The legal secretary assists attorneys with a wide variety of responsibilities including performing clerical duties; maintaining office files; working closely with attorneys to meet deadlines for court calendars; preparing summonses, complaints, motions, and subpoenas; and filing documents with the courts. In some law offices, legal secretaries review legal reference books, other legal publications or electronic media to identify court decisions pertinent to pending cases.
Southwestern College offers two excellent programs: Legal Office Professional and Legal Office Professional-Bilingual (English/Spanish). These programs provide students with strong legal secretarial skills and focus on developing excellent human relations skills with an awareness of the growing multicultural community in San Diego County. An added feature is that students have an option of working toward a certificate or degree emphasizing one or more legal specialties, including family law; civil litigation; criminal law; business law; international business law; immigration law; and wills, trusts, and probate. Students that possess a legal specialty and/or knowledge of a frequently used foreign language will have the greatest opportunities for employment.
Degrees & Certificates
Associate in Science: Career/Technical
- Legal Office Professional (English/Spanish)
Certificates of Achievement
- Legal Office Professional-Bilingual (English/Spanish)-Basic
- Civil Litigation Specialty Criminal Law Specialty Family Law Specialty Immigration Law Specialty
- International Business Law Specialty
- Wills, Trusts, and Estates Specialty
Below is a sample of the career options available for the legal secretary or the legal secretary major. A few of these require a certificate of achievement and most require an associate in science degree: claims examiner, compensation and benefits manager, corporate legal secretary, court clerk, customs agent, forms and procedures specialist, freelance legal secretary, legal aide, legal technician, title examiner, court interpreter, legal documents translator, and entry-level paralegal.