legal secretarys

Get new comments by email
You can cancel email alerts at anytime.
Comments (1 to 50 of 73)
Page:   1  2  Next »   Last »

Nate in Sacramento, California

111 months ago

Whats the average income for a legal secretary

- Was this comment helpful?
Reply - Report abuse

dh in Northern CA, California

111 months ago

I think about $45K - $50K/year. It depends on experience and where you work. Sole practitioners pay less than firms. Downtown Sac, I think, will pay more than outlying areas. I saw an entry level legal secretary position near American River College advertising on Craigslist for - get this - $7.50/hr. I think In and Out pays more than that. I saw a few sole practitioners in Citrus Heights with jobs for $15/hr, and they wanted experience. If you think 45-50K sounds like good money - it's not. If you want to own a home here while saving enough money for retirement, that doesn't come close. You need to have about 4-5 years' experience before you make that. You can get a bachelor's degree in that time and then have a job that STARTS at that pay an then move up and have a great salary after a few years. As a legal secretary, once you have about 7-10 years' experience, you are maxed out and can only get cost-of-living raises thereafter, which usually don't keep up with inflation. Firms usually offer 401k (they don't always match anything) but there's no pension plan. So you're on your own saving for retirement unless you get a job with the City Atty's office or with the State - something like that.

That's just the pay. You didn't ask what it's like to work for attoreys; so I won't get into that, but read these posts. I am back in school full time to prepare a career change at 40 years old because I COULD NOT STAND IT ANY MORE.

To sum it up, the legal secretary profession is a job with mediocre pay that also includes working in an environment that is often hostile and sometimes even abusive.

- Was this comment helpful?
Reply - Report abuse

legalsec

111 months ago

30 years in the biz and yep I agree--it has changed over the years..but what do you havent got the $$ to go back to school; and this is all you have done? been laid off so many jobs---overqualified and yet underqualified go figure..

- Was this comment helpful?
Reply - Report abuse

legalsec

111 months ago

oh yea..the other think--benefits..I have been payingmy own medical since 1999. Compensation is not what it used to be..no retirement todate..very discouraging..but it is interesting work and I suppose if you get with the right firm..

- Was this comment helpful?
Reply - Report abuse

Harold in Bradenton, Florida

111 months ago

Dear Inquiring Person Wanting to Know about Legal Secretaries: Please don't let the negative and cynical comments of the other posters above deter you from exploring this field of work. It is an occupation that one can enter without a college degree and can be very fulfilling and an education in itself. I'd recommend court reporting and paralegal occupations to you as well. Becoming a Notary would give you a competitive edge in job hunting in the legal field, so I'd encourage you to explore becoming one. You should have a minimum typing speed of 75 wpm to consider these positions -- preferrably higher. Not all solo practitioners pay low, but they can't possibly offer the considerable benefit packages that larger firms have. If benefits are crucial to you, I'd explore becoming a legal assistant, legal secretary or other legal position with a federal, state or local county or city agency. Additionally, larger corporations have legal departments and pay higher than government jobs. Good luck!

- Was this comment helpful?
Reply - Report abuse

dh in Northern CA, California

111 months ago

legalsec said: you get with the right firm..

Hi Legalsec - I used to be licensed as a court reporter in WA state AND have my paralegal certificate from UCLA, in addition to working as a legal secretary for, in my opinion, way too long. If you read these posts, you will find that a lot of others feel the same way I do about being a legal secretary. Also go to www.vault.com and read the secretarial surveys under "law." The biggest complaint seems to be the attys. The money is great in court reporting. It's a long process, however. In CA, you have to write 225 wpm on the steno machine, and it could take 5-7 years to get that speed, depending on how much of your free time you practice outside school, and that's as a full time day student. Night students take longer than it takes to get a Ph.D., I'm not kidding. If it's something you would seriously consider, talk to court reporters and especially talk to students who attend the school you want to attend and ask them how long it takes. That should give you an idea. My best friend with whom I graduated bought a 740 BMW last year; so the money is there. She's somewhat unhappy with the profession but has no plans to get out. A lot of the girls that graduated together are not working as court reporters. They didn't like it and went on to something else. From talking to people with different jobs within the legal industry, I'm finding that most people whose jobs require them to deal with attys on a regular basis are not happy. Regarding having no money to return to school, I don't have $ either, but I'm doing it anyways. I moved to a much cheaper area and work 20 hrs/week, not making enough $ to live on; so my savings is draining and will be gone in December. I will then accrue school loan debt, both for school tuition and to cover what my p/t job doesn't. I have a teen at home. At my age, 40, I want to save for retirment, not build debt, but I'm willing to do anything to get out of this field.

- Was this comment helpful?
Reply - Report abuse

Deborah James in Alameda, California

110 months ago

legalsec said: oh yea..the other think--benefits..I have been payingmy own medical since 1999. Compensation is not what it used to be..no retirement todate..very discouraging..but it is interesting work and I suppose if you get with the right firm..

______________________________________________________________

That's the key. Finding the right firm.

- Was this comment helpful?
Reply - Report abuse

Aloha in Honolulu, Hawaii

110 months ago

Hostile enviornment? I lived it. Abusive treatment. Ditto. Pay was okay. Senior counsel, ok. Associate. Check first three letters of ASSOCIATE. To get even Senior counsel cut off all entitlement to medical insurance after 1-2 months. Recourse, NONE. Taking on the legal profession in Honolulu is tough and impossible to do and you are branded as such. Can't find a job being blacklisted but where does loyalty factor in? Nowhere.

