An overview of the responsibility of a legal secretary

Their duties focused around assisting executives and handling the office day to day work. Secretaries often organize the scheduling, meetings, appointments, travel arrangement of offices.

An overview of the responsibility of a legal secretary

Official definitions[ edit ] Various professional organizations offer official definitions of a paralegal. These definitions typically have slight differences.

This person may be retained or employed by a lawyer, law office, governmental agency or other entity or may be authorized by administrative, statutory or court authority to perform this work.

Substantive shall mean work requiring recognition, evaluation, organization, analysis, and communication of relevant facts and legal concepts. Through formal education, training and experience, legal assistants have knowledge and expertise regarding the legal system and substantive and procedural law which qualify them to do work of a legal nature under the supervision of an attorney.

Paralegals have knowledge of the law gained through education, or education and work experience, which qualifies them to perform legal work.

An overview of the responsibility of a legal secretary

Paralegals adhere to recognized ethical standards and rules of professional responsibility. Legal secretaries are also typically responsible for keeping case files organized and indexed, often taking on the duties of a file clerk.

Although legal secretaries may be trained to prepare some basic legal papers and letters, they generally have little or no knowledge of particular legal doctrines, statutes or regulations, and typically have no training or experience in conducting legal research or drafting legal documents, pleadings, motions, briefs or other court papers.

On the other hand, a typical paralegal in the United States can perform all of these tasks under an attorney or law office. Paralegals bill for their time at a higher rate than legal secretaries. Education, training, and certification[ edit ] Most paralegals have completed a formal paralegal education program.

However, some paralegals have only on-the-job paralegal training. Formal paralegal education programs may result in a certificate, diploma, higher diploma, advanced diploma, associate degree, bachelor's degree, master's degreeor paralegal certificate.

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Many paralegals take Continuing Legal Education CLE courses to fulfill the requirements of their firm, state, or association. Economics[ edit ] The paralegal phenomenon is a legal-economics argument in all jurisdictions — they exist precisely because they are not lawyers and thus can do the work much more cheaply.

Each jurisdiction tends to have its own "reserved activities list". According to United States law,[ citation needed ] there are five specific acts which only a licensed attorney can perform: Establish the attorney—client relationship Sign legal papers and pleadings on behalf of a party Appear in court on behalf of another i.

The key is that attorneys are entirely responsible for the actions of their paralegals, and, by signing and filing court documents drafted by paralegals or law clerksattorneys make those documents their own.

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Trends in usage of paralegals[ edit ] In the United States, the need for accredited qualifications and bar licensure limits the number of licensed attorneys. At the same time, there are many legal tasks for which a bar license is unnecessary but some amount of legal training is helpful.

In order to lower costs, businesses may choose to employ paralegals to undertake such tasks instead of a more expensive lawyer.

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Paralegal time is typically billed at only a fraction of what a lawyer charges, and thus to the paralegal has fallen those substantive and procedural tasks which are too complex for legal secretaries whose time is not billed but for which lawyers can no longer bill. This in turn makes lawyers more efficient by allowing them to concentrate solely on the substantive legal issues of the case, while paralegals have become the "case managers.

It has been found through a survey that currently 50, students are enrolled in paralegal education courses.Legal Secretary: Career Summary, Employment Outlook, and Educational Requirements Research what it takes to become a legal secretary.

Learn about education requirements, job duties, average wages and job outlook to find out if this is the career for you. Senior Executive Vice President General Counsel and Corporate Secretary.

An overview of the responsibility of a legal secretary

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Legal Secretary Job Duties: Welcomes guests and clients by greeting them in person or on the telephone; answering or directing inquiries. Produces information by transcribing, formatting, inputting, editing, retrieving, copying, and transmitting text, data, and graphics; coordinating case preparation.

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