Cheapest Schooling/Training to become a legal administrative assistant/secretary

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Crystal in Taipei, Taiwan

89 months ago

I have heard that there are people who pay other people to train to become a certified nurse assistant and others who are nice, but not to that degree that make it free to train. Is there an equivalent to that of the legal administrative assistant/secretary?

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I. H. in Atlanta, Georgia

89 months ago

Crystal in Taipei, Taiwan said: I have heard that there are people who pay other people to train to become a certified nurse assistant and others who are nice, but not to that degree that make it free to train. Is there an equivalent to that of the legal administrative assistant/secretary?

I learned on the job. Increased my salary by 33% within 8 years.

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Crystal in Taipei, Taiwan

89 months ago

What kind/type of job did you have that allowed you to learn on the job? Where can I find a job that allows me to learn on the job in San Diego, California? When/how long did it take for them to increase your salary by that much within that period of time? I'm not sure that I want to be an administrative assistant/secretary. Why/what are the reasons that I would want to become one? How do I increase my salary by more than 33% within a certain amount of years? Go on to become a legal assistant/paralegal?

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I. H. in Atlanta, Georgia

89 months ago

If you work at a small non-profit, you will learn that it is big on service provision, not administration. At the admin level, the work quality is inconsistent due to salaries not being competitive and having to make do with whoever applies for the job. That gives a motivated individual the chance to learn and to try new things simply because there are no expectations. I brought many innovations to the table because they had not been tried or executed well before. This is probably why I received merit increases consistently every 2 years- and not just COLA increases. I was able to match my husband's salary in a shorter time than it took him to get to his.

I don't know why you'd want to become an admin. I liked it because I got to learn most business functions except Accounting. I didn't like it because not all administrators know how to manage their admins well. I'm not well versed in the legal field so I wouldn't know how to answer about being a legal assistant/paralegal.

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Crystal in Taipei, Taiwan

89 months ago

So, your point is that at a small non-profit, they are willing to give on-the-job training? Do to having to make do with whoever applies for the job? You brought many innovations to the table because they had not been tried or executed well before? Wow. Should I know what COLA increases are? What are COLA increases? You were able to match your husband's salary in a shorter time than it took him to get to his? Good for you.

You liked it because you didn't have to learn Accounting? Thank you very much for your reply/comment, it was very helpful.

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IH8Attys in Los Angeles, California

89 months ago

Crystal in Taipei, Taiwan said: .

Crystal - my advice is to consider another line of work other than legal secretary. I did it for several years and hated every minute of it. It's very hard to find a legal secretary who likes her job, and many of them are miserable. How this profession earned its reputation for good pay is beyond my comprehension. Maybe it's because you don't need a bachelor's degree. When considering the fact that you can be a high school drop out and still make the money I made (I'm a HS dropout), then the pay isn't that bad. Also, admin/secretarial jobs in other industries pay even less; to that makes the legal secretarial field look deceivingly attractive.

I don't know what your education level is, but an entry level secretarial position will start out very low even if you get a certificate from a vocational school. It will take longer for you to have enough years of experience to get paid a decent legal secretarial salary than it will for you to earn a bachelor's degree if you are starting from scratch, i.e., you have no college units under your belt yet.

There is always a need for legal secretaries. That's because people are wising up and avoiding this type of work. There is a shortage because the secretaries who are retiring or changing careers. A lot more are leaving the field than getting into it. As a legal secretary, there is no ladder of success to climb. It's a dead end job. Nowadays you rarely see a secretary under 40. The younger generation is going to college and earning a degree than accepting positions that have advancement opportunities and, of course, good pay. They are developing careers rather than getting caught in a dead end job.

Search thru this website and look at posts from other legal secretaries. Attorneys are some of the worst people to work for. You are there for the attorneys, to help them build their business and net worth, and you will never have anything to show for it.

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Crystal in Taipei, Taiwan

89 months ago

IH8Attys-your advice is to consider another line of work other than legal secretary? really?
You did it for several years and hated every minute of it? Really?
It's very hard to find a legal secretary who likes her job, and many of them are miserable. Really, have you tried to find a legal secretary who likes her job?
How this profession earned its reputation for good pay is beyond your comprehension? Really, I think that it's because you don't need a bachelor's degree.
When considering the fact that you can be a high school drop out and still make the money I made (I'm a HS dropout), then the pay isn't that bad. Yes, exactly, I'm a HS dropout, also, although I have some college units under my belt.
Also, admin/secretarial jobs in other industries pay even less; to that makes the legal secretarial field look deceivingly attractive. Yes, it's true, although I'm not sure about the deceivingly part though.
You don't know what my education level is, but an entry level secretarial position will start out very low even if I get a certificate from a vocational school? Really, even if I have some college units under my belt?
It will take longer for me to have enough years of experience to get paid a decent legal secretarial salary than it will for me to earn a bachelor's degree if you are starting from scratch, i.e., you have no college units under your belt yet? Ok, then if I'm not starting from scratch, also?
There is always a need for legal secretaries. That's why I was thinking about becoming one.
That's because people are wising up and avoiding this type of work. Really?
There is a shortage because the secretaries who are retiring or changing careers. Oh.
A lot more are leaving the field than getting into it. Oh, yeah.
As a legal secretary, there is no ladder of success to climb. Really, I thought that there was; I thought that from a a legal administrative assistant/secretary one could become a legal assistant/paralegal and from there may be a lawyer.

