Legal secretaries do similar job duties to those in other administrative roles. For example, a sample job description for a legal secretary would include scheduling appointments, typing legal documents, managing client records, billing/financial reporting, and supporting customer activities.
A few additional job duties could include:
- Scheduling Client Meetings
- Conducting Client Intakes
- Scheduling Meetings & Conferences
- Collecting Outstanding Client Payments
- Creating Presentations for the Attorney
- Arranging Travel Plans & Itineraries
- Proofreading Legal Documents
Lawyers can specialize in different legal areas, including:
- Real Estate
This means, the specialization of the lawyer has an impact on the focus and outcomes of the legal secretary’s job role.
For example, a legal secretary that supports a corporate lawyer may get involved with contract negotiations, investigations, and legal research associated with corporate mergers, intellectual property (IP) law, fraud, regulatory affairs, and so on.
A legal secretary for a lawyer who specializes in family law supports cases associated with child support, guardianship, protection orders, the custody of minors, adoption, and divorce.
Other Job Titles / Similar Jobs To Apply For
You’ll find that “secretary,” although still being used, is being replaced with “assistant,” Despite the change, there are a few different job titles you should search for to find jobs with the same responsibilities. For example:
- Legal Assistant (e.g., Family Law Legal Assistant)
- Legal Receptionist (or Legal Administrative Assistant)
- Legal Researcher (or Law Clerk or Paralegal/Paralegal Specialist)
The pay scale for legal assistants/secretaries varies greatly based on size and location of the lawyer/law firm.
For example, a legal assistant working out of Columbus, OH, can expect an estimated salary of $35,000 to $65,000 annually, while an assistant in Los Angeles, CA, can expect something slightly higher: $40,000 to $75,000.
Relevant Transferable Skills To Consider
Legal specializations offer support professionals the ability to “tie in” a wealth of relevant industry experience too.
For example, someone with an early childhood education degree would have relevant skills to a Family Law Attorney.
A new grad who interned with a local law firm handling immigration cases would have transferable skills pertinent to an Immigration Attorney.
One of the best cover letter writing tips I can give you is:
When writing a cover letter (and your resume too), identify and write about the most relevant skills you possess that relate to the job title and legal professional.
Remember, it’s about connecting you to the job you’re applying for.
It’s important when writing your legal secretary cover letter to include details of your background relevant to each legal firm.
[Related Resource: Sample Cover Letter Content That Explains an Employment Gap]
Format of a Cover Letter
A cover letter for a job posting is very much like a business letter.
Your letter should have four key sections:
- First Paragraph
- Second Paragraph
- Third Paragraph
- Closing Paragraph
Of course, this isn’t set in stone. Your cover letter could have 5 paragraphs, or you could swap out one of the paragraphs and use bullet points instead. The goal is to write your cover letter so it looks somewhat like a professional letter and not too haphazard.
What Modern Cover Letters Contain
First, a short cover letter (5-10 sentences) was once advisable.
However, cover letter writing has transformed over the years. A one-page cover letter is still the norm, yet the cover letter has shifted focus.
For example, cover letters are now written more conversational and less formal. This means that when you’re writing your letter, speak (aka write) as if the recipient is right in front of you.
“Speak” more informally.
Focus on your employment history and skills and qualifications that they want to know about you.
Second, add modern elements to your cover letter, starting with the inclusion of your LinkedIn profile URL. Depending upon your job focus, you may also include your Instagram and Twitter handles as well.
Third, create a stripped-down version of your cover letter to use in an email. The truth is, cover letters are needed less by today’s job seekers.
It’s doubtful that cover letters will ever make a full comeback because other communication methods are taking its place.
Emailing has transformed the cover letter into what writers call the email cover letter.
My tips for writing this type of cover letter are simple.
Take your cover letter and strip it down to its bare essentials. Use bullet points when emailing to help readers recognize fast that you’re an ideal candidate. Ditch my above advice on cover letter formatting when writing an emailed cover letter. The average cover letter is less than 250 words, while the average emailed cover letter has 50% fewer words.
Fourth, write a cover letter hook when possible. I talk more about cover letter hooks in this post and give a few examples to help you write one.
Legal Secretary Cover Letter Sample
33 Woolery Lane, Dayton, OH 45415
(937) 542-3987 | [email protected]
Copyright 2020 Resume to Referral, Professional, Executive Resume Service
April 25, 2020
City, State Zip
RE: LEGAL ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT/SECRETARY
I noticed your job opening for a Legal Administration Assistant advertised on Indeed.com yesterday. Over the past 3 years, I worked in several large law firms as a legal assistant and receptionist.
With the Brannon Legal Team, located here in Dayton, I support the legal team handling family law issues. For example, I assist the attorneys with cases that involve child custody, divorce, spousal/child support, and visitation scheduling. I also oversee client services, multiple attorney calendars, CRM management, and assist the 13 members of the legal office.
Prior to Brannon, I worked for a short time at Cordell & Maxwell Law in Cincinnati. This job exposed me to real estate law, so I assisted the two law partners with the review, preparation, and submission of key property transfer documents.
Documents included purchase agreements and results from title searches and environmental studies. The bulk of the firm’s clients were major RE investment firms and large banks dealing with foreclosures and sales transfers.
I’m nearly finished my Paralegal degree. I noticed on Indeed that you’re seeking to fill two paralegal jobs as well, so possibly there’s room for me to advance once I finish my degree.
You may also reach me by phone: (937) 542-3987. Thank you for your time and consideration.