The key to a successful business is the employees. When recruiting, it should be your goal to only hire the most talented, capable, and hardworking individuals. This can be a difficult task, however. Writing a strong job description is trickier than it seems. Before you begin writing, think about what your goals are. You are trying to attract the right candidates, but what exact qualities are you looking for? How can your posting attract these employees specifically? It is especially important to have a strong job description when hiring a legal secretary because they will affect the attorney’s efficiency. You must make the qualifications as clear as possible or you run the risk of having to sort through numerous unqualified resumes. The following legal secretary job description sample will help you get started on writing your own.
Legal Secretary Job Summary
McKinney and O’Neal Law Firm is seeking a qualified legal secretary. Will be responsible for greeting clients, as well as organizing schedules, researching legal documents, and other administrative work. Organizational and communication skills are required.
Legal Secretary Job Responsibilities and Duties
- Answer and direct inquiries, welcome guests and clients, answer telephone calls and emails.
- Transcribe, edit, and format information involving case preparation.
- Research, verify, and review legal documents and apply information.
- Maintain attorney calendar and organize appointments.
- Account for and record attorney billable time.
- Communicate and obtain information while representing attorney.
- Maintain client confidentiality.
- Track, order, and receive office supplies.
- Update legal knowledge to remain up-to-date with evolving field.
Legal Secretary Skills and Qualifications
- Introductory degree in law a plus
- Two to four years experience in legal environment required
- Excellent organizational, communication, and record-keeping skills
- Strong computer skills
- Working knowledge of court system and fundamental understanding of law
McKinney and O’Neal Law Firm has been in operation for nearly a decade. We have established a relationship with our clients and the surrounding community. Over our history, we have helped countless legal secretaries advance their career in law.
Writing a Job Description: Do’s and Don’ts
- After you have finished writing your legal secretary job description, take the time to proofread it and make sure it meets all of the goals you set out beforehand. This legal secretary job description sample should help you get started, but yours will be unique to your business. The following do’s and don’ts provide some universal rules that should help you improve your posting and get it ready to be published.
- Don’t forget to include a call to action at the end of your resume. This section should encourage readers to submit their applications. You should also include some information about the application guidelines, especially if they are not immediately clear.
- Do spend time learning about the position requirements. It is good practice to consult someone currently working as a legal secretary or who used to fill the position to learn more about the daily responsibilities and how much time is dedicated to each task.
- Do include as much information as possible. Your job description should not be too long, but it should be dense to include a lot of information. Total, it should only take a few minutes to read your posting.
- Don’t write in a passive voice. To help the reader envision themselves in the position, include vivid descriptions of what they will be doing. Each bullet point in the responsibilities section should begin with a strong action verb.
- Do include a company profile that sells the company. You want readers to be excited to potentially work with your business specifically. Including information about how you help the careers of your employees is especially effective.
- Don’t break company policy regarding posting salary. Some job descriptions include information about the salary and some do not. Neither option is inherently better, so simply follow your company’s policy.
- Don’t be vague about any information included in the job description. It is acceptable to save some information for the interview, but if that is the case, you should not imply or reference it. Everything that is included in the posting should be perfectly clear and easy to understand quickly.
Remember that hiring is an investment. It will take time and money, so put in the work to ensure your get the biggest return on your investment that you can.
Legal Secretary Job Responsibilities
The job responsibilities section of your legal secretary job description should be the most substantial and straightforward portion of the entire posting. The best way to accomplish this clarity is through the use of bullet points. Use bullet points that begin with a present-tense verb to give a sense of action to the day and help jobseekers envision themselves in the role. Make sure to include key deliverables, business-critical projects and other exciting aspects of the job.
Though this may seem like the most intuitive part to write, do not underestimate the importance of this section of your legal secretary job description. According to a recent survey by CareerBuilder.com, 85% of jobseekers list clearly described job duties as the number one factor in whether they apply for a position. Just as the work experience section of a candidate’s resume is essential to understanding whether an applicant will be a good fit for a position, the job responsibilities you list, and how you choose to articulate them, is crucial to a jobseeker’s understanding of the available position.
Below are a few examples of possible legal secretary job responsibilities to include:
- Assist multiple attorneys on a daily basis
- Maintain attorneys’ calendars, including court deadlines
- Research requests for information
- Assemble documents and sundry materials for court appearances, meetings and hearings
Legal Secretary Job Specifications
The required job qualifications and skills section of your legal secretary job description is another portion where bullet-point lists work best. In this section, create two lists. The first should incorporate all of the required skills and experience for the position, such as minimum education level, certifications or software experience. The second list should have preferred, but not necessary, qualifications. These might include foreign language fluency, previous experience or advanced education.
Ensuring that the required skills are distinct from ones that are merely preferred is the first step you can take in weeding out both underqualified and overqualified candidates for this position. For example, if it is unclear that you require a master’s degree to consider a candidate for this position, you risk having your inbox clogged with applications from applicants with only a bachelor’s degree. One of the best ways to establish which skills are required versus preferred is to collaborate with a hiring manager or job description review team on your legal secretary job description.
A few examples of legal secretary job specifications you could consider are as follows:
- Experienced in all aspects of Microsoft Office, with special emphasis on Excel
- Must be willing to perform all secretarial duties for 3 or more attorneys
- Notary Public preferred
- 2+ years’ experience as legal assistant a plus