- Was this comment helpful?
Reply - Report abuse

jessica in Sarasota, Florida

109 months ago

do u guys use math i have 2 do this reacher for my math class and i need 2 know if u guys use math and if so what kind?

- Was this comment helpful?
Reply - Report abuse

Deborah James in Alameda, California

109 months ago

Jessica,

What's a "reacher"? Depending on the job, Legal Secretaries use math. We are responsible for entering attorney and paralegal time, submitting expense reports, billing clients, and calendaring. (Calendaring involves lots of math, you have to be able to calculate the dates a particular task to be done based on the statutes).

- Was this comment helpful?
Yes
/ No
Reply - Report abuse

Aloha

109 months ago

I believe all jobs require math in one form or another. Excel seems to be the most popular. Although I am AHD (Adult Hyperactivity Disorder) I have problems solving complex math, however, am fluent with a calcuator. This presents a balance since my former position did not require a whole bunch of math processes.

I am finding out however, that loyalty and longevity do not play a role in getting a job. It is who can get you for the smallest buck.

Good luck.

- Was this comment helpful?
Yes
/ No
Reply - Report abuse

dh in Northern CA, California

109 months ago

I am finding out however, that loyalty and longevity do not play a role in getting a job. It is who can get you for the smallest buck. Good luck.

LOL!! I AGREE WITH YOU TWO 100%!!! Firms will pay you as little as they possibly can to get you in and milk you for everything they can get. Haven't we all heard the saying about how employers hate the employee who will do just barely enough to keep his job??? Well, helllowww! You can't expect more than that if you pay them barely enough to keep them coming back. I've always told everyone, "Company loyalty does NOT pay." The only way your salaries are going to keep up with the market rate is to change jobs every couple years. It's very unlikely that the loyal secretaries who have stayed with their firms several years will make as much as the newly hired secretary. Firms divy out raises year after year that don't match market rate. They have to hire in at market rate otherwise no one will accept the position. Therefore, the new secretaries make more than the "old" secretaries.

When I made my decision to return to school to prepare for a career change, I told my firm, and they agreed to keep me around part time. But my partner was mad and later they called me into his office and said they don't need a part timer, that he wanted me full time. I refused, and he said, "Fine. We'll hire your replacement." She started 6 weeks later. My administrator was real cool. She kept me informed on the hiring process just to give me an idea of when they wouldn't need me any more, and I appreciated that. Twice in that 6-week period, my administrator had two potential hirees accept her offer and then later call her to decline because their current firms counteroffered to keep them. I see this happening all the time. Secretaries find a better paying job because
[continued]...

- Was this comment helpful?
Reply - Report abuse

dh in Northern CA, California

109 months ago

[continued] ...after a few years with the same firm, their salary is far under the going rate. But when they give notice, their firms are willing to match their offers to keep them because these firms know that they will have to pay a new hiree the same amount of money to replace the secretary that gave notice, and they would rather keep the good employee they already have than start over with someone they don't know. The girl that finally replaced me was the third secretary to whom my administrator offered the position. I left at $55K. My coworkers and I guessed she was hired at $65K. She had more experience than I did. I turned down a job offer 9 months earlier that was paying $59K. I was making $52.5K at the time.

There's something very important that I think a lot of secretaries don't realize, and that is that administrators get paid huge bonuses at the end of the year if they can keep firm spending under budget. Part of that budget is staff salaries. The better the raise the secretary gets at the end of the year, the more that cuts into the administrator's bonus. Assuming my replacement was hired at $65K, that's $833 more a month than what I was paid. That undoubtedly cut into the administrator's bonus that year (She started June). Not only does a secretary's company loyalty cause her to be underpaid in the long run, it's a financial reward for the administrator.

- Was this comment helpful?
Reply - Report abuse

Aloha

109 months ago

Anyone here on this forum quit work due to "hostile working" conditions? Comments please. It will help my situation.

- Was this comment helpful?
Reply - Report abuse

Aloha

109 months ago

Harold: it appears that maybe you are/were new to the field. I speak from 17+ years of experience and left after many many episodes of "hostile treatment" by another staff attorney. Recuperating from surgery and back at work post 4th, "associate" instructed me to retrieve a file from the cabinet (last draw) located some 30+ feet away from my office. I was on a knee scooter and unable to get the file and told her so, so she yelled and another staff member jumped up and got it for this "associate". This "associate" also threw away my food and toothbrush, left files on the chair causing near misses after my return from the restroom, promptly kept me misinformed and "non-privvy" to a lot of essential, firm related, client relations matters...refused to give me work "so did it bother me", misinformed others about my work and played down my role as a para-professional, which resulted in me quitting my job after 16 1/2 years with the same firm. The "Boss" of the firm also did not take action after I begged him literally to discuss it in a meeting. I am also a notary public and it is no big deal but helps. I concur with other displaced paras here on this forum, we work hard and get little recognition. I left making $3300.00 per month which is didly sqat here in Hawaii. continued

