What they do
Legal secretaries perform a range of administrative and clerical duties in law firms. In addition to general office duties, such as filing and answering phones, they also type up legal documents and contracts, prepare court forms and statements, perform research into legal matters and attend court hearings. In some cases they may have to take notes using short hand and transcribe dictation.
Legal secretaries work in law firms in towns and cities all over Western Australia. They may also work in Government departments or for judges in courts. They generally work regular office hours, though overtime may be required, particularly when working to tight deadlines. Legal secretaries have a high level of contact with other people, such as legal professionals in the firm, court officers and members of the public, including clients.
Tools and technologies
Legal secretaries use a variety of office equipment including computers, fax machines, photocopiers, scanners and telephone systems. They may also conduct research using law libraries.
How do I become one?
Education and training
To become a legal secretary you usually need to complete a formal qualification in business administration (legal) or legal services.
The Certificate III in Business Administration (Legal) and Certificate IV in Legal Services, are offered at the North Metropolitan TAFE College in Perth.
You can also undertake a traineeship in legal administration (Level 3) or legal assistant (Level 4). The legal administration or legal assistant traineeships usually take 12 to 24 months to complete.
Apprenticeships and traineeships
As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.
You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.