Successful legal secretaries possess many of the same qualities as paralegals and even lawyers, such as: The role of a legal secretary is to assist lawyers and paralegals in a law firm or organization. Most legal secretaries speak directly with lawyers, clerks, courtroom staff, clients, appraisers and commercial vendors. A legal assistant or paralegal is a person qualified by education, training or work experience who is employed or engaged by a lawyer, law firm, corporation, government agency or other entity and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible. Since legal secretaries typically have specialized skills in various computer programs, the tasks they are responsible for can range from more traditional secretarial tasks such as answering the phone and answering messages to creating detailed spreadsheets, presentations, or preparing legal documents. Legal secretaries must be extremely organized, insightful, personable and self-disciplined, ready to complete a range of tasks and able to meet tight deadlines on a daily basis. Many states refer to the ABA definition of paralegals when creating laws regulating professional conduct or training and education requirements for paralegals. National professional bodies such as the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA), the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA) and the National Association of Legal Secretaries (NALS) also confirm the ABA definition. Whether employees are called “paralegals” or “paralegals” seems to depend on the region of the country where the employees live. While legal secretaries are also essential to the management of law firms, their work is not substantive in nature. They are the administrative force behind the practice: records management, scheduling, planning, document preparation, travel arrangements, maintaining databases and notes during meetings, among others. Legal secretaries are not required by law to meet educational or training standards, and many have not attended university.
Because their work does not require the same depth of legal knowledge, legal secretaries earn less than paralegals. However, there are opportunities for additional training and specialization in the field. The duties associated with the position include, but are not limited to: word processing, formatting, proofreading and editing various legal documents. Duties and Responsibilities: Under general supervision, the Secretary of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) performs general secretarial duties, including typewriter. The Legal Assistant will be responsible for working with a lawyer and a paralegal/manager to carry out the day-to-day operations of the law firm including. A major difference in the role of paralegals and legal secretaries is that paralegals/paralegals do substantive legal work. Substantive legal work requires a thorough legal understanding and knowledge of procedural law. This is work that lawyers should do themselves in the absence of their paralegals. According to the NFPA, material legal work requires: acknowledgement, evaluation, organization, analysis and communication of relevant legal facts and concepts. Legal secretaries are employed in a variety of environments, including law firms and legal departments of private companies, insurance companies, and real estate companies, and can perform a range of daily tasks, including: A legal secretary is an administrative assistant trained exclusively in the field of law. Through a comprehensive and specialized training program, legal secretaries are able to handle all administrative tasks in a law firm or legal department. However, many legal secretaries become paralegals after earning an associate`s degree in paralegal studies and professional certification.
Since secretaries are sometimes referred to as administrative assistants, some people make the mistake of thinking that legal assistants are legal secretaries. In fact, “paralegal” is another term for “paralegal” according to the American Bar Association, national professional associations, and even the laws of some states. In small law firms, it is also not uncommon for legal secretaries to answer the phone and greet clients. In addition, legal secretaries must exercise excellent judgment and make important decisions on a day-to-day basis in the course of their duties. Like lawyers and other lawyers, legal secretaries often specialize in certain areas of law such as family law, contract law or wills and estates. If a legal secretary specializes in procedural law and works for a litigator, it is also common to accompany the lawyer to court to take notes for the trial. A legal secretary plays a crucial role in the daily life of a law firm. Legal secretaries should have in-depth knowledge of court procedures and documentation. It is not uncommon for the most experienced and competent legal secretaries to be promoted to paralegals in a law firm. Legal secretaries are trusted members of a law firm because they have to ensure the accuracy of their work. comply with strict confidentiality requirements; Organize, classify and categorize mountains of paperwork related to complex cases; and navigate often complex legal and billing software. Most legal secretaries work in law firms.
However, they can also be found in government agencies, corporate legal departments, and public interest entities. Legal secretaries can expect a fast-paced and stressful work environment with fixed deadlines. It is common for legal secretaries to work late to ensure that all documents are prepared and ready to be processed for an important matter. Regardless of the official definition, some people use the term “legal assistant” to describe their legal secretaries. Therefore, it is important for paralegal candidates to clarify the duties and expectations of a position before accepting it. Legal secretaries are also responsible for a lot of drafting. They often prepare initial drafts of correspondence or memoranda and often proofread legal documents, including briefs and briefs. They also take care of project management, keeping paper and electronic records in order, tracking appointments, making appointments and keeping a detailed calendar. In its guidelines for the use of paralegal services, the American Bar Association (ABA) notes that the words “paralegal” and “legal assistant” are often used interchangeably.
The ABA provides the following definition: Such work requires education and training. In some states, education and training standards are formalized with certification requirements that must be met before a person is considered qualified to perform substantive legal work as a paralegal or paralegal. Paralegals can promote their advancement by specializing in their field, obtaining national certification and earning advanced degrees. Although the terms legal secretary and paralegal are often interchanged, these two terms describe distinct professions. A legal secretary performs more of an office, typing, transcription, and archiving function, while a paralegal generally takes on more legal responsibilities, often drafting legal drafts and creating legal correspondence on behalf of the lawyer. As a Legal Secretary, you will provide the legal secretariat to the Deputy Public Defender`s Office and inform the courts, staff, lawyers and. Legal secretaries also need to interact regularly with all kinds of people. The type of communication associated with day-to-day work includes face-to-face, phone, and email communications, and even video conferencing with clients, lawyers, paralegals, opposing lawyers, municipal officials, etc.