Salary Data for Legal Secretaries and Administrative Assistants

Legal Secretaries and Administrative Assistants: A Comprehensive Guide

Legal secretaries and administrative assistants are professionals who provide critical administrative support to lawyers, executives, and other professionals in the legal industry. In the legal sector, legal secretaries and administrative assistants play a vital role in ensuring seamless operations and the success of law firms. They perform a broad range of duties depending on their level of expertise, education, and experience.

Some examples of the job include preparing legal documents, drafting emails and letters, scheduling meetings, filing paperwork, managing databases, communicating with clients, and performing research for legal professionals. The job requires excellent communication, organization, and multitasking skills. Legal secretaries and administrative assistants must have attention to detail, be critical thinkers and problem solvers.

Education and Training:

There are no strict educational or training requirements to become a legal secretary or administrative assistant. However, most employers prefer candidates with a high school diploma, certificate, or an associate degree in a related field. Some employers may require a bachelor’s degree, especially for higher-level positions.

There are also certificate programs and courses available that focus on legal secretary and administrative assistant skills, including legal terminology, legal document preparation, computer skills, and business ethics. These programs may take a few months to complete and are ideal for individuals looking to gain a competitive edge in the job market.

Progression Between Levels:

Legal secretaries and administrative assistants can progress to higher-level positions within their organization by acquiring additional skills or education. For example, they may become legal administrative assistants or legal executive assistants with further technical education or skill-building. They can also work on specific certifications related to their work such as Certified Legal Secretary Specialist (CLSS) administered by Legal Secretaries International Inc, which can help them stand out in the industry.

Getting into the Field:

If you’re new to the field, there are several ways to get started. You can apply for an entry-level position as an office clerk or office assistant, providing general support to the team. Once you gain experience, you can begin to specialize in legal support functions such as working with litigation teams or becoming a specialist in research or document management projects. Another approach is seeking out mentored positions by experienced professionals who are willing to offer guidance and support as you build your skills.

Finally, you can leverage networking, by meeting with individuals who work in the legal sector through internships, industry events, and professional associations. Developing relationships in the industry can lead to job opportunities.


Legal secretaries and administrative assistants are critical to ensuring seamless operations in the legal sector. They manage paperwork, communicate with clients, and provide support to legal teams. While there are no strict education requirements, having a certificate, associate, or bachelor’s degree in unique fields can serve as an advantage. By taking advantage of certification programs and entry-level positions, beginners will absorb the necessary training needed to succeed. As their experience grows, they may be able to advance to higher positions in the industry through ongoing training and education.

Salary Data for Legal Secretaries and Administrative Assistants

Geography Union Job Level Average Salary Lowest Paid Highest Paid
US National Average Nonunion All levels $52,873.60 $52,228.80 N/A
US National Average Full-time All levels $55,369.60 $54,225.60 N/A
US National Average Part-time All levels $47,299.20 N/A N/A
US National Average Time-based pay All levels $54,059.20 $52,644.80 N/A
District of Columbia N/A All levels $83,657.60 $87,921.60 N/A
Montana Nonunion All levels $40,580.80 $34,361.60 N/A

The occupation of legal secretaries and administrative assistants is categorized into various job levels. The national average salary for this occupation ranges from $43,804.80 to $80,433.60 depending on the level of experience and type of pay. Full-time legal secretaries and administrative assistants are reported to earn a higher income compared to part-time workers.

The unionization of legal secretaries and administrative assistants does not have a significant effect on their salary. However, unions can provide job security and benefits to workers.

Legal secretaries and administrative assistants in the District of Columbia have the highest average salary at $83,657.60, while those in Montana have the lowest at $40,580.80.