Legal secretaries work in law firms in towns and cities all over Western Australia. They may also work in Government departments or for judges in courts. They generally work regular office hours, though overtime may be required, particularly when working to tight deadlines. Legal secretaries have a high level of contact with other people, such as legal professionals in the firm, court officers and members of the public, including clients.
On average, legal secretaries, classified under secretaries, can expect to earn between $1 000 and $1 249 per week ($52 000 and $64 999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience. As a legal secretary develops their skills, their earning potential will generally increase.
Legal secretaries use a variety of office equipment including computers, fax machines, photocopiers, scanners and telephone systems. They may also conduct research using law libraries.
To become a legal secretary you usually need to complete a formal qualification in business administration (legal), legal services or business (legal studies).
The Certificate III in Business Administration (Legal), the Certificate IV in Legal Services, and Diploma of Business (Legal Studies) are offered at TAFE Colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Western Australia.
You can also complete a traineeship. The legal assistant or assistant paralegal traineeships usually take 24 months to complete.
Apprenticeships and traineeships
As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.
If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.
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If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.