Legal Secretary 

(Female, Age 29) from Sacramento, CA

This is a REAL-LIFE job profile written by a Female aged 29 who works as a Legal Secretary in Sacramento, CA. We have removed all names and personal information in order to protect privacy. This professional kindly spent a bit of their time to complete one of our job profile surveys so that prospective job seekers like you could read their insights. Please excuse any punctuation or grammatical errors in this profile.

At a Glance

Current Job

Basic data on your current job

Job Title Legal Secretary
Salary $35,150
Other Compensation None Set
Hours/Week 40
Company Size (not answered)
Location Sacramento, CA
Years Experience 5.5 years

Career Ratings

Opinions on your CAREER overall (i.e. not just your current job)

Years in Career 0
Education (not answered)
Income Rating 0 / 10
Interest Rating 0 / 10
Work-Life Rating 0 / 10
Fulfilment Rating 0 / 10

Current job Q&A

Describe the type of organization you work for.
This firm consists of 7 attorneys and 6 legal secretaries, as well as 1 receptionist. The field of law is workers’ compensation defense work. Our clients are the insurance carriers for employers.

Describe your job role and responsibilities.
Transcription, scheduling depositions, medical-legal evaluations, handling an attorney’s full calendar, answering phones, photocopying, file management, incoming and outgoing mail, ordering supplies, putting together pamphlets and anything else that the attorney may be in need of.

Please list an additional benefits (beyond compensation) that you receive.
3 weeks vacation (2 weeks until you reach your 5 year mark, then 3 weeks after that) 6 days sick leave, with up to 4 days after that with a doctor’s note, United Healthcare health insurance, and a 401k plan.

Do you feel you are under/over or well/fairly compensated at your current position?
I am between well to under compensated at my current position. Right now we are understaffed, and they are expecting us to cover way more than we are able to. For that fact, I am under compensated at the time. The could at least give a nice bonus or buy us lunch, just something to show that they appreciate all the hard work we do and all the stress that we are under to make sure things are moving smoothly.

Does your job entail you working with others on a daily basis? Is this something you like/dislike about your job? Please explain.
Yes, I am working with others on a daily basis. Mainly just with those who work in the same office. I prefer to work on my own rather than with others. I like to have the interaction when needed, but some of the people here are just plain weird and for that fact, I dislike working with them on a daily basis. Also, some of the time, the atmosphere around here is very ‘high school.’ And this is coming from management, not from the workforce.

Do you work collaboratively with supervisors/managers?

Do you work collaboratively with your co-workers?

Describe your work location (e.g., office, home, theatre, in the field) and what you like/dislike about working in it.

Please rate each of the following aspects of your current job on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest/best):
Income: 1
Benefits: 3
Hours: 4
Co-Workers: 2
Supervisors: 6
Job Title: 8
Level of Responsibility: 7
The Actual Work: 5

A day in the life of…

Please describe a typical workday for you in your current job:

5am to 6am
6am to 7am
7am to 8am Break/Personal time. Checking and printing emails for the attorney.
8am to 9am Transcription. Typing letters to clients. Some phone calls made to reschedule depositions.
9am to 10am Break/Persional time. More transcription. Typing drafts for the attorney to review. Letters to the applicant and letters to the clients.
10am to 11am Printing drafts and making a folder to give to the attorney so that she can review and make any changes necessary.
11am to 12pm Reviewing the incoming mail to take out any personal financial items for the partners, or any incoming checks for the firm. Making photocopies of the enclosures that are related to the drafts that I am typing from dictation.
12pm to 1pm Lunch time
1pm to 2pm I received the drafts back from the attorney. Going into each document and making the appropriate changes as indicated by the attorney. Printing in final and printing the appropriate number of copies. Keeping track of the number of copies I make on each case so that we can bill appropriately.
2pm to 3pm The receptionist is out this week, so we all have to cover her desk. Today, my job of hers is to seal the outgoing mail and put the appropriate postage on it and take it to the mailbox. Clean up my desk and get ready to go home.
3pm to 4pm Clock out and go home.
4pm to 5pm
5pm to 6pm
6pm to 7pm
7pm to 8pm
8pm to 9pm
9pm to 10pm
10pm to 11pm
11pm to 12am

Table of Contents

How you got your job

How did you get your current job?
Referral: I worked with another legal secretary at a prior place of employment. She heard that I was looking for a new job and she called me when this firm was looking for a secretary. It worked out perfect and I love this job! I love this job because of the attorney that I work for.

