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Career and Education Opportunities for Legal Secretaries in San Francisco, California

For those living in the San Francisco, California area, there are many career and education opportunities for legal secretaries. Currently, 35,900 people work as legal secretaries in California. This is expected to grow 14% to 41,000 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for legal secretaries, which sees this job pool growing by about 18.4% over the next eight years. In general, legal secretaries perform secretarial duties utilizing legal terminology, procedures, and documents.

The income of a legal secretary is about $23 hourly or $48,640 per year on average in California. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $19 per hour or $39,860 per year on average. Earnings for legal secretaries are better than earnings in the general category of Secretarial in California and better than general Secretarial category earnings nationally.

There are eighty-six schools of higher education in the San Francisco area, including four within twenty-five miles of San Francisco where you can get a degree to start your career as a legal secretary. Given that the most common education level for legal secretaries is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, you can expect to spend about two years studying to be a legal secretary if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Legal Secretary

Legal Secretary video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, legal secretaries perform secretarial duties utilizing legal terminology, procedures, and documents. They also prepare legal papers and correspondence, such as summonses, complaints, and subpoenas.

Legal secretaries receive and place telephone calls. They also mail or manage delivery of legal correspondence to clients and court officials. Equally important, legal secretaries have to ready and process legal documents and papers, such as summonses and pretrial agreements. They are often called upon to make photocopies of correspondence and other printed matter. They are expected to schedule and make appointments. Finally, legal secretaries draft and type office memos.

Every day, legal secretaries are expected to be able to see details at a very fine level of focus. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they read and understand documents and reports.

It is important for legal secretaries to organize and maintain law libraries and case files. They are often called upon to attend legal meetings, such as client interviews or depositions, and take notes. They also complete various forms, such as accident reports, trial and courtroom requests, and applications for clients. Somewhat less frequently, legal secretaries are also expected to submit articles and data from searches to attorneys for review and approval for use.

They also have to be able to inspect legal publications and perform database searches to pinpoint laws and court decisions relevant to pending cases And finally, they sometimes have to complete various forms, such as accident reports, trial and courtroom requests, and applications for clients.

Like many other jobs, legal secretaries must be thorough and dependable and have exceptional integrity.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in San Francisco include:

  • Administrative Assistant. Provide high-level administrative support by conducting research, preparing statistical reports, handling information requests, and performing clerical functions such as preparing correspondence, receiving visitors, arranging conference calls, and scheduling meetings. May also train and supervise lower-level clerical staff.
  • Correspondence Clerk. Compose letters in reply to requests for merchandise, damage claims, credit and other information, delinquent accounts, or unsatisfactory services. Duties may include gathering data to formulate reply and typing correspondence.
  • Courtroom Clerk. Perform clerical duties in court of law; prepare docket of cases to be called; secure information for judges; and contact witnesses, attorneys, and litigants to obtain information for court.
  • Medical Secretary. Perform secretarial duties utilizing specific knowledge of medical terminology and hospital, clinic, or laboratory procedures. Duties include scheduling appointments, billing patients, and compiling and recording medical charts, reports, and correspondence.
  • Office Clerk. Perform duties too varied and diverse to be classified in any specific office clerical occupation, requiring limited knowledge of office management systems and procedures. Clerical duties may be assigned in accordance with the office procedures of individual establishments and may include a combination of answering telephones, bookkeeping, typing or word processing, stenography, office machine operation, and filing.
  • Office Machine Operator. Operate one or more of a variety of office machines, such as photocopying, photographic, and duplicating machines, or other office machines.
  • Secretary. Perform routine clerical and administrative functions such as drafting correspondence, scheduling appointments, organizing and maintaining paper and electronic files, or providing information to callers.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Legal Secretary Training

College of Alameda - Alameda, CA

College of Alameda, 555 Ralph Appezzato Memorial Parkway, Alameda, CA 94501. College of Alameda is a medium sized college located in Alameda, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,576 students. College of Alameda has a two to four year program in Legal Administrative Assistant/Secretary.

Merritt College - Oakland, CA

Merritt College, 12500 Campus Dr, Oakland, CA 94619-3196. Merritt College is a medium sized college located in Oakland, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,025 students. Merritt College has a two to four year program in Legal Administrative Assistant/Secretary.

Heald College-Concord - Concord, CA

Heald College-Concord, 5130 Commercial Circle, Concord, CA 94520-0522. Heald College-Concord is a small college located in Concord, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,107 students. Heald College-Concord has an associate's degree program in Legal Administrative Assistant/Secretary.

Skyline College - San Bruno, CA

Skyline College, 3300 College Dr, San Bruno, CA 94066-1698. Skyline College is a medium sized college located in San Bruno, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,515 students. Skyline College has an associate's degree and a two to four year program in Legal Administrative Assistant/Secretary.

LOCATION INFORMATION: San Francisco, California

San Francisco, California
San Francisco, California photo by Optigan13

San Francisco is located in San Francisco County, California. It has a population of over 808,976, which has grown by 4.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in San Francisco, 180, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in San Francisco cost $218,300 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, fifty-seven new homes were built in San Francisco, up from fifty-five the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in San Francisco are professional, scientific, and technical services, health care, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, accommodation and food services, and construction. The average travel time to work is about 31 minutes. More than 45.0% of San Francisco residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 16.4%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of San Francisco residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 41.8%, is less than both the national and state average. Gold Mountain Monastery, Golden Gate Community Church of the Nazarene and Golden Gate Lutheran Church are among the churches located in San Francisco. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the United Methodist Church.

San Francisco is home to the Pier 88 and the Prayer Book Cross as well as Helen Wills Playground and Music Concourse. Shopping malls in the area include Yerba Buena Square Shopping Center, Fox Plaza Shopping Center and Galleria At Crocker Center Shopping Center. Visitors to San Francisco can choose from Astoria Hotel, A-1 Inn Motel and Best Western Canterbury Hotel for temporary stays in the area.