- Was this comment helpful?
Reply - Report abuse

Aloha

109 months ago

and Honolulu is a big city and it is who you know and kiss up to that make the difference. I won't. Respect was something that this so called "associate" demanded that I refused to give unless it was given to me. Respect is not something that is demanded but given freely after respect by that other person. She also wanted to "groom" another part timer to be her patsy that it was sickening to see, both guys could and cannot seem to freely think and stand up to her. This person also has a nasty habit of shaking her head left to right to demand her point of view be recognized which in itself is sad. Did I lose a job that I loved yes, did I go through and am going through tough times, yes but the struggle for self respect is what I need to give to myself and I have got to live with me for the rest of my life and if I don't stand up (literally), I will never move forward. Don't talk to me about ethics and respect for case resolution because here in Honolulu, this firm takes the case and spends down the retainer almost too soon. Padding the billing, yeah to the tune of minimal billing at 15 minutes even if you spend 6 on it. Talk to me about the field and I will give you all the "advice" on staying in it. Talk to me about leaving and trying to get a job again in the legal field and I will tell you it is who you know and who can get you for the smallest buck and no self esteem. Your immediate challenge will result in butt kissing, teeth grinding and no rewards. It is not no guts no glory. That's the reality of it. Para professionals are the least appreciated in the legal field but the hardest working and truly a gem if they can withstand the pressure and compromise. I reached a point that I could not anymore but good luck! I am not being negative, just honest.

- Was this comment helpful?
Reply - Report abuse

debjame in San Anselmo, California

109 months ago

Aloha said: Anyone here on this forum quit work due to "hostile working" conditions? Comments please. It will help my situation.

I once left a job where the attorney cursed out the staff and the clients on a regular basis. I just couldn't take it anymore. AND I GOT UNEMPOYMENT COMPENSATION, turns out this guy had quite a reputation with them.

I went to a function this time last year and ran into his law clerk. He told me that the loudmouth had dropped dead right there in the office. Had a massive heartache and keeled over.

Not very kind of me, but it served him right.

- Was this comment helpful?
Reply - Report abuse

Aloha

109 months ago

Thanks for your support and input. I do not wish any hard luck on anyone especially my former employer and his "associate", however, lawyers stick together and generally, employees are disposable so who really cares about them, correct? Lawyers must maintain an impeccable reputation here in Honolulu, however, there is a lot of game playing here, and often times, results in hard feelings between employer and employee. However, the so called "reputation" is often times adjusted to the role the attorney wants to play, if it be whatever he wants to be, the attorney's mistakes are kept in the closet while the legal and displaced staff members get grilled on the cooker and raked over and over again on the coals and tried before the other attorneys in their own minds. I would love to get a job in the legal field again but thanks to what transpired, I doubt if it will happen unless there really is fairness and justice. It will restore my faith in the legal system if I do, then I do know that there is someone watching over me with a higher power who is not an attorney. If there is an attorney here in Honolulu who would take this case, I would consider it more an equal opportunity - violation of rights type of case, after all, there was once an attorney named ... and I could feel comfortable within my own skin. Remember folks, Honolulu is SMALL compared to where you all are, and it is who you know or who you can kiss up to that matters and believe me, aside from the country club gatherings, there is much going on, in and out of the office.

- Was this comment helpful?
Reply - Report abuse

Aloha

109 months ago

Displaced legal professional.....the "associate" is some 10 years younger than I am, which makes her about 46, right into the "M" stage of her life. This "associate" has a huge chip on her shoulder and the need to feel that she must always be the center of attention, even if it means that someone else has the floor. The need to succeed in her life is marred by her inability to work with other females and give the rein to them to take the lead. That's why I left, for there was no way that I would gallop with her on her high horse that she insists on riding, however, one day that horse will stop galloping and we will then see what transpires. Notice that there are no other para professionals commenting from Honolulu? Hmmmm.

- Was this comment helpful?
Reply - Report abuse

dh in Northern CA, California

109 months ago

Aloha said: Displaced legal ... Notice that there are no other para professionals commenting from Honolulu? Hmmmm.

HI Aloha - A great majority of experienced secretaries where I worked WILL NOT work for women attys. I've never quit a job beause of hostile work conditions, but I almost did once. I was working in the OC office of a large LA-based firm. One of the female partners there was married to the chief admin guy - the CEO - and she got away with alot of BS. He worked in LA, and she in OC. She was an absolute nightmare. A lot of your story above reminds me of this woman. I was assigned to her Mondays and Fridays only, and still I couldn't stand it. The administrator refused to take me off her desk; so I decided to leave. The secretary who worked for her the other 3 days told me she was leaving and that they would likely hire a full timer to to work for this witch, meaning that I would no longer have to put up with her those 2 days. I had 2 years' experience when this was going on and not a lot of confidence to just quit and look for another job so I waited for this girl to give notice, and sure enough, they got a full timer, and my nightmare was over. The full timer walked out one day about a month later without having another job to go to. She had two elementary school children and a husband receiving unemployment. The administrator called me into his office - the dreaded meeting I knew was coming. He asked me if I'd be willing to do it - he seemed to be giving me a choice - and said he was already interviewing and had two girls in mind. He told me two weeks max. I agreed, and a new girl started two days later! This woman totally kissed my behind those entire two days - couldn't figure that out.

This happened five years ago, and I documented EVERYTHING. I kept a diary, and I detailed everything that went on. If nothing happened on that particular day (she had to be out of the office for nothing to happen),[continued next].

