Legal Secretaries perform secretarial, clerical and other administrative tasks in support of Legal Professionals, applying knowledge of legal terminology, procedures and documents.
Liaises with other staff to arrange meetings, and to gain and provide information.
Prepares reports, briefing notes and correspondence, and proofreads work for typographical and grammatical errors.
Maintains diaries and makes travel arrangements.
Processes incoming and outgoing mail, filing correspondence and maintains records.
Answers telephone calls, responds to inquiries and redirects callers.
Takes and transcribes dictation of letters and other documents.
Greets visitors, ascertains nature of business and directs visitors to appropriate personal.
May implement management decisions and maintain records of meetings.
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Informal or on-the-job
JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. Employment projections data are only produced for occupations at the broad four digit Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) level. While data are not available for this occupation, projections data are available for the parent occupation, Secretaries, under the outlook section.
Earnings and hours
Around 62% of people employed as Legal Secretaries work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 4 percentage points below the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 39 hours per week in their main job. This is 5 hours less than the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
Sources:Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average.
Most Legal Secretaries work in the Professional, scientific and technical services industry.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Legal Secretaries||All Jobs Average|
Around 64% of Legal Secretaries live in capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 62%.
New South Wales has a large share of employment relative to its population size.
The regions with the largest share of workers are:
- Sydney - Sutherland
- Sydney - Inner South West
- Sydney - Outer West and Blue Mountains
- Perth - North West
- Gold Coast.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Legal Secretaries is 41 years. This is similar to the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 25 to 34 years.
Females make up 99% of the workforce. This is 51 percentage points above the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Legal Secretaries||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||3.4||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
Formal qualifications are not essential to work as a Legal Secretary. Although some workers have a certificate III, IV or diploma in legal services or secretarial and clerical studies.
- My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
- AAPathways website to explore Business Services VET training pathways.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Legal Secretaries||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||3.3||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||15.8||12.5|
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Secretaries who have good people skills, are reliable, trustworthy and responsible, with sound computer skills.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Reading work related information.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Talking to others.
Looking for ways to help people.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
37%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
37%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
36%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Using maths to solve problems.
Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.
Bringing people together and trying to sort out their differences.
21%Management of personnel resources
Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.
21%Quality control analysis
Doing tests and checking products, services, or processes to make sure they are working properly.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
59%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
57%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
57%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
44%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
22%Economics and accounting
Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.
21%Communications and media
Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.
20%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
19%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.
Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
15%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.
Describing land, sea, and air, including their physical characteristics, locations, how they work together, and the location of plant, animal, and human life.
13%Medicine and dentistry
Diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities, including preventive health-care measures.
Foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.
11%Sales and marketing
Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Listen to and understand what people say.
Communicate by speaking.
Read and understand written information.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
Write in a way that people can understand.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
45%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.
See details that are far away.
Come up with unusual or clever ideas, or creative ways to solve a problem.
Use your eyes to quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
32%Flexibility of closure
See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.
Put together small parts with your fingers.
Choose the right maths method or formula to solve a problem.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
78%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
68%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
66%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
65%Documenting or recording information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
60%Providing office support
Doing day-to-day office work such as filing and processing paperwork.
60%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
58%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
58%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
53%Working with computers
Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
53%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
52%Checking compliance with standards
Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
52%Communicating with the public
Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.
48%Scheduling work and activities
Working out the timing of events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
48%Making sense of information and ideas
Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.
47%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
43%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.
39%Working with the public
Greeting or serving customers, clients or guests, and public speaking or performing.
39%Coordinating the work of a team
Getting members of a group to work together to finish a task.
37%Helping and caring for others
Providing personal assistance, medical attention, or emotional support.
Interests and demands
Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
Use electronic mail.
Talk on the telephone.
98%Indoors, heat controlled
Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.
95%Letters and memos
Write letters and memos.
Talk with people face-to-face.
92%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
89%Spend time sitting
Spend time sitting at work.
89%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
Work to strict deadlines.
83%Repeating same tasks
Repeat the same tasks or activities (e.g., key entry) over and over, without stopping.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
75%Contact with the public
Work with customers or the public.
73%Making repetitive motions
Spend time making repetitive motions.
Work with people in a group or team.
67%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
65%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
62%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
60%Using your hands to handle, control, or feel
Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.
58%Consequence of error
Work where mistakes have serious consequences.
56%Physically close to people
Work physically close to other people.
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 43-6012.00 - Legal Secretaries.