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Crystal in Taipei, Taiwan

89 months ago

IH8Attys in Los Angeles, California said:

It's a dead end job. Really?
Nowadays you rarely see a secretary under 40. Yeah, that's true.
The younger generation is going to college and earning a degree than accepting positions that have advancement opportunities and, of course, good pay. Yeah.
They are developing careers rather than getting caught in a dead end job. Yeah.

Search thru this website and look at posts from other legal secretaries. Ok, may be I will.
Attorneys are some of the worst people to work for. Yeah, that's what I heard; I heard that the legal field is no place for a woman/female.
You are there for the attorneys, to help them build their business and net worth, and you will never have anything to show for it. Wow.

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Princess Sparkle in Birmingham, Alabama

89 months ago

"you will never have anything to show for it"

I think this wording is a little harsh. No, you won't have the career and partnership profits of an atty, but a good legal secretary pretty much gets the same benefits as as working in a regular corporation, except for promotional opportunities. In fact I had a more lucrative lifestyle while working at a law firm than with any of my other positions, if money is the only factor.

Yes, paralegals do sometimes become attys, but not that many, not that often. They see some of the female associates leaving the firms because of bias, workload, etc, and conclude it is not for them.

We each will have different experiences in the same field, and there are no absolutes.

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Crystal in Taipei, Taiwan

89 months ago

"you will never have anything to show for it"

I think this wording is a little harsh. Really, I thought it was enlightening/eye-opening.
No, you won't have the career and partnership profits of an atty, but a good legal secretary pretty much gets the same benefits as as working in a regular corporation, except for promotional opportunities. You mean that there is no chance at all/whatsoever of/to being promoted to a legal assistant/paralegal?
In fact I had a more lucrative lifestyle while working at a law firm than with any of my other positions, if money is the only factor. Wow, really?

Yes, paralegals do sometimes become attys, but not that many, not that often. That's what I thought.
They see some of the female associates leaving the firms because of bias, workload, etc, and conclude it is not for them. Oh.

We each will have different experiences in the same field, and there are no absolutes. Oh, yes, that's true.

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Princess Sparkle in Birmingham, Alabama

89 months ago

Crystal, never say "never". There are single/divorced women who are paying for their own house with their legal earnings.

Yes, there is a chance of being promoted to a legal asst/paralegal, if you consider this a "promotion". It
depends upon the fluidity of the firm's hierachy.

I have had more admin positions, even tho I did have a "management" position at a corp, I made my highest earnings
in the legal field.

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Crystal in San Diego, California

89 months ago

Yes, Princess Sparkle, I almost never say never. Really? Wow.

Why shouldn't I consider that being promoted to a legal asst/paralegal to be a "promotion"? I'm sorry, I'm not very clear on/about what fluidity is.

Oh, ok. Wow.

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Princess Sparkle in Birmingham, Alabama

89 months ago

Crystal, this is my last answer on this particular thread.

Sometimes legal secretaries make more than paralegals, but the "mindset" of the legal field considers being a paralegal a "step up" from being a legal secretary. To me, if you are making the same, or even less, than it is not really a promotion.

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Crystal in San Diego, California

89 months ago

Princess Sparkle, I'm sorry, did I do something to offend you?

Really? Ah, I see, that is sort of my mindset, also/too. To me, too, if i am making the same, or even less, then it is not really a promotion.

Would an entry level secretarial position start out very low even if I get a paralegal certificate from a vocational school? Will it take longer for me to have enough years of experience to get paid a decent legal secretarial salary than it will for me to earn a bachelor's degree if I am starting from scratch, i.e., I have no college units under my belt yet, even if I get a paralegal certificate from a vocational school?

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IH8Attys in Los Angeles, California

88 months ago

Crystal - an entry level secretary starts out low regardless. The certificate may help you get in the door faster than an applicant who does not have the certificate. If you get a bachelor's degree, you will be a lot better off. Once you gain enough experience as a legal secretary to earn ok pay, it's not long after that when you will become maxed out in what you can get paid as far as salary goes. With a degree you can get a job with a large company and get promoted through the ranks. As a legal secretary, you are forever at the bottom of the totem pole. Also, I considered becoming a paralegal before leaving the industry. I didn't like the idea of being a paralegal either, but the transition out of law altogether was intimidating, and I thought becoming a paralegal was the lesser of the two evils. A coworker who had been a paralegal for 20 years told me I would have to take a pay cut because, in my new position as a paralegal, I don't have experience and will have to start over from the bottom again. I thought that was really stupid because of my legal secretary experience and, because the two positions are so intertwined, I could easily step into a paralegal position, if I had the certificate, without having to start at the bottom or take a pay cut. Not so. I've heard from two different people that if a secretary wants to transition to paralegal, she'll have to take a pay cut. I think firms will come up with any reason they can to stiff someone one what salary their staff does get!!

