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Become An Executive Legal Secretary

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Working As An Executive Legal Secretary

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Performing Administrative Activities
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $53,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Executive Legal Secretary Do

Secretaries and administrative assistants perform routine clerical and administrative duties. They organize files, prepare documents, schedule appointments, and support other staff.

Duties

Secretaries and administrative assistants typically do the following:

  • Answer telephones and take messages or transfer calls
  • Schedule appointments and update event calendars
  • Arrange staff meetings
  • Handle incoming and outgoing mail and faxes
  • Prepare memos, invoices, or other reports
  • Edit documents
  • Maintain databases and filing systems, whether electronic or paper
  • Perform basic bookkeeping

Secretaries and administrative assistants perform a variety of clerical and administrative duties that are necessary to run an organization efficiently. They use computer software to create spreadsheets; manage databases; and prepare presentations, reports, and documents. They also may negotiate with vendors, buy supplies, and manage stockrooms or corporate libraries. Secretaries and administrative assistants also use videoconferencing, fax, and other office equipment. Specific job duties vary by experience, job title, and specialty.

Executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants provide high-level administrative support for an office and for top executives of an organization. They often handle more complex responsibilities, such as reviewing incoming documents, conducting research, and preparing reports. Some also supervise clerical staff.

Legal secretaries perform work requiring knowledge of legal terminology and procedures. They prepare legal documents, such as summonses, complaints, motions, and subpoenas under the supervision of an attorney or a paralegal. They also review legal journals and help with legal research—for example, by verifying quotes and citations in legal briefs.

Medical secretaries transcribe dictation and prepare reports or articles for physicians or medical scientists. They also take simple medical histories of patients, arrange for patients to be hospitalized, or process insurance payments. Medical secretaries need to be familiar with medical terminology and codes, medical records, and hospital or laboratory procedures.

Secretaries and administrative assistants, except legal, medical, and executive is the largest subcategory of secretaries and administrative assistants. They handle an office’s administrative activities in almost every sector of the economy, including schools, government, and private corporations. For example, secretaries in schools are often responsible for handling most of the communications among parents, students, the community, teachers, and school administrators. They schedule appointments, receive visitors, and keep track of students’ records.

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How To Become An Executive Legal Secretary

High school graduates who have experience using computer software applications, such as word processing and spreadsheets, usually qualify for entry-level positions. Although most secretaries learn their job in several weeks, many legal and medical secretaries require additional training to learn industry-specific terminology. Executive secretaries usually need several years of related work experience.

Education

High school graduates can take courses in word processing and office procedures at technical schools or community colleges. Some temporary placement agencies also provide training in word processing, spreadsheet, and database software.

Some medical and legal secretaries learn industry-specific terminology and practices by attending courses offered at community colleges or technical schools. For executive secretary positions, employers increasingly prefer to hire those who have taken some college courses or have a bachelor’s degree.

Training

Secretaries and administrative assistants typically learn their skills through short-term on-the-job training, usually lasting a few weeks. During this time they learn about administrative procedures, including how to prepare documents. Medical and legal secretaries’ training may last several months as they learn industry-specific terminology and practices.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Executive secretaries can gain experience by working in administrative positions that have less challenging responsibilities. Many secretaries and administrative assistants advance to higher level administrative positions.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although not required, certification can demonstrate competency to employers.

The International Association of Administrative Professionals offers the Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) certification. Candidates must have a minimum of 2 to 4 years of administrative work experience, depending on their level of education, and pass an examination.

Legal secretaries have several certification options. For example, those with 1 year of general office experience, or who have completed an approved training course, can acquire the Accredited Legal Professional (ALP) certification through a testing process administered by NALS (previously known as National Association of Legal Secretaries). NALS also offers the Professional Legal Secretary (PLS) certification, considered to be an advanced certification for legal support professionals.

The Certified Legal Secretary Specialist (CLSS) certification is conferred by Legal Secretaries International in areas such as intellectual property, criminal law, civil litigation, probate, and business law. Candidates typically need to have 5 years of legal experience and pass an examination to become certified.

Advancement

Secretaries and administrative assistants generally advance to other administrative positions with more responsibilities, such as office supervisor, office manager, or executive secretary.

With additional training, many legal secretaries become paralegals or legal assistants.

Important Qualities

Integrity. Many secretaries and administrative assistants are trusted to handle sensitive information. For example, medical secretaries collect patient data that is required, by law, to be kept confidential in order to protect patient privacy.

Interpersonal skills. Secretaries and administrative assistants interact with clients, customers, or staff. They should communicate effectively and be courteous when interacting with others to create a positive work environment and client experience.

Organizational skills. Secretaries and administrative assistants keep files, folders, and schedules in proper order so an office can run efficiently.

