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What do you enjoy most about legal secretary work? What do you dislike the most? Is it challenging? Are there many opportunities to learn and advance?

What keeps you at your job?

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Anonomyss in DFW, Texas

85 months ago

DITTO!!! God what I wouldn't do to be able to go back and relive the last decade of my life. Working for lawyers is the worst experience. I think this field is the sh-thole of the workforxce.

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Deborah James in Alameda, California

84 months ago

I'll throw in my agreement here as well. When I started out, I was lucky enough to work for attorneys who were dignified and knew what they were doing. Lately, the field seems to be overrun by "spoiled brat" types who don't know what they are doing. Add that to waiting until the last minute, and you have a guaranteed disaster.

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Marie in East Meadow, New York

82 months ago

dh in Roseville, California said: I didn't enjoy anything about being a legal secretary.

They're notorious for dropping projects off at their secretaries' desks at 4:45, telling them, "This needs to be done before you go."

So you just tell them you can't stay and pack up your stuff. It sounds like some of you need to grow a set.

NYC secretaries don't put up with that crap - that's why we have full time second AND third shift secretaries.

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Deborah James in Alameda, California

82 months ago

There are a few firms in SF like that as well; just not that many.

Here you have a lot of small firms that try that nonsense. They also have phenomenol turnover. SF is a commute city, so many people have pretty long commutes.

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dh in Northern CA, California

82 months ago

Marie in East Meadow, New York said: So you just tell them you can't stay and pack up your stuff. It sounds like some of you need to grow a set.

NYC secretaries don't put up with that crap - that's why we have full time second AND third shift secretaries.

I didn't do overtime - I ALWAYS refused. For example, my partner was trying to impress a new client by promising to have his docs ready by Mon morning. It was Friday. He told me, "This needs to be done over the weekend." I wasn't going to come back with "I don't do weekends," because it sounds smartass. Instead I asked him, "Do you want me to send an ofc-wide email to find you a volunteer?" Of course he said "yeah." I had all responses within 5 minutes (we only had 3 secretaries) and told him, "sorry but no one's available," and left it at that. I found out later that they called a former employee and asked her if she wanted to come in over the weekend, and she agreed. There were times when I went home, leaving a project partially done that he wanted done "Before you go," and I often felt like I was skating on thin ice, and as a single mom, that's not a comfortable feeling. From my experience at law firms, it's common for a secretary to get fired simply because she wouldn't allow herself to become a doormat. I never got fired, but I often felt anxiety and insecure at the job. I would rather feel that, however, than severe resentment for being walked on.

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volusia in Washington, District of Columbia

82 months ago

I like being a legal secretary -- I've done it for over 20 years and made very good money and benefits -- one secretary at my firm made over 135K last year with overtime. IP secretaries with experience made more than that in DC and unlike attorneys we can walk away from our jobs at night. I don't have to work overtime but I like being able to make extra money when I want. I've worked for nightmares and I've worked for great people. I really never had any great desire for any other kind of job -- unless it's not working at all.

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chelsea myers in cheyenne, Wyoming

51 months ago

I have just recently started a job in a smaller attorneys office. The legal secritary they have has been with them for many many years. I have Always had an interest in working in the legal field but am a 22 year old single mom so waitressing is what i have been doing for years with not much time and no money to go to school to become a paralegal so when the chance arose for me to start at a lawoffice with NO EXPERIENCE with Any type of reseptionist work muchless in the legal field i was very happy to except. Like i said they have an experienced receptionist here alread and its a small office with only 2 attorneys so there is not much work for us both. I am undecided now however if this is the field a want to grow in. I LOVE the work i do, when i have something to do that is i spend many hours sitting at my desk. I havent been taught much and its not the kinda job you just fihure out there is little to no room for mistakes. i work Just nder full time and my income from waitressing part time has been cut in half so its a hard adjustment for sure. do i want to stick it out so many of you hate this job but those who enjoy it really feel it was worth it.

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wtesdahl in Mobile, Alabama

51 months ago

Chelsea:

May I recommend joining a local legal secretary association where you can meet other legal secretaries in your area who can be your mentors. Also, some of these organizations have training courses for you to take for free for members only and it's a great place to start. May I also suggest proofing your work before submitting it - typos are a no-no in the legal profession. Good luck!!

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chelsea myers in cheyenne, Wyoming

51 months ago

I apologize for the grammer, my computer is the old one which is fine but most often the keys do not work on your first attempt, the U particularly tends not to. I Enjoy very much the work I do and have spent the past few weeks looking into grants and student loans to further my education in the legal field. I do plan on getting my associates in legal studies and hope to stick it out. I have been a waitress for over 6 years this is just such a change of pace for me that its kinda hard to adjust to especially when you feel like everyone thinks you know what your doing and your not getting much direction or training. It's in a sense been a sink or swim job "but make no mistakes". Thanks for your input however

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Tessa in Lakewood, Washington

37 months ago

I've been seriously considering going back to school for Paralegal and seeking a job in the admin field, legal work in particular. Right now I'm in between jobs, the majority of my work background is in retail, but I have a desire for stable hours and guaranteed salary, also helping people is something I'd like to mix into a career field I'm aiming for. I'm 22 years old, if I'm going to get started on a career path, now is the time. Its been tough finding a job in the admin field, not sure if its my resume or luck. If anyone has any suggestions / advice it'd be very appreciated, thank you.

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