How Do I Become a Legal Administrative Assistant?

Autumn Rivers
Autumn Rivers
A prospective legal administrative assistant might need an understanding of some legal terms.
A prospective legal administrative assistant might need an understanding of some legal terms.

Efforts to become a legal administrative assistant, or legal secretary, may involve familiarizing yourself with the job's duties and educational requirements. An appropriate degree or certification is the primary next step, because more specialized knowledge of the field will be required of legal secretaries than of secretaries in many other fields. Starting out as an intern or as a temporary worker can help to get your foot in the door of a law firm that may eventually be willing to offer you a longer-term job.

An aspiring legal administrative assistant must be comfortable communicating with different types of people.
An aspiring legal administrative assistant must be comfortable communicating with different types of people.

You can start preparing for a career as a legal administrative assistant by making sure you have the necessary skills. For example, you likely will be answering phones, greeting clients and conversing with legal staff, so you should make sure you are comfortable communicating with people. You also are likely to work on a computer for much of the day, entering and organizing data, so it is best to be adept at both computers and organization. Additional skills that may be necessary to become a legal administrative assistant include writing and basic math, because you may be in charge of writing letters and emails while also billing clients.

You don't necessarily need a college degree to become a legal administrative assistant, but you usually need at least a high school diploma and an ability to prove you have the necessary skills. If you want a better chance of quickly becoming a legal administrative assistant, then you are advised to get some form of higher education in this field. For example, many community colleges and vocational schools offer legal administrative assistant training that typically takes a year or two to complete. You also can obtain an associate's or bachelor's degree, ideally but not necessarily in a related field, because simply completing a college degree program often puts you ahead of other applicants for this job. If you choose to focus on a degree specific to the legal field, then you can expect to learn the basics of the law and legal terms that may be used in the office.

Once you have either the training or innate ability to complete the legal administrative assistant duties, you can consider getting certified in this field to make yourself more competitive. In most cases, this requires you to take a test after you have either worked in this field or gotten training. You should note that some employers require legal administrative assistants to be certified, while others simply see it as a positive trait when looking at your resume. Whether you obtain certification or don't, one of the easiest ways to become a legal administrative assistant is to take part in an internship during school, though applying to a temp agency often serves as another way to get your foot in the door in this field.

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    • A prospective legal administrative assistant might need an understanding of some legal terms.
      A prospective legal administrative assistant might need an understanding of some legal terms.
    • An aspiring legal administrative assistant must be comfortable communicating with different types of people.
      An aspiring legal administrative assistant must be comfortable communicating with different types of people.