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Career and Education Opportunities for Legal Secretaries in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Legal secretary career and educational opportunities abound in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. There are currently 14,800 working legal secretaries in Pennsylvania; this should grow by 4% to 15,450 working legal secretaries in the state 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.

Income for legal secretaries is about $17 hourly or $35,870 annually on average in Pennsylvania. Nationally, their income is about $19 per hour or $39,860 per year. Incomes for legal secretaries are better than in the overall category of Secretarial in Pennsylvania, and better than the overall Secretarial category nationally.

There are eighty-three schools of higher education in the Pittsburgh area, including five within twenty-five miles of Pittsburgh where you can get a degree to start your career as a legal secretary. The most common level of education for legal secretaries is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree. It will take about two years to learn 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 Pittsburgh 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

Everest Institute-Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh, PA

Everest Institute-Pittsburgh, 100 Forbes Ave, Suite 1200, Pittsburgh, PA 15222-1320. Everest Institute-Pittsburgh is a small school located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 368 students and an admission rate of 70%. Everest Institute-Pittsburgh has an associate's degree program in Legal Administrative Assistant/Secretary which graduated six students in 2008.

Kaplan Career Institute-ICM Campus - Pittsburgh, PA

Kaplan Career Institute-ICM Campus, 10-14 Wood St, Pittsburgh, PA 15222. Kaplan Career Institute-ICM Campus is a small school located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 893 students. Kaplan Career Institute-ICM Campus has an associate's degree program in Legal Administrative Assistant/Secretary which graduated eight students in 2008.

Penn Commercial Inc - Washington, PA

Penn Commercial Inc, 242 Oak Spring Road, Washington, PA 15301. Penn Commercial Inc is a small school located in Washington, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 382 students and an admission rate of 62%. Penn Commercial Inc has an associate's degree program in Legal Administrative Assistant/Secretary which graduated two students in 2008.

West Virginia Business College-Wheeling - Wheeling, WV

West Virginia Business College-Wheeling, 1052 Main St, Wheeling, WV 26003. West Virginia Business College-Wheeling is a small college located in Wheeling, West Virginia. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 60 students. West Virginia Business College-Wheeling has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Legal Administrative Assistant/Secretary which graduated four and zero students respectively in 2008.

Westmoreland County Community College - Youngwood, PA

Westmoreland County Community College, 145 Pavilion Lane, Youngwood, PA 15697-1895. Westmoreland County Community College is a medium sized college located in Youngwood, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,512 students. Westmoreland County Community College has an associate's degree program in Legal Administrative Assistant/Secretary.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania photo by Conk 9

Pittsburgh is located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 310,037, which has shrunk by 7.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Pittsburgh, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Pittsburgh cost $196,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-five new homes were built in Pittsburgh, up from one hundred seventeen the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Pittsburgh are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 26.2% of Pittsburgh residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Pittsburgh is 7.8%, which is less than Pennsylvania's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Pittsburgh residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 71.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Saint Pauls Cathedral, Saint Patrick Roman Cathlic Church and Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church are some of the churches located in Pittsburgh. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Methodist Church.

Pittsburgh is home to the Mount Washington Overlook and the Golden Triangle as well as Magee Playground and Kennard Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Shadyside Shopping Center and Allegheny Center Mall. Visitors to Pittsburgh can choose from Best Western University Center, Avalon Motel and Four Points By Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport for temporary stays in the area.