Career and Education Opportunities for Legal Secretaries in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
If you want to be a legal secretary, the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Currently, 14,800 people work as legal secretaries in Pennsylvania. This is expected to grow by 4% to about 15,450 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. Legal secretaries generally perform secretarial duties utilizing legal terminology, procedures, and documents.
Legal secretaries earn about $17 per hour or $35,870 yearly on average in Pennsylvania and about $19 hourly or $39,860 per year on average nationally. Legal secretaries earn more than people working in the category of Secretarial generally in Pennsylvania and more than people in the Secretarial category nationally.
There are 156 schools of higher education in the Philadelphia area, including four within twenty-five miles of Philadelphia where you can get a degree to start your career 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 training to become 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 Philadelphia 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
PJA School - Upper Darby, PA
PJA School, 7900 W Chester Pke, Upper Darby, PA 19082-1917. PJA School is a small school located in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 356 students and an admission rate of 64%. PJA School has a one to two year program in Legal Administrative Assistant/Secretary which graduated eight students in 2008.
Prism Career Institute - Cherry Hill, NJ
Prism Career Institute, 3 Executive Campus Rt 70, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002. Prism Career Institute is a small school located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 143 students and an admission rate of 68%. Prism Career Institute has a less than one year program in Legal Administrative Assistant/Secretary which graduated one student in 2008.
Bucks County Community College - Newtown, PA
Bucks County Community College, 275 Swamp Rd, Newtown, PA 18940-4106. Bucks County Community College is a large college located in Newtown, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,260 students. Bucks County Community College has a less than one year program in Legal Administrative Assistant/Secretary.
Harris School of Business-Cherry Hill Campus - Cherry Hill, NJ
Harris School of Business-Cherry Hill Campus, One Cherry Hill, One Mall Drive Ste.700, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002. Harris School of Business-Cherry Hill Campus is a small school located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 298 students. Harris School of Business-Cherry Hill Campus has a one to two year program in Legal Administrative Assistant/Secretary which graduated twenty-three students in 2008.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia is located in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 1,447,395, which has shrunk by 4.6% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Philadelphia, 102, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Philadelphia cost $212,900 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, five hundred forty-five new homes were constructed in Philadelphia, down from five hundred ninety-one the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Philadelphia are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, educational services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 32 minutes. More than 17.9% of Philadelphia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.5%, is lower than the state average.
The percentage of Philadelphia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 53.4%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Boulevard Church, Mount Herman Church and Saint Michael Mission Center are all churches located in Philadelphia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the American Baptist Churches in the USA and the Muslim Estimate.
Philadelphia is home to the Five Points and the Academy Gardens as well as Durham Park and Cloverly Park. Shopping malls in the area include Roosevelt Mall, Andorra Shopping Center and Red Lion Shopping Center. Visitors to Philadelphia can choose from Comfort Inn, Concordia Worldwide Hotel Reservations and Embassy Suites for temporary stays in the area.