What was the application process?
I am not sure that they ever had a copy of my resume. I got a phone call around 11am, I was in the office for an interview that day, and on my way back to my job from my lunch hour, I was called and offered the job.

Did you have to interview for your current job? If yes, what did the interview process entail?
I did have to interview. I was interviewed by three of the attorney’s. At the end of the interview, they had to check with the other partner who wasn’t in the office before they could offer me the job. Once they spoke to him, they called me and offered me the job.

If you can remember, what questions were you asked during the interview?
I can’t remember exactly. They were just looking to see what kind of experience I had, they had already heard a lot about me. We talked about salary, when I could start, and that was all.

Do you feel your employer properly prepared you for your job? Explain.
Yes. I already knew what I was doing. I had worked in this line of work for 2 years and in this line of law for at least 5.

Was there training for your current position? If yes, what did it entail?
There wasn’t any training involved. They showed me my desk and said if you have any questions, let me know.

Do you feel your educational background prepared you for your job? Explain.
Yes and no. Being able to appropriately express myself and properly form letters was necessary. Other than that, no.

If applicable, do you feel your internship experience helped you prepare for your job?

If someone wanted to go about getting a job similar to yours, what would you recommend for him or her to do?
Lots of experience. You don’t need to get a degree to be a paralegal, at least not in my line of work. You just need to be able to type fast and keep your attorney happy. Sometimes you have to kiss butt, but that depends on which attorney you work for. Be a hard worker and a fast learner and you will do fine.

What skills do you think a person should have if they want to pursue a position like yours?
Organization skills. You will need to keep an attorney’s calendar in order. Also, keeping the files neat and up to date is very much organizational and detail oriented. Some social skills are needed as well as you will have to interact with your co-workers as well as professionalism when you are answering the phones.

Do you feel that you need a certain level of education or training to be successful in your job?
You do need to be trained and have experience in this line of work. You don’t need a degree, but definately experience.

What advice would you give to someone who was about to start work in your position/ line of work?
Be on time, keep your attorney happy. You have to have a quick turn around time on your transcription. You will need to type well and fast. Be able to multi-task and please be professional.

Long-term career plans

Is your current employment part of your overall career plan? Why or why not?
Maybe. I am not sure. I have a 4 1/2 month old baby at home. Right now, I need to be here. I am trying to find other employment that will allow me to be with my child and future children and that will still pay the bills. For now, this job is in my career plan, but I am searching for something else that will help pay the bills and allow for me to be the wife and mother I have always wanted to be.

What are your current career goals?
I have meet mine. I have my BA and that was a major accomplishment. I am in a career right now. I have other possiblities that are available to me should I choose to move on.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your career?
I enjoy the firm that I work for because of all the perks. We don’t have to dress up, we have flexible hours, etc. Because of that, I am staying here.

Prior work history

Please list your most recent jobs prior to this current job:

Title Length Salary Description
Prior Job 1 Legal Secretary 5 1/2 years 47000 Transcription, answering phones, managing an attorney’s calendar, scheduling deposition, medical-legal evaluations, making necessary travel arrangements, file management, organizational skills, and ordering office supplies.
Prior Job 2 Legal Secretary 1 years 25000 Transcription, transcription, transcription.

Educational background

Please list your educational background:

High School GPA:?

GPA School Degree
College (Undergraduate)
or Technical/Vocational
3 California State University, Sacramento Child Development
Graduate or Professional
(Masters or Doctorate)

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