5 answers

What do you need to be a office secretary for a lawyer office

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I like to organize paper files i'm very looking detailed person who likes to keep everything on order and well checked. #business #officeadministration

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5 answers

Anne’s Answer

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Hi Mildred -

I worked in a corporate (or in-house) Legal Department for about 17 years, and I would say the top three skillsets you should have to be successful are : working with a sense of urgency (just about everything in a legal department has a due date attached to it); having a keen eye for detail, and yes - learn Microsoft Office Suite, plus any other type of litigation-based applications that are commonly used in law offices or corporate legal departments. Strong organizational skills are a must, and you should familiarize yourself with some of the terminology that you will hear (contractual language, what are pleadings and responses, answer dates, what is a deposition, etc).

Try to find a summer internship with a lawfirm; it would at least give you a peek at how business is conducted and perhaps clarify your educational requirements.

Best of luck to you!
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Hannah’s Answer

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Hi Mildred,

To elaborate on Chiara's answer, if you are interested in working in a secretarial/assisting capacity in a law office, you can always start with some productivity certifications - one example is a Microsoft Office Specialist, which can get you comfortable working with MS Office tools frequently used in general office work. If you aren't set on working in a law office, education in an area like business administration might interest you!

If you are interested in becoming a paralegal or legal assistant, there are associate degrees for paralegal studies and those typically take 2 years to complete. If you are interested in law, have an attention to detail, enjoy doing research, and like working with people and contributing to a team, paralegal might be the career path for you! I recommend doing some reading about paralegals through the Bureau of Labor Statistics: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/legal/paralegals-and-legal-assistants.htm#tab-2.

Hannah recommends the following next steps:

  • Interested in paralegal studies or business administration? Contact a community college in your area to learn more about their programs!
  • Do you have an acquaintance who works in a law office? Maybe you could have a conversation with them about their work!
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chiara’s Answer

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Mildred, what a great idea! Are you looking to be a secretary or more specifically a paralegal?

To be a secretary, you need to be a practical, efficient, detail oriented person and professional, if I were you I would start looking in your local area, for law firms and see if they are positions open.

If you were to want to become a paralegal, then there are diverse courses out there, online or in person , that you can take so as to become a valued member of a legal team, often assisting lawyers with trias and case preparations.

Either way, it is an exciting field to work in!
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Linda’s Answer

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Mildred - I agree with the other answers that you have gotten and will add the being organized and efficient is a very important skill. Most importantly you need a good foundation in computer applications like Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and Outlook for emails and scheduling. I would recommend going to school to become a Paralegal and taking the certification exam. The will allow you the take continuing education credits and to network with other Paralegals in both the law office and corporate settings. I personally prefer the corporate world because they offer more in the way of benefits such as healthcare and paid time off - Linda
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Sheila’s Answer

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Hello Mildred,

To get started, I would take classes or get certified in microsoft suites. This will give you adequate soft organizational skills, which you will need. I would look for at a small office administrative job to get some experience as well. It will be slower paced and allow you to learn.

Thanks
Sheila
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