- Was this comment helpful?
Reply - Report abuse

dh in Northern CA, California

109 months ago

[Continued from previous].. then I would note the fact that there was nothing to report in my diary for that particular day. This is a large well known firm with offices all over the country. Outwardly, it has a great reputation. I'd think that anyone responding on this site knows this firm. They have been sued several times by former employees over the past several years. There are a few "old timers," women in their 60's who've been there quite a while, and one of them actually testified against the firm about 15 years ago. My close friend lost a mediation against them last year, which s*cked because they really burned her. They let her go after she accused a partner of sexual harrassment. She was called in and told that her job performance was poor and informed that they would be putting her on "probation," and that if her work didn't improve after that probationary period, she would be let go. They let her go about 3 months later. Probation is for new employees to see if they can handle the job. This girl had been there 13 years when they started hassling her.

I would think, based on what you wrote, that you have grounds to file a lawsuit. Did you document anything? Have you spoken to an atty? I was told by the former coworker who testified against our firm that the plaintiff in that case - my old firm's previous employee - got a settlement such that she never had to work again. I was also told that what the firm did to her was very "blatant and arbitrary." I read all these posts and look at what we all have to say about this field, and I still can't believe I got into this line of work, let alone stuck it out for almost 5 years. What a waste.

- Was this comment helpful?
Reply - Report abuse

Aloha

109 months ago

DH: have you ever really looked at the demographics of Honolulu city itself? I would say that within a three - four block radius, up and down near the courthouse, there must be approximately 80% of the entire attorney population here within that area. When you walk down a street, here, it is who you know believe me. There are many folks here in Honolulu who have bitter feelings about attorneys, like the old west, really good ones, honest and fair ones are precious and few. It boils down to money and what you are willing to pay to get what you set out to achieve. Too often, money plays the ultimate role in getting what you want, who you can afford to hire, while the little folks get nothing. I would love to see a reform of the legal system here in Honolulu and that's why I have to start and take a stand. It has not been easy, but it boils down to money, the have or the have nots of it and the belief that there is equal justice for all. I cannot compromise ethics for finances in this matter, there is no equalization at all. My position is that I cannot afford to hire an attorney, all I want to do is get a job so that I can start over and that in itself is very challenging. What is documentation when your former employer takes your daily planner from your ring binder and gives you the months that are remaining in the year? I don't think anyone quits on real impluse, it takes guts to quit, staying is easy.

- Was this comment helpful?
Reply - Report abuse

Jaded in Richmond, Virginia

109 months ago

Aloha. I feel for you. I have been abused and mistreated also. Especially here in Richmond, VA. Talk about clickish and clanish. They are so mean here. Everyone that is not from here is an outsider. You are right it does take guts to quit because it shows that you have respect for yourself and will not tolerate anyone abusing you and you will be a better person for it. Attornyes and secretaries where I am are both backstabbers. I think it is a qualification to get a job here. It is horrbile. I want to get out of here so bad.

- Was this comment helpful?
Reply - Report abuse

Aloha

109 months ago

Jaded: I hear Richmond, VA is a great place to be, perhaps not in the legal field, but overall in general. Stick it out there, it is probably a whole lot better than Honolulu.

- Was this comment helpful?
Yes
/ No
Reply - Report abuse

debjame in Alameda, California

109 months ago

Worse than abusers are whiners. Last Friday, I took a document to file at the court located near my home. The one court was closed, so I went across the street to another court, only to learn that there had been plumbing problems in the first building, and I now had to take the document to the main court building. I did so, called and spoke to the office manager, who didn't bother to tell anyone. The director called me on my cell and I informed her that I was on my way back. I arrived at 12:15 p.m.

There was another document that needed to be filed in Sacramento (2 pages, including the caption page, seond page is all of one sentence long) She, in the meantime, had freaked out; had another firm prepare and file the document - EXCEPT - that it was done wrong and the court rejected it, so it came back to me to prepare.

The attorney then starts freaking out about will Fed Ex get it there on time; what if it's wrong again, etc., etc. I called a messenger service, who came out and picked up the document to file on Monday (the deadline) I started to offer to just take a train or bus to Sacramento, and file the document myself. One advantage of that is that if it was rejected again, I could go to a library, Kinko's, or internet cafe and make whatever changes were required, leaving the signature page intact.

I decided to just let them pay a messenger. I don't need all the nonsense and drama. I spoke to the secretary I had replaced. As I'd begun to suspect, she resigned because of all disorganization, drama, and incompetence that I am seeing there.

- Was this comment helpful?
Reply - Report abuse

debjame in Alameda, California

109 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said:

I would have also offered to file the pleading myself in-person for the same reasons you gave. I also don't trust messenger services.

Couldn't you have just driven to Sacramento? I lived in the San Fran area for several months several years ago. I don't recall it being that bad a drive.

____________________________________________________

I don't drive so taking the Greyhound or the AMTRAK would have been the best bets. The messenger service I called is one that I go back with for more than 20 years. They are extremely competent. The owner used to be a detective, worked sub-rosa investigations for insurance companies for a time after he retired, and then opened his own process service.

My only hesitation was the cost - this is a non-profit group. Anyone else would charge about the same, I just know this is a dependable group.

I co

He has a stellar reputation in the area. He does unbelievable skip trace work too. People who have tried to disappear to avoid service are usually located by his company within 1 to 2 hours.