Writing skills. Secretaries and administrative assistants write memos and emails when communicating with managers, employees, and customers. Therefore, they must have good grammar, ensure accuracy, and maintain a professional tone.

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Executive Legal Secretary Career Paths

Executive Legal Secretary
Legal Secretary Office Manager
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Legal Secretary Office Manager Owner
Co-Owner
6 Yearsyrs
Legal Secretary Office Manager Operations Manager
Branch Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Executive Secretary Senior Secretary
Office Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Executive Secretary Assistant To Executive Vice President Executive Assistant/Office Manager
Executive Assistant To Chief Executive Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Executive Secretary Assistant To Executive Vice President
Senior Administrative Assistant
7 Yearsyrs
Paralegal Executive Assistant
Senior Executive Assistant
8 Yearsyrs
Paralegal Executive Assistant Assistant Manager
Center Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Paralegal Executive Assistant Manager
Business Owner
6 Yearsyrs
Executive Legal Assistant Assistant To Executive Vice President Owner
Senior Vice President
13 Yearsyrs
Executive Legal Assistant Executive Assistant/Office Manager Owner/Operator
Managing Partner
9 Yearsyrs
Executive Legal Assistant Executive Assistant To President Human Resources Manager
Administrative Director
8 Yearsyrs
Executive Administrative Assistant Administrator
Business Office Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Executive Administrative Assistant Administrator Customer Service Manager
Administrative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Executive Administrative Assistant Consultant Senior Accountant
Accountant And Office Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Legal Secretary Senior Secretary Office Manager/Office Coordinator
Office Manager Of Human Resources
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Legal Secretary Senior Secretary
Principal Secretary
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Executive Assistant Office Manager/Administrative Assistant
Co-Owner & Office Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Senior Legal Secretary
6 Yearsyrs
Contracts Administrator Senior Administrative Assistant
Senior Administrative Coordinator
6 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Legal Secretary 5.0 years
Head Secretary 3.8 years
Legal Assistant 3.6 years
Secretary 3.0 years
Law Secretary 2.9 years
Legal Clerk 2.3 years
Legal Receptionist 2.1 years
Top Careers Before Executive Legal Secretary
Secretary 5.5%
Paralegal 3.5%
Top Careers After Executive Legal Secretary
Paralegal 5.5%
Secretary 3.8%

Do you work as an Executive Legal Secretary?

Executive Legal Secretary Demographics

Gender

Female

85.0%

Unknown

10.0%

Male

4.9%
Ethnicity

White

60.5%

Hispanic or Latino

16.5%

Black or African American

13.3%

Asian

6.7%

Unknown

3.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

50.0%

French

13.2%

Portuguese

5.3%

Arabic

5.3%

Afrikaans

2.6%

Dutch

2.6%

German

2.6%

Japanese

2.6%

Mongolian

2.6%

Hebrew

2.6%

Russian

2.6%

Polish

2.6%

Italian

2.6%

Armenian

2.6%
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Executive Legal Secretary Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

20.6%

Kaplan University

9.3%

Liberty University

5.2%

Webster University

5.2%

University of Houston

5.2%

Northern Virginia Community College

5.2%

Ashford University

5.2%

Robert Morris University

4.1%

Prince George's Community College

4.1%

Katharine Gibbs School

4.1%

George Washington University

4.1%

Miami Dade College

3.1%

California State University - Los Angeles

3.1%

Center for Advanced Legal Studies

3.1%

University of Maryland - University College

3.1%

Edmonds Community College

3.1%

City College of New York of the City University of New York

3.1%

Montclair State University

3.1%

Lee College

3.1%

Peirce College

3.1%
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Majors

Business

31.4%

Legal Support Services

23.0%

Secretarial And Administrative Science

4.7%

Criminal Justice

4.0%

Law

3.5%

Liberal Arts

3.3%

Real Estate

3.3%

Legal Studies

2.6%

English

2.6%

Health Care Administration

2.6%

Management

2.3%

Communication

2.3%

Human Resources Management

2.3%

Education

2.1%

Marketing

2.1%

Computer Science

1.9%

Psychology

1.9%

Accounting

1.6%

Medical Assisting Services

1.4%

Legal Research And Advanced Professional Studies

1.2%
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Degrees

Other

30.5%

Bachelors

26.2%

Associate

17.9%

Certificate

11.8%

Masters

7.7%

Diploma

2.3%

Doctorate

2.3%

License

1.3%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$53,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$31,000
Min 10%
$53,000
Median 50%
$53,000
Median 50%
$53,000
Median 50%
$53,000
Median 50%
$53,000
Median 50%
$53,000
Median 50%
$53,000
Median 50%
$91,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Highest Paying City
New York, NY
Highest Paying State
Maryland
Avg Experience Level
5.1 years
How much does an Executive Legal Secretary make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Executive Legal Secretary in the United States is $53,291 per year or $26 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $31,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $91,000.