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Crystal in San Diego, California

88 months ago

Well, that's just stupid. May be I should just skip the legal administrative assistant/secretary part and go on to become a paralegal. I think that I heard that having a paralegal certificate is a career-booster.

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IH8Attys in Los Angeles, California

88 months ago

Yes, it is a career booster. I would also suggest you consider other fields as well. Take a look at yourself and evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. Identify your talents and interests, and develop a career that is aligned with something you enjoy. For example, somebody who likes numbers might enjoy being an accountant. If you really think you will enjoy law, go for it. I still hold the opinion that getting an education and building a career with growth potential is a much better way to go. Like I said before, you can only go so far as a paralegal - you are limited. Start networking. Ask friends and anyone else with whom you are acquainted if they know anyone who is a paralegal. Try to talk to a few paralegals before making that commitment. The people who have been there can give you the best insight into the profession.

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Crystal in San Diego, California

88 months ago

Yes! I was right! Oh, ok. Alright. Ok, that makes sense. Yes. I don't really think that I will enjoy law, so I'm not sure if I'll end up/ultimately go for it. Yes, I plan on getting an education and trying to build a career with growth potential, it's a much better way to go. Yes, I understand. Ok. I'll try. Ok, I think that I will. Yes, that's true.

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Crystal in San Diego, California

88 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado: "The best paralegals can hope for in a law firm is administration - not that anything is wrong with that. Paralegals will always be employees, though some paralegals start their own contract and temp businesses."

I'm sorry, I'm not quite sure that I understand what (you mean by) administration means, does that have something to do with management? Yeah, I thought that I heard that some paralegals start their own businesses/go on to become attorneys/lawyers. But, probably not a lot.

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Crystal in San Diego, California

88 months ago

What would be the difference between administrators and office managers? Would administrators be higher up in the hierarchy? I know that this probably sounds/is a stupid question, but is it possible for one to just take the bar exam...and pass? And if it is/was possible, to take the bar exam and pass, would that be enough to become a lawyer?

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Crystal in San Diego, California

88 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado: "The Bureau of Labor Statistics says only a handful of states permit "law reading" and correspondence course legal study:"

I'm sorry, I'm not quite sure what you mean by "correspondence", is that where you/one takes a course by mail? Other than that, I think I understand the direction in which you headed with your answers. Thank you for putting up with my stupid question and answering very clearly, thoroughly, and informatively.

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I H in Lawrenceville, Georgia

88 months ago

I got off this discussion for a while because I've been getting interviews! I knew I didn't want to even explore the legal profession because of the hours. My own attorney answers her office phone on Sundays and I'm sorry, except on occassional days when we had fundraisers, Sundays is off-limits for me because of my faith. Plus, I almost quit the AA field because one time I worked for male Vice-Presidents at a real estate company and I just found that they didn't know how to value MY time. Their time, of course was always valuable but somehow mine wasn't. Then it was me stuck in Atlanta traffic because they waited 'till the last minute to give me a project that I had asked them about hours ago and of course, it never just "took a minute". All the things I learned about managing your boss never seemed to work with them. I've worked for females and had problems too. So it really depends on your boss and the workload.

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Crystal in San Diego, California

88 months ago

I H in Lawrenceville, Georgia: "Plus, I almost quit the AA field because one time I worked for male Vice-Presidents at a real estate company and I just found that they didn't know how to value MY time."

Does the term "AA" stand for Administrative Assistant?

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I H in Lawrenceville, Georgia

88 months ago

Crystal in San Diego, California said: I H in Lawrenceville, Georgia: "Plus, I almost quit the AA field because one time I worked for male Vice-Presidents at a real estate company and I just found that they didn't know how to value MY time."

Does the term "AA" stand for Administrative Assistant?

Yes

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I H in Lawrenceville, Georgia

88 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: I H in Lawrenceville, Georgia: I almost quit the AA field because one time I worked for male Vice-Presidents at a real estate company and I just found that they didn't know how to value MY time. Their time, of course was always valuable but somehow mine wasn't...."

But of course! Isn't that how it always is?

Hope your interviews yield megaoffers.


I've gotten offers but not megaoffers. You get the gamut of salaries in the AA field. Some feel that a good AA can almost run the whole show because of his/her fingers in almost every aspect of the business. Others just don't value it all that highly and pay between 11-12 to 16/hour. In direct service fields like education and social service, you can count on a salary in the 20's and 30's but in the for profit field that's where you can get the upper 40's and 50's but you can believe you'll be doing a lot of work.

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I H in Lawrenceville, Georgia

88 months ago

I have no idea what anybody else is getting in the field but the only fish that seem to bite are in the 20's and 30's. However, online I see salaries in the 40's and 50's so I may be just looking in the wrong places or not have the background those jobs need.

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