Legal Secretary Qualifications
There are no formal educational qualifications for legal secretaries aside from a high school diploma or equivalent. However, the legal secretary job market can be very competitive and completing a legal secretary degree or training program will give you an edge over other applicants. Programs typically last one to two years and cover law office practices, legal terminology, basic law, and office and computer skills. Becoming a certified legal secretary is also highly recommended and required for employment by some law offices.
A legal secretary should be professional, detail oriented, and have a strong work ethic. Excellent written and verbal communication skills are very important, as are general office and computer abilities. Legal secretaries need to be highly organized and adept at prioritizing and multi-tasking. You will learn a lot about law on the job, but it is beneficial to already have a basic knowledge of general legal terminology and procedure before you begin.
Before you can get certified as a legal secretary, you'll need to have a few years of experience under your belt. Some certifications require as much as five years of legal work experience, though three years can be substituted with the completion of a four-year degree. Once you've gained the proper experience, you can showcase your qualifications with a general professional legal secretary certification or more specialized certification in areas such as civil litigation, real estate, criminal law, business law, or intellectual property.
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