Real Executive Legal Secretary Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Secretaries, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive Monarc Construction, Inc. Falls Church, VA Sep 18, 2009 $45,017
Secretaries, Except Legal, Medical & Executive Jeff Minnich Garden Design Arlington, VA Jan 27, 2010 $45,017
Secretaries, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive Sunrise Family Medical Center, Inc. Reston, VA Jul 20, 2010 $44,866
Secretaries, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive Crystal Dental Lab, Inc. Westminster, CA Oct 25, 2011 $43,451
Secretaries, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive Grace Korean United Methodist Church Fairfield, CT Oct 22, 2008 $41,782
Secretaries, Except Legal, Medical and Executive MPS Plumbing & Heating NY Jan 07, 2011 $41,142
Secretaries, Except Legal, Medical, & Executive Home Cleaners 4 You, Inc. Springfield, VA Jun 03, 2010 $40,851
Secretaries, Escept Legal, Medical & Executive Olde World Imports, Inc. T/A Aidil Wines & Liquors Newark, NJ Mar 10, 2009 $39,799
Secretaries, Except Legal, Medical and Executive Seattle Oriental Mission Church Bellevue, WA Feb 17, 2011 $39,674
Secretaries, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive 321Commercial Realty Holding LLC Palisades Park, NJ Jan 29, 2010 $38,338 -
$39,653
Secretaries, Except Legal, Medical and Executive Young's Adult Learning Center, Inc. D/B/A Computer Professional Learning Center Palisades Park, NJ Oct 04, 2007 $38,234
Secretaries, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive Taewon Jun, CPA Fort Lee, NJ Aug 22, 2008 $38,234
Secretaries, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive Maryland Central Korean Baptist Church MD Mar 22, 2011 $38,150
Secretaries, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive Star Promotion Inc. Houston, TX Oct 31, 2012 $35,838
Secretaries, Except Legal, Medical and Executive United States Catholic Conference Doylestown, PA Feb 18, 2010 $35,771
Secretaries, Except Legal, Medial, and Executive American Medical & Scientific Inst., Inc. New York, NY Feb 24, 2010 $34,018
Secretaries, Except Legal, Medical and Executive Az Chung Ang Presbyterian Church Chandler, AZ Sep 01, 2009 $33,789
Secretaries, Except Legal Medical and Executive Tracey Real Estate New York, NY Mar 08, 2010 $33,455
Secretaries, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive T. A. Consulting, Inc. Silver Spring, MD Dec 01, 2008 $33,225
Secretaries, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive Gemstar Construction Corp. New York, NY Mar 19, 2009 $33,058
Secretaries, Except Legal, Medical and Executive Lawnco, Inc. Elmont, NY Mar 06, 2008 $30,721
Secretaries, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive Carson and Barnes Circus Hugo, OK May 14, 2012 $29,162
Secretaries, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive Advanced Computing Institute, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Jul 01, 2010 $29,000
Secretaries, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive Progressive Auto Center, Inc. Marco Island, FL Mar 11, 2009 $27,131
Secretaries, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive Freedman & Haas, P.A. West Palm Beach, FL Feb 12, 2008 $25,461
Secretaries, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive Sonya Pease Riviera Beach, FL Nov 21, 2008 $25,461
Secretaries, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive EGON Paul Muench North Palm Beach, FL Nov 30, 2009 $25,461

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Top Skills for An Executive Legal Secretary

  1. Legal Documents
  2. Real Estate
  3. Counsel
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Drafted legal documents and correspondence with outside counsel and internal executive team.
  • Assisted with preparation of legal documents involving bond finance and real estate matters and correspondence regarding same
  • Performed administrative/secretarial duties for the Managing Counsel of the Litigation Section, Manager of Litigation Support, and Senior Counsel.
  • Prepared conflict check reports for new clients and/or new matters for existing clients.
  • Provide assistance with booking extensive domestic and international travel and submission of complex expense reports.

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Top 10 Best States for Executive Legal Secretaries

  1. District of Columbia
  2. New York
  3. Rhode Island
  4. Connecticut
  5. Minnesota
  6. Massachusetts
  7. New Jersey
  8. California
  9. Pennsylvania
  10. Delaware
  • (44 jobs)
  • (179 jobs)
  • (17 jobs)
  • (32 jobs)
  • (76 jobs)
  • (53 jobs)
  • (114 jobs)
  • (297 jobs)
  • (99 jobs)
  • (5 jobs)

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