Legal Assistant Vs. Legal Secretary: The Differences You Should Know

If you’re looking for a support role in the legal industry, it’s helpful to know the difference between the various roles. Both legal assistants and legal secretaries support lawyers in an office or law firm. However, they don’t share the same tasks. A legal secretary handles much of the administrative responsibilities of the office, while the legal assistant handles more legal tasks without representing clients or acting as a lawyer. Let’s take a closer look.

Legal Assistants or Paralegals

A legal assistant is sometimes referred to as a paralegal. This is someone who isn’t a lawyer but handles legal-based work within the firm or office. Some areas require paralegals to become certified, and they do require additional education. However, paralegals or legal assistants can’t appear in court on behalf of a client or engage in a legal client relationship.

Legal Secretaries

A legal secretary is more of an administrative role. Many things within a legal office don’t require legal knowledge, such as file management, writing letters, keeping calendars and schedules, and other general office tasks. Legal secretaries provide this essential service. They help keep the office running smoothly, so the legal assistants, paralegals, and attorneys can work effectively and efficiently.

Maintaining Support and Confidentiality

Both of these positions support the lawyers within the office. They handle all of the aspects of the firm that the lawyers themselves don’t. For this reason, one of the essential requirements for both legal secretaries and legal assistants is the need for confidentiality.

Find Your Next Legal Job

Are you looking for a new position as a legal secretary or paralegal? Working with a staffing provider specializing in legal placements can help you quickly find a great new job. They will work with you based on your previous experience and interests for placement within an office or a firm that fits your requirements.


Contact NRI Legal Staffing to find your next legal support position.


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