A career as a legal secretary is a potential career that can provide you with significant legal expertise as well as a diverse skill set. This career path can be a good fit for you if you want to work in the legal sector without being a lawyer. A career as a legal secretary is a rewarding career that offers numerous advantages such as good earning potential, flexibility and potential for growth.


A legal secretary contributes significantly to the efficient operation of a law firm or legal department by offering thorough operational assistance. They can also be called legal assistants. Additionally, they are in charge of preparing legal documents, distributing connections, and organising case files. They have specialised training to support the work of lawyers and paralegals. In this piece, I will walk you through what you need to start a career as a legal secretary.


How to Become a Legal Secretary

  1. Obtain an O’level Certificate

    You need an O’level certificate if you want to start a career as a legal secretary. Additionally, you should have a strong foundation in areas such as writing, speaking and English. This will enable you to function effectively as a legal secretary. Additionally, you should also develop your computer skills.

  2. Acquire a Bachelor’s Degree

    It is highly recommended that you obtain a bachelor’s degree while pursuing this field. This will help you improve your skills, strengthen your resume, and give you foundational knowledge. You can gain a bachelor’s degree in disciplines such as Political science, Public policy, Psychology, Business or English.

  3. Obtain Professional Certifications

    You can gain professional certifications that can increase your knowledge. You can gain certificates such as Accredited Legal Professional (ALP), Certified Legal Secretary Specialist (CLS), or Professional Legal Secretary (PLS). Furthermore, these courses will provide you with the professional abilities and niche expertise required to start a career as a legal secretary.

  4. Gain Work Experience

    You must gain work experience before you pursue your career. You can gain experience through internships or trainee programs. These experiences can be a very useful way to learn more about what it’s like to be a legal secretary. It can also assist you in attracting employers and landing a fantastic career.

  5. Choose an Area of Specialisation

    You can choose to work in different areas of the legal sector. You can work in areas such as Real Estate, Healthcare, Criminal law, Corporate law, etc.

  6. Commit to Continuous Learning

    Legal and Technology procedures are always changing. Therefore, you should keep up with market developments, legal software, and best practices.


Types of Legal Secretaries

  1. Real Estate Legal Secretary: Legal secretaries who work in real estate law support lawyers who deal with leases, agreements, and construction of properties. Additionally, they might also work with settlement papers and title searches.
  2. Criminal Law Legal Secretary: These legal secretaries assist solicitors in handling criminal defence or trial cases. Furthermore, they help in the preparation of legal paperwork, paperwork for courts, and the organisation of evidence for prosecution.
  3. Healthcare Legal Secretary: Legal assistants with expertise in healthcare law support lawyers working with healthcare providers, hospitals, and regulatory compliance. Additionally, they might deal with paperwork for medical negligence lawsuits and medical laws.
  4. Environmental Law Legal Secretary: These secretaries assist lawyers on matters of environmental law, including litigation, authorization, and compliance with regulations. Additionally, they might help create legal paperwork for compliance and environmental assessments.
  5. Litigation Legal Secretary: Legal secretaries work with litigating attorneys. Generally, they are acquainted with court procedures, due dates, and the creation of court papers such as pleadings, motions, and discovery requests.


Skills Required for a Legal Secretary

  1. Interpersonal skills
  2. Organizational Skills
  3. Transcription Skills
  4. Attention to detail
  5. Teamwork
  6. Research Skills
  7. Multitasking Skills.
  8. Written and Verbal Communication Skills
  9. Discretion


Universities In Africa that can offer Degrees you need as a Legal Secretary

  1. University of Cape Town, South Africa
  2. Bayero University, Nigeria
  3. Federal University of Technology, Akure
  4. University of Lagos, Nigeria
  5. Cairo University, Egypt
  6. University of Maiduguri, Nigeria
  7. Ain Shams University, Egypt
  8. University of Ibadan, Nigeria
  9. Makerere University, Uganda
  10. University of Ghana, Ghana
  11. Tanta University, Egypt
  12. University of Witwatersrand
  13. Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
  14. University of Pretoria, South Africa
  15. Alexandria University, Egypt
  16. University of Sfax, Tunisia
  17. Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria
  18. University of Nairobi, Kenya
  19. Rhodes University, South Africa
  20. University of Nigeria, Nigeria


Starting a career as a legal secretary allows you to work in various sectors of the legal field. As a legal secretary, you can work in a variety of places, such as law firms and government institutions. Additionally, as a legal secretary, you can also focus on certain areas of law, such as criminal, family, or real estate law. Starting a career as a legal secretary demands proper credentials, including training and job experience, as well as the development of specialised skills.


Good luck!

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