The document couldn't be efiled or faxed - it's in an appellate court. It's just a response to a Waiver For Oral Hearing form sent by the court. Like I said, there was the caption page, a one sentence paragraph by the attorney, and a signature block. She wanted to a song and dance about wasn't it supposed to be on lined paper, etc.

The former secretary said to me: "Have you figured out by now that they don't know what they are doing?" I've noticed. It's too bad, it is work for a cause I really believe in and the cases are very interesting. I hate to say this, but they could be an advertisement for older chauvinist attorneys as to why women shouldn't be attorneys. Unorganized, emotional, reactionary, paranoid, etc. I'm sure that opposing counsel has picked up on this as well, which really opens the door up for some tricky legal maneuvering.

- Was this comment helpful?
Reply - Report abuse

Aloha

109 months ago

Comments: Stellular reputations in Honolulu for attorneys are general and go with the role playing that they do. What bothers me is the underlying problems that they have as individuals and all of the skeletons that they have in their closets which are better left there. However, disturbing, is the sticking up that they do for one another, be it wrong and they are aware of the wrong or the wrong doing. Skills are almost parallel to the skeleton syndrome. Then is the bragging that they do to feed their egos......generally at the cost of a client's reputation or labeling them as "nuts" or "crazy", more so raking them over the coals when they are unable to pay the outrageous padded fees that often accompany the hourly billables. These go hand in hand with the ass kissing, judgeships, discliplinary board roles etc. and the country club memberships that they can afford. Needless to say, these professionals while working hard and educated often neglect the loyalty and the service that their staff has provided to them over the years and will clearly toss them out at the drop of a hat placing the staff member in jeopardy......why did I stay in family law for so long in Honolulu, because it was the reward of seeing yourself making a difference in one person's life and the smile of a child. Get the first three letters of the word "associate" and you find out why I left and not because the attorney was specially gifted or the role that he played in legal society.

- Was this comment helpful?
Reply - Report abuse

debjame in Alameda, California

109 months ago

Your reasons for staying in family law are the same reasons that I took a job with the nonprofit.

However, I don't plan to continue to try functioning in a chaotic, unorganized, environment. All the same game playing is present in that environment as well.

I'm also hearing a lot about how the clients are nuts, etc.

It's just a bad scene and I'm glad to have found out.

- Was this comment helpful?
Reply - Report abuse

debjame in Alameda, California

109 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: Aloha: "Needless to say, these professionals while working hard and educated often **neglect the loyalty and the service that their staff has provided to them over the years and will clearly toss them out at the drop of a hat placing the staff member in jeopardy**......"

(emphasis added)

So true. And it doesn't happen strictly in Hawaii, either. Never mind *years of loyalty and service*and competence; even the slightest amount of discord during that period and you're gone.

I knew a lawyer for many years whose primary specialty was family law. Aside from making money I think he became a lawyer because he needed a bully pulpit to feel worthy. I realize family law is contentious, but his tone in some of his letters would have earned him a grievance. at least in Colorado.

______________________________________________________________

I started my career with an attorney whose specialty was family law. He was tough and determined. However, he never took out his frustrations on the staff. He just wanted things done in a timely, organized manner so that he could look out for his client's interests.

He worked his way through college and law school as a grocery bagger, and later grocery checker. I've always thought that's why he wasn't on a bully pulpit. He became a legend in his own time, and still now that's he's passed away. Big difference in working your way through and having things handed to you on a silver platter.

I also know a man who was a distinguished math professor at UC Berkeley before retiring. He worked his way through college as a dishwasher until he'd completed enough coursework to be a teaching assistant before finally getting a Ph.D. and becoming a tenured professor. He is listed in several books as one of the top scientists in the world.

Both of these men were humble - not arrogant airbrains like what I've been seeing lately.

- Was this comment helpful?
Reply - Report abuse

debjame in Alameda, California

109 months ago

Yes, unfortunately there are a few of those types around as well. Some people just like being bullies, just like some people love drama.

I just hold down the shift case and press the underline. It separates what I'm responding from what I am posting. I've seen other people enclose the previous post in a box, but I don't know how to do that.

- Was this comment helpful?
Yes
/ No
Reply - Report abuse

debjame in Alameda, California

109 months ago

Hope everyone has a very nice Christmas

- Was this comment helpful?
Reply - Report abuse

Aloha

109 months ago

Ditto-across the miles. Suprisingly, after a rain drenched morning, it washed out the misery and turned on the sunshine. Mele Kalikimaka.

- Was this comment helpful?
Yes
/ No
Reply - Report abuse

Jaded in Richmond, Virginia

107 months ago

Cathy in New Jersey said: Jaded in Richmond, Virginia SAID:
Aloha. I feel for you. I have been abused and mistreated also. Especially here in Richmond, VA. Talk about clickish and clanish. They are so mean here. Everyone that is not from here is an outsider. You are right it does take guts to quit because it shows that you have respect for yourself and will not tolerate anyone abusing you and you will be a better person for it. Attornyes and secretaries where I am are both backstabbers. I think it is a qualification to get a job here. It is horrbile. I want to get out of here so bad.
!
!
Question: Are you talking about one law firm that you are currently employed in Richmond, VA as being clickish and clanish or the few that are in Richmond, VA? I am from New Jersey and just curious, LOL.
-
Question: Is it really that horrible working in Richmond, VA at any law firm? Because if so, sounds like you are encountering some type of racism and should get out of the environment. Certainly not a good place to work and no need for you to be around those types of abusive and unprofessional environment because it only gets worse.
!
!
Attornyes and secretaries where I am are both backstabbers. I think it is a qualification to get a job here.

