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Legal specialists perform administrative tasks in a law office or legal department of an organization. They may work for department heads, legal directors or other managers. Also referred to as legal secretaries, they perform vital services and administrative duties that help attorneys in their jobs.
Legal specialists perform a variety of office tasks, including scheduling appointments, answering the telephone and handling day-to-day correspondence. In addition to these tasks, however, they may compile legal briefs, prepare contracts or help expedite information for legal cases. As an example, they may fill out accident reports or trial and courtroom requests. They also may perform legal research and collect information pertaining to cases.
Most legal specialists work full time in an office setting. Their hours may extend into overtime when deadlines loom for filing motions or researching casework for trial. Individuals who wish to work in this type of office environment should possess strong organizational skills and have a working knowledge of administrative procedures, such as filing.
The minimum educational requirement for those seeking a job as a legal specialist is typically a high school diploma. Candidates must have strong computer and office skills. Those working in the legal field also generally require several months of training to learn industry-specific terminology.
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The median salary for a legal secretary was $42,390 a year, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics from May 2013. The job outlook for legal secretaries is expected to decline about 3 percent from 2012 to 2022. Because this decline will increase competition in the field, those interested in a legal specialist position should seek work experience in the legal field and acquire strong computer skills.
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