California Occupational Guides

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Summary Guide for

Legal Secretaries in California

May also be called: Law Secretaries; Legal Administrative Assistants; Paralegal Secretaries; and Secretaries.

What Would I Do?

Legal Secretaries perform specialized clerical and administrative tasks to help lawyers and staff carry out their work and ensure efficient operation of the law office. Their work involves knowledge and use of legal words and phrases, forms, legal procedures, computers, and case management.

Legal Secretaries usually work a standard 40-hour workweek in an office environment with modern equipment. Legal Secretaries sit for long periods of time keyboarding and researching legal documents. They may have to work some overtime to meet deadlines.

Will This Job Fit Me?

The job of Legal Secretary will appeal to those who enjoy working in a supportive role that deals with legal procedures. It is also helpful to enjoy working with set procedures and routines and working with data and detail. Legal Secretaries need to be flexible, discreet, and dependable.

What Wages and Benefits Can I Expect?

The median wage in 2016 for Legal Secretaries in California is $51,700 annually, or $24.86 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.

Change to Hourly Wages
Annual Wages for 2016Low
(25th percentile)
Median
(50th percentile)
High
(75th percentile)
California$39,225$51,700$68,912
Source: EDD/LMID Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 2016 Wages do not reflect self-employment.
View Wages for All Areas

Most employers provide health, dental, and life insurance; paid holidays; sick leave; and retirement and vacation benefits. Annual bonuses are frequently paid to Legal Secretaries working for private law firms.

What is the Job Outlook?

The rising demand for legal services will continue to create the need for Legal Secretaries. Offsetting that growth is the influence of technology, which allows Legal Secretaries to be more productive and other office staff to perform more of their own clerical work.

How Do I Qualify?

Prospective Legal Secretaries should have a high school diploma or equivalent with a concentration in business and computer classes. Some employers will train workers with good office skills to become Legal Secretaries. However, most employers prefer workers with several years of law office experience or post-secondary education. Community colleges, business schools, adult education centers, and professional associations offer training.

Finding a Job

Direct application to employers remains one of the most effective job search methods. Legal Secretaries can also register with their school placement center for job leads. Professional associations and personnel departments of government agencies advertise job opportunities on the Internet as well. Job leads can also be found in law journals. Those interested in working on a temporary basis may seek assignments through a temporary agency specializing in legal positions. Online job opening systems include JobCentral at www.jobcentral.com and CalJOBSSM at www.caljobs.ca.gov.

To find your nearest One-Stop Career Center, go to Service Locator. View the helpful job search tips for more resources. (requires Adobe Reader).


Learn More About Legal Secretaries