QUESTION: It seems like there are a shortage of jobs in Richmond, VA because it is clear that the attorneys and secretaries are trying to hold on to their jobs like it was the last one standing in Richmond, VA and would do anything to keep it....LOL, backstabbers, WTH is wrong with them, LOL...don't they know it is only a JOB AND THAT THEY COULD BE FIRED AT ANY GIVEN DAY JUST LIKE ANYONE ELSE, GEEZ.

I don't know what the problem is, but I can tell you that this is the weirdest place I have ever been in my entire life. I have never experienced such judgemental people in my life.

- Was this comment helpful?
Yes
/ No
Reply - Report abuse

Elaine in Fall River, Massachusetts

107 months ago

what are you going to school for?

- Was this comment helpful?
Yes
/ No
Reply - Report abuse

Aloha in Honolulu, Hawaii

106 months ago

Everyone, please note that there are a lot of displaced former and current legal professionals blogging here. For all of you, it was not my intent to deter anyone into this profession because it can be truly rewarding with the right connections. I don't fit into any and there are so many "requirements" of the job and I have seen first hand destruction that a sloppy representation of low caliber can produce. On the other hand, I have also seen the awesome joy of a child who is with the parent that he or she wants to be, that in itself, is a huge reward. However, tides of time change and perhaps it is my time to leave the profession, I just seem to run into more traps and letters of rejection because of what I stood up for what I believed to be right. There are those who believe I am right, and those who believe that I am wrong. Each individual is entitled to his or her own opinion and so am I. Perhaps I am more vocal or come across as being a disgruntled former employee which is not the case. There is no real disgruntled former employee who stays with a firm for more than 16+ years. There is no former employee who stays while the Boss has one filing cabinet and waiting for checks from clients to arrive and going to a firm with 3 attorneys and support staff.

Would/could/should I have my life back....Yes.

Do I wish my life back, yes, but not at the expense of my dignity and self respect. If I don't set an example for one to follow, then I am no leader in any field, disgruntled or not.

I am not a person of extravagant means, I don't carry any purse valued at more than $20.00, (although I do have some, gifts from my family) and my clothes are bought at Wal Mart and Savers and when I find a good bargain, it makes my day. I am simple and frugal and stand by what I tell my friends.

Honesty is what got me into this mess but will I compromise my self worth and dignity for the almighty $$ and the profession? Ask me that again in a few months.

Aloha!

- Was this comment helpful?
Reply - Report abuse

Aloha in Honolulu, Hawaii

106 months ago

Excuse me. The last purse I bought was in December and it was for $21.88 plus tax at a surf shop here in Honolulu.

- Was this comment helpful?
Yes
/ No
Reply - Report abuse

Aloha

106 months ago

This may open up someone's eyes to some of the ways of Paradise.

www.kycbs.net/BuzzardsOfParadise.htm

- Was this comment helpful?
Yes
/ No
Reply - Report abuse

Jennifer in New York, New York

105 months ago

Harold in Bradenton, Florida said: Dear Inquiring Person Wanting to Know about Legal Secretaries: Please don't let the negative and cynical comments of the other posters above deter you from exploring this field of work. It is an occupation that one can enter without a college degree and can be very fulfilling and an education in itself. I'd recommend court reporting and paralegal occupations to you as well. Becoming a Notary would give you a competitive edge in job hunting in the legal field, so I'd encourage you to explore becoming one. You should have a minimum typing speed of 75 wpm to consider these positions -- preferrably higher. Not all solo practitioners pay low, but they can't possibly offer the considerable benefit packages that larger firms have. If benefits are crucial to you, I'd explore becoming a legal assistant, legal secretary or other legal position with a federal, state or local county or city agency. Additionally, larger corporations have legal departments and pay higher than government jobs. Good luck!

I'm so glad you said that. I have a great job now in New York I got through a wonderful employment agency. As a legal secretary we get such a bad rap at times. People don't understand what we do or people who should never be legal secretaries try it and find it's not for them. They should not knock those of us who really enjoy our work and what we do for a living.

Harold you sound like a nice and smart guy. We could use more of you in New York. I'm new to Indeed and think it's wonderful but I also found a person here who was just bold face lying and had to say something. I think I'll keep coming to Indeed the nice people here make it a great place for career information. All the best to you, Jennifer in New York City - A Happy Legal Secretary

- Was this comment helpful?
Reply - Report abuse

dh in Northern CA, California

105 months ago

Jennifer in New York, New York said: I'm so glad you said that. I have a great job now in New York I got through a wonderful employment agency...

We aren't "knocking" anyone who enjoys being a legal secretary. On this site, we are a support system to each other and give each other advice. Most of us have been thru hell because we got into this field, and one is on disability after having a nervous breakdown. A lot of us do, however, discourage those who are considering this field then they write in to ask about it. We have a good reason. I would not want anyone to experience what I've experienced as a legal secretary; if only I had done the proper research-talked to experienced secretaries before getting involved.

