Career and Education Opportunities for Legal Secretaries in Las Cruces, New Mexico
There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for legal secretaries in the Las Cruces, New Mexico area. Currently, 1,200 people work as legal secretaries in New Mexico. This is expected to grow by 14% to about 1,360 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for legal secretaries are expected to grow by about 18.4%. Legal secretaries generally perform secretarial duties utilizing legal terminology, procedures, and documents.
A person working as a legal secretary can expect to earn about $14 hourly or $30,760 per year on average in New Mexico and about $19 per hour or $39,860 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for legal secretaries are better than earnings in the general category of Secretarial in New Mexico and better than general Secretarial category earnings nationally.
The Las Cruces area is home to six schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Las Cruces where you can get a degree as a legal secretary. Legal secretaries usually hold an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, so 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
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 Las Cruces 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
International Business College - El Paso, TX
International Business College, 5700 Cromo, El Paso, TX 79912. International Business College is a small college located in El Paso, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 421 students. International Business College has a less than one year program in Legal Administrative Assistant/Secretary which graduated four students in 2008.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Las Cruces, New Mexico
Las Cruces is situated in Dona Ana County, New Mexico. It has a population of over 91,865, which has grown by 23.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Las Cruces, 89, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Las Cruces are valued at $133,900 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, six hundred thirty-two new homes were built in Las Cruces, down from nine hundred eighty the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Las Cruces are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, public administration, and construction. The average commute to work is about 18 minutes. More than 28.4% of Las Cruces residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.1%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Las Cruces is 5.6%, which is less than New Mexico's average of 7.5%.
The percentage of Las Cruces residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 77.3%, is more than both the national and state average. Mesilla Park Baptist Church, Greater Saint John Church of God in Christ and Valley View Baptist Church are among the churches located in Las Cruces. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.
Las Cruces is home to the Mesquite Street Original Townsite Historic District and the Walden Hall as well as Frenger Park and Preciado Park. Visitors to Las Cruces can choose from Scoggin Blue LLC, SpringHill Suites Las Cruces and Villa Del Telshor Apartments & Corporate Suites for temporary stays in the area.