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How to become a Legal Secretary

Legal Secretaries carry out administrative and clerical tasks that help legal professionals to work more efficiently and effectively.

If you’re interested in working in the legal industry, you’re discreet, organised and a good communicator, working as a Legal Secretary could be a career to consider.


About you:


  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, customer-service focused, great at building relationships
  • Efficient, pays attention to detail and able to prioritise effectively
  • Team worker who’s flexible and reliable


The job:


  • Prepare legal forms, contracts, and reports, write briefing notes, correspondence and other paperwork for legal professionals
  • Transcribe notes, take minutes in meetings, gather any information as required
  • Maintain diaries, organise meetings and make travel arrangements
  • Answer phone calls and emails, respond to inquiries or redirect them when necessary
  • Helping to keep the office running smoothly by carrying out basic administrative jobs like dealing with the mail, filing and maintaining accurate records


Lifestyle Impact: Low


  • Part Time opportunities: Moderate – 38% of Legal Secretaries work part time (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
  • Average hours for full-time workers: 39 per week (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
  • Legal Secretaries’ salary (average): $65,000 per year (source: seek.com.au).
  • Future career growth: Decline (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au)
  • The majority of people in this role work full time, but there are plenty of opportunities to work part-time or job share. Although some tasks maybe be done remotely, you’ll probably be expected to be in the office to help ensure that the day-to-day office jobs are carried out. In general you won’t have to work outside of normal business hours.


Legal Secretaries are most in demand in these locations:


Around 9,100 people worked as Legal Secretaries in Australia in 2020 (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au). Legal Secretaries are in highest demand in New South Wales.


How to become a Legal Secretary in Australia


Formal qualifications aren’t necessary to become a Legal Secretary, but having relevant qualifications could help you find employment more easily.


Step 1 – Complete Year 10 with good results in English. IT skills could also be really useful, as would the ability to type fast and accurately.


Step 2 – Work experience within an office environment could:

  • provide you with skills that may be useful,
  • help you to decide if an office-based / clerical career could suit you, and
  • help you stand out to potential employers.


Step 3 – Consider taking a relevant course, e.g.

Note: These courses may be available to complete online and with part or full-time study options. You’ll need to check your eligibility but the minimum entry requirement is often Year 10.

A more advanced study option to consider is a Diploma of Legal Services, which could provide you with more opportunities and career pathways to consider.


Step 4 – If you’re really passionate about law, you could consider doing a Bachelor of Laws and becoming a Legal Assistant, Paralegal, or Law Clerk.

If you choose to complete your Practical Legal Training and register to practise in your state, becoming a Lawyer or other legal professional is also an option.


Find out more here –



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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Do I need qualifications to become a Legal Secretary?


No, you don’t need formal qualifications, but having them could help you find work more easily.


What do Legal Secretaries do?


Legal Secretaries are an important part of any legal team. They provide support to legal professionals by carrying out administrative tasks that enable others to do their jobs better and more easily. Duties include answering phones and filing, to more complex duties including filling in paperwork and other documentation.


What’s the difference between a Legal Assistant and a Paralegal or Law Clerk?


A Legal Secretary performs tasks including typing, transcribing and filing, organising the day to day requirements of legal professionals in their firm or office. Paralegals and Law Clerks usually have some formal qualification (or lots of experience) and can take on more  legal responsibility, e.g. carrying out research, writing legal drafts and court documents, and they may also meet with clients.


Where do Legal Assistants work?


Legal Secretaries usually work in lawyers’ offices, the courts or within government departments. Their services are required anywhere that legal providers work.


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