting.

Tips for Entry

Visit for job listings.

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Talk to legal secretaries about their jobs. Ask them for advice on preparing for and entering the field.