How To Hire A Legal Secretary

Complete with job descriptions, skill profiles, and interview templates. Use this Legal Secretary hiring guide to help you make the right decisions, fast.

Legal SecretaryRecruitment Guide

What does a Legal Secretary do?

A Legal Secretary provides administrative support to lawyers in a law firm. Most of the tasks include typing documents, organizing calendars, sorting and preparing court documents. A Legal Secretary helps the attorney to work more efficiently.

Day to day tasks of a Legal Secretary

Skills assessment

Legal Secretary definition

A Legal Secretary’s primary responsibility is to provide administrative and clerical support to a lawyer in a law firm. Because of this, it is important that a Legal Secretary is diligent and organized.

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HIRING PROCESS

Legal Secretary Hiring Process

Step 1: Understand the role
Step 2: Source Applicants
Step 3: Skills Assessment
Step 4: Interview
Step 5: Hire

Build the Ideal Candidate Profile​

To find the best person for the role, you need to understand what the role involves. You can complete this with the hiring manager to define the role, its contribution, and the skills needed.

Write A Job Description Based On Skills

Once you understand the requirements for the role, you’ll need to understand the skills for success. You can then write an effective job description to promote your role.

Selecting The Ideal Candidate

See which applicants have the right skills for the role. Send all your applicants a Vervoe skills assessment from the expert library, or customize one for your organization.

Interview Top Performers

Your skills assessment results will identify top performers. Focus your time on interviewing those that have met or exceeded your requirements. Assessment results will also help guide which skill areas to focus on in the interview.

Making An Offer

Once you assess your candidates against these skills, you’re ready to offer the top performer(s). You should base your offer on the value that the candidate would bring to your team and your business as a whole. It is also important to ensure your compensation and benefits packages are competitive in the industry and help you attract and retain the top talent.
Build the ideal candidate profile

Skills needed for a Legal Secretary

A Legal Secretary must be an excellent communicator–verbally and written. They will be dealing with a lot of legal documents and will be working closely with the lawyers and clients. It would be beneficial to have knowledge of legal terminologies and procedures as this will help efficiencies and understanding of supporting lawyers.

Pro Tip

For entry-level roles, you may receive more applications compared to senior roles. Make sure to emphasize the skills and qualifications required for the position, and provide an insight of what it’s like working for your company so applicants will know if they are a good fit.

WRITE A JOB DESCRIPTION BASED ON SKILLS

How to write a Legal Secretary job description

Once you’ve determined the skills required for the role, you can write the job description to advertise for your position. Here’s what to include in your Legal Secretary job description:

Job Title: What position are you hiring for?

Summary: What makes your company unique? What would it be like to work for you?

Responsibilities: An overview of the role’s day-to-day activities, and how the position contributes to the organization

Requirements: Skills a candidate must have to perform the job successfully

Benefits: Details of compensation, benefits, and any perks on offer

Pro Tip

In building your candidate profile, remember you’ve already identified what skills are needed to succeed in the role. Here’s where to list your “must-have” skills and maybe a couple of “nice-to-have” skills. For example, a Legal Secretary must be knowledgeable in legal processes and terminologies, but it would be nice to have Calendly experience.

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SELECTING THE IDEAL CANDIDATE

Sample skill tests for a Legal Secretary

Create a free account today to access the full assessment and more from our library

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Question 1

Productivity

Question Type: Text

Describe a situation when you “went above and beyond the call of duty” for your company.
What did you do, and why were you willing to do it?

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Question 2

Information Management

Question Type: Text

You’ve been asked to attend a meeting with a client of a new case. When you arrive at the meeting, the client is the partner of your best friend. You know your friend has no idea of this situation, but you think they deserve to know. 

How do you handle this situation?

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Question 3

Reliability

Question Type: Text

It’s 3pm and you are about to head into a meeting. You have overcommitted yourself and won’t have a task completed for one of the lawyers that you said you would

What do you do?

INTERVIEW TOP PERFORMERS

How to interview a Legal Secretary

Once your Vervoe skills assessment has surfaced the most qualified people for your open role, you can focus on interviewing these candidates. The interview should focus on any skills that require development that were highlighted from the skills assessment.

Now you know that candidates can do the job, the interview becomes more of a relationship building exercise where you can get to know the candidate on a more personal level, understand their motivations, and how they would fit in with the team.

Making An Offer

How much does it cost to hire a Legal Secretary?

The US average for a Legal Secretary according to Salary.com is $51,324, while Payscale.com reports it at $57,467. The lowest recorded salary is at $35,000, and the highest is at $84,000. Some companies offer additional pay through performance bonuses and commissions.

Legal Secretary Salary United States

Legal Secretaries’ salaries in the United States range from $35,000 – $84,000. The average falls between $51,000 – $57,000. Salaries vary depending on the educational background, additional skills, years of experience in the field, and the location.

Legal Secretary Salary United Kingdom

Legal Secretaries’ salaries in the United Kingdom range from £21,000 – £52,000 (GBP). The average falls between £23,000 – £37,000 (GBP). Salaries vary depending on the educational background, additional skills, years of experience in the field, and the location.

Legal Secretary Salary Australia

Legal Secretaries’ salaries in Australia range from $44,000 – $84,000 (AUD). The average falls between $57,000 – $75,000 (AUD). Salaries vary depending on the educational background, additional skills, years of experience in the field, and the location.