In Southern CA, it's rare to come accross a legal secretary who likes this work. I avoided going to lunch with a group of legal secretaries because it always ended up being a big b*tchfest with everyone complaining about how nasty their attys were. Granted, these women had good reason to complain, but at lunch I want to talk about anything BUT work. My point is that, during my 5 years in the industry, I met 4 women who liked what they did. All of them were in their 50's, married to guys with good jobs so had something to fall back on, and had 20+ years' experience. There were all also in LA. I never met anyone in Orange County who liked it.

My experience was that it was a hostile and oppressive environment. They give you more and more work, smile in your face and tell you what a good job you're doing yet your raise doesn't keep up with market rate. Company loyalty doesn't work. You have to change jobs every few years to avoid becoming underpaid.

continued...

- Was this comment helpful?
Reply - Report abuse

dh in Northern CA, California

105 months ago

...continued.

I left my last legal job in '06. I returned to school full time to finish my bachelors degree. I will graduate in May of '09 at almost 42. I was sick to death of the industry and so burnt out by the time I left that, for the first year after I moved, I didn't want to work. I was exhausted and and wanted to retire but, at 39? Fat chance. I couldn't see myself being happy at any job. If you hate what you do, it really takes a lot out of you. I now work 20 hours/wk as a file clerk and doing admin stuff. I like it. I also have 12 units.

Maybe you people in New York have a totally different corporate culture or work ethic. I don't know what it is, but you guys are the only crowd who has had great things to say about this field. I don't "knock" that. I personally have never experienced anything pleasant about the legal industry and, with the exception of 4 former coworkers in Los Angeles who come from a different generation, I don't know anyone who has. I don't think the money is great. I left my last job at $55k, turned down an offer for $59K in '05. Like I said, raises don't keep up. You have to make a lateral move.

Having my degree will give me options-I can have an actual career with ladder of success to climb. I always felt I was at a dead end as a legal secretary. I always saw it as just a JOB - Just Over Broke. Hostile environment and condescending attorneys aside, I still wouldn't want spend the rest of my life working as someone's b*tch. I just want to have some independence and autonomy. Making more money would be nice, but the main thing for me is doing something I enjoy.

- Was this comment helpful?
Reply - Report abuse

Aloha in Honolulu, Hawaii

105 months ago

Have I been locked out from the web?

- Was this comment helpful?
Yes
/ No
Reply - Report abuse

Debopr in Alameda, California

105 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: dh in Northern CA, California:

I second dh on loyalty, or lack thereof. I was brought up to be loyal and supportive of my employer. Perhaps one of my employers was loyal and supportive of me, and he was not in law. Loyalty is the employment context is extinct IMO.

_____________________________________________________________

I think that's true for lots of fields now; but more particularly in the legal field; and it's for all the reasons you cite.

It's not just limited to attorneys; I've been around some pretty crazy support staff as well.

Legal, in particular, just seems to be getting crazier and crazier. The number of people who don't know what they are doing is just exponential.

- Was this comment helpful?
Reply - Report abuse

dh in Northern CA, California

105 months ago

Regarding company loyalty, I think it's something reciprocated. I'll give a company they same degree of loyalty they give me. That being said, my experience is that very few attorneys/law firms out there are worthy of any loyalty at all.

I was hired as a word processor then made a secretary and assigned two partners and two associates, plus got pidgeon-holed with printing prebills, editing and finalizing bills to mail out, and some A/R. Not only did I not get a raise with this "promotion," even if I had remained a WP, I was still underpaid after the passage of time and not receiving yearly raises that keep up with the market rate. Company loyalty, in my opinion, is not warranted in cases like these. And everyone in the legal field experiences this. And we all know this is just the tip of the iceberg with everything else we put up with from attorneys.

Displaced, regarding your comment about $59K being great money, in Orange County, CA, that wouldn't go too far. I'm still in touch with a great recruiter that I used to use, and she told me a few months ago that secretaries now get $65k - $70K+. It's decent, but it's not enough to become a homeowner unless you buy in the Inland Empire area (San Bernardino and Riverside counties). With all the people doing that nowadays, it could be a 2+ hour one-way commute to work. I lived in Irvine. I checked online recently, and the cheapest 2 bdrm apartments there now rent for $1720-the cheapest complex in the city. If you can never afford a home, that means your are a renter for the rest of your life. If you have to rent for the rest of your life, can you ever retire???

- Was this comment helpful?
Reply - Report abuse

dh in Northern CA, California

105 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: dh in Northern CA, California: "Displaced, regarding your comment about $59K being great money, in Orange County, CA, that wouldn't go too far. I'm still in touch with a great recruiter that I used to use, and she told me a few months ago that secretaries now get $65k - $70K+. It's decent, but it's not enough to become a homeowner unless you buy in the Inland Empire area (San Bernardino and Riverside counties). With all the people doing that nowadays, it could be a 2+ hour one-way commute to work. I lived in Irvine. I checked online recently, and the cheapest 2 bdrm apartments there now rent for $1720-the cheapest complex in the city. If you can never afford a home, that means your are a renter for the rest of your life. If you have to rent for the rest of your life, can you ever retire???"

Of course, but $59K is excellent bread for a paralegal or legal secretary around here. Of course, it's cheaper to live here than in SoCal.

