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Legal Receptionist Career Guide

Do you like being in a professional environment, greeting people, tending to their needs, and helping them with getting their questions answered? Then a job as a legal receptionist might be an excellent fit for you.

A legal receptionist is often the first voice clients hear or face they see when doing business with a law firm. That alone makes this position vital members of a team. Beyond answering phones and greeting clients, they are responsible for many other essential tasks that keep everything running smoothly. 

Sample job description

Without successful legal receptionists, we wouldn’t be able to provide clerical support to law office teams as effectively. One of the most important roles a legal receptionist plays is operating the switchboard, responding to and routing all incoming calls to the law office. You do this by keeping a positive and resourceful attitude in the workplace with strong customer-focused communication. [Your Company Name] is hiring experienced legal receptionists. If you have experience in providing support to office staff, this could be the perfect fit.

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Answer, screen, and transfer all incoming phone calls
  • Take and relay messages
  • Conference room scheduling, set-up, and clean-up
  • Data entry
  • Assist with filing

Education and experience

This position requires a high school degree or GED and some experience in a legal or office setting.

Required skills and qualifications

  • Professional and courteous with a positive can-do attitude
  • Skilled at multitasking
  • Can work with minimal guidance and oversight
  • Proficient in MS Office Suite applications
  • Expertise in typing

Preferred qualifications

  • Highly organized
  • Self-motivated
  • Excellent communication skills

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for a legal receptionist is $42,000 in the United States. Position salary will vary based on experience, education, company size, industry, and market.

Typical work environment

Most legal receptionists work at desks in offices. They keep regular daytime hours, primarily reporting to the office manager but also to other lawyers, paralegals, and administrative assistants. They receive packages as well as do light office work, such as copying and finding various documents. Multitasking and housekeeping also are useful skills for a legal receptionist.

Typical hours

The typical work hours for a legal receptionist can be from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday, in an office setting. 

Available certifications

Most law firms will need a legal secretary to handle clerical tasks, so many institutions offer different certifications to help. Check out the following: 

  • Legal Secretary Certificate. This certificate from Purdue University assists soon-to-be legal secretaries by teaching them to prepare legal summonses, motions, and subpoenas so that lawyers and paralegals can focus on preparing cases. Learn all about legal services and policies. It’s an eight month long course. 
  • Legal Secretary Career Diploma. This career diploma offered by Penn Foster will explain interpersonal communication skills, records management, legal terminology, and legal writing.

Career path

The career path for a legal receptionist starts by first obtaining a high school degree or GED. Many firms do prefer some experience in a legal or office setting, but that may not always be a requirement, depending upon the individual firm. Also, to advance in a front-office role such as this, there are receptionist certification programs available. 

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 43-6012

2020 Employment160,400
Projected Employment in 2030126,700
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 21% decrease
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift33,600 decrease

While some phone automation may coexist with legal receptionist jobs, there is still a real need for professional, skilled humans in these positions; that trend looks to continue in the future.