What Would I Like Better: a Legal Secretary or Paralegal Career?

Legal Careers for You

If you’re fascinated by the legal profession and have a fine attention to detail, you may want to look at a career as a legal secretary or paralegal. But which one would be best for you? Here are a few considerations as you begin to explore careers in the legal profession:

Where would I work? Paralegals and legal secretaries work across America for law offices, government agencies, financial firms and insurance companies. There were more than 5,300 paralegals and legal assistants employed in Michigan in 2014 and the demand for the profession is expected to increase over the next decade, nationally. 1/2 If you want to work in a professional environment where what you do is valued and appreciated, check out legal support careers.

What would my responsibilities be? Some of the responsibilities of legal secretaries and paralegals actually overlap. Both are likely to perform clerical work and assist attorneys and other staff in their legal practice or organization. But legal secretaries’ duties are almost exclusively focused on administrative duties. They greet clients, answer phones, transcribe and file. In addition to reporting to the attorneys in the office, they may also answer to paralegals.

Paralegals have a higher level of responsibility and independence than legal secretaries. They may conduct research, manage cases and interact directly with clients. They can’t give legal advice because they’re not lawyers, but they can interview clients and get lots of information to pass along to the attorneys. All that added responsibility means you’ll probably earn more as a paralegal than a legal secretary. It also means you’ll want more training.

How would I become a paralegal or legal secretary? At Career Quest Learning Centers, you could train to become a paralegal in less than 15 months through our Associate of Applied Science Degree in Paralegal Studies program. Or choose the 35 week Legal Secretary Diploma program. Both programs teach you the skills you need for entry level work in the legal field as a paralegal or legal secretary.

Would you like to learn more? Contact us today in Lansing at 877-481-4930 or in Jackson 877-365-8144. Build a new career and a new life!

1 http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes232011.htm

2 http://www.bls.gov/ooh/legal/paralegals-and-legal-assistants.htm




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