Yeah - I think just about everywhere else is cheaper than Southern CA (probably not NYC). Where I am now, rent is much cheaper and salaries are less, but the cost-of-living ratio in relation to salary up here is better. I would have more extra money left over after rent and necessities despite the lower salary if I chose to continue as a full time legal secretary. I would actually have a little better standard of living.

- Was this comment helpful?
Reply - Report abuse

Aloha in Honolulu, Hawaii

105 months ago

Folks: commentary is going straight to wages. Here in Honolulu, it is approximately $2000.00 for entry level legal secretary if you can find a job like that. I am paying $2000.00 (which is reasonable for me) to rent a 3 bedder 2 bath home in Honolulu. I pay all utilities. Water runs approximately $100.00 per month and electric about $300-400.00 for 2 people and that is sparse. Gas runs us as of today $3.57 per gal for 87. (Fill up about 40-45) Cable runs about $75-100.00 (without internet). My rental has holes in the floors, doors that have holes in it, a bedroom that is off the beam, toilets that leak and termite problem. However, if you look at the total overall picture, it is livable, at least for now. I hope to find another place soon, that will allow dogs.

So leaving a job that pays $3300 per month, having to deal with arrogant and demanding ASSOCIATES, and a partner that lies and refuses to take action on an employer related matter and gets away with it, leaves a bitter if not intolerable taste in my mouth.

When you get a chance, read the link I posted and you get a feel of what it is like. Moreoever, Hawaii v. New York is different, people in New York are more educated as they have better geographical areas that can and do provide a higher quality of education. New York is culture rich, you have theatres and plays on all of the time. We are lucky to have one here in Honolulu several times a year. No comparison.

It has long been known that East Coast attorneys are more fine tuned than Hawaii attorneys. Hawaii attorneys educated at Harvard and Yale get the best jobs and best clients, because they are educated and have a better technique for dealing with the public than ones educated elsewhere. All of the Ivy League schools provide much higher quality of standards of education that West Coast. Again, no comparison. Look at the law library offered at Cornell and tell me again who has better standards?

- Was this comment helpful?
Yes
/ No
Reply - Report abuse

Aloha in Honolulu, Hawaii

105 months ago

So all, comment on how it has affected you. Being displaced is not fun but in order to achieve the highest possible self esteem, we need to look forward and not backwards.

Take a step backward to go ten forward. Yes, we can and we will, one step (forward I hope) than back.

Good luck. My heart goes out to each and every one of you.

- Was this comment helpful?
Yes
/ No
Reply - Report abuse

Aloha in Honolulu, Hawaii

105 months ago

BTW: I believe that starting rates for ASSOCIATES in Hawaii is roughly $5(k)per month plus benefits.

Benefits vary from firm to firm. Lots of times the associates are green and latch on to the bigger name attorneys to "pave the way". However, there are top notch firms in Honolulu that have an awesome criteria and new breed of attorneys that focus on client's sole needs, so the trend may be changing. How long it is going to take to catch up to the mid school attorneys here in Honolulu is to be determined.

I'd like to live to see the day that new standards of judicial reform take place in Honolulu, where litigation and billing are not so padded so that folks can get on to the business of their day to day lives and not be so devastated or overwhelmed by legal matters.

Hah.

- Was this comment helpful?
Yes
/ No
Reply - Report abuse

Debopr in Alameda, California

105 months ago

Aloha in Honolulu, Hawaii said:

It has long been known that East Coast attorneys are more fine tuned than Hawaii attorneys. Hawaii attorneys educated at Harvard and Yale get the best jobs and best clients, because they are educated and have a better technique for dealing with the public than ones educated elsewhere. All of the Ivy League schools provide much higher quality of standards of education that West Coast. Again, no comparison. Look at the law library offered at Cornell and tell me again who has better standards?

____________________________________________________________

I don't know about that. One of those bimbos at that women's rights group is Yale educated. She is one of the the most illogical people I have ever come across. That's the one who wanted me to send a Notice of Association across the Bay and then have our attorney (who wasn't there that day) resign it before filing. I just used the faxed signature we had along with an actual signature that I had for our attorney and got it filed. It also turned out that the attorney she wanted the pleading sent to was in LA that day.

I am convinced that that woman is on something. Recently, the paralegal emailed me because no one knew whether they had efiling accounts or not. All the attorney had to do was open her own contact info where the passwords were posted. Since I'd been told by the previous secretary that this had come up a number of times, I copied the info into my Outlook contact folder and suggested that the paralegal do the same. They haven't cleared that computer yet, so she was able to import the info onto her computer.

They haven't found anyone to replace me as of yet, and I bad mouth those Bimbos any chance I get.

- Was this comment helpful?
Reply - Report abuse

creativeconsultingteam in Dallas, Texas

105 months ago

Hope this payscale will help
www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Legal_Secretary_%2f_Legal_Aid/Salary

===
Interview and Job Search Tips -
Tony Beshara
http:://www.tonybeshara.com

- Was this comment helpful?
Reply - Report abuse

Lawyer's Right Hand in Dallas, Texas

105 months ago

On the other hand, it was nice of him to alert those of us in his area as to how tacky he is.

LRH
lawyersrighthand.com

- Was this comment helpful?
Reply - Report abuse

Page:   1  2  Next »   Last »

» Sign in or create an account to comment on this topic.