Legal Administrative Assistants

Occupation:Legal Administrative Assistants
Category:Business, Finance, and Administration

About the job

Nature of work:

Legal administrative assistants perform a variety of secretarial and administrative duties in law offices, legal departments of large firms, real estate companies, land title offices, and municipal, provincial, and federal courts and government.

Job duties:
Legal administrative assistants perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Prepare and key in correspondence and legal documents, such as deeds, wills, affidavits and briefs, from handwritten copy, shorthand and machine dictation using computers.
  • Review and proofread documents and correspondence to ensure compliance with legal procedures and grammatical usage.
  • Schedule appointments, meetings and conferences for employer.
  • Set up and maintain filing systems, utilizing knowledge of legal records and procedures and frequently controlling confidential materials and documents.
  • Open and distribute regular and electronic incoming mail and other material and coordinate the flow of information internally and with other departments or organizations.
  • Determine and establish office procedures and routines.
  • May supervise and train other staff in procedures and in the use of current software.
  • May attend court, meetings or conferences to take notes, minutes and dictation.
  • May perform other general office work as required including preparing financial statements.
Sample job titles:
  • corporate finance legal assistant
  • estate administrative assistant
  • labour law legal assistant
  • legal administrative assistant
  • legal assistant
  • legal secretary
  • litigation secretary
  • real estate administrative assistant
  • tax legal assistant

To work in these jobs, you need excellent grammar and communication skills. Accurate and fast typing speed is essential. You should have a working knowledge of computers, word processing software, and general office equipment. Interpersonal skills and the ability to work with others are important.

Job requirements:
  • Completion of secondary school is usually required.
  • Completion of a one- or two-year college or other program for secretaries or legal secretaries is usually required.
Other considerations:


Labour Market Information

Work Prospects:Fair

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a moderate sized occupation in Nova Scotia so some job opportunities may occur through turnover. The number employed in this occupation is expected to remain largely the same over the next few years. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Legal Administrative Assistants most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are typically permanent positions.

The median employment income for 70% of Legal Administrative Assistants who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $43,886. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

OccupationEstimated employment in 2018Estimated change in employment between 2017 and 2019Estimated openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019Estimated rate of unemployment in 2018 Estimated hourly earnings in 2015 (learn more)Estimated annual earnings in 2015
Legal Administrative Assistants860stable55Moderate
Minimum: $14.42
Median: $20.85
Maximum: $30.00
Minimum: $16,132
Median: $41,019
Maximum: $55,082
Occupations in Business, Finance, and Administration63,775Moderate growth6,600Low
Minimum: $13.00
Median: $21.03
Maximum: $35.90
Minimum: $6,754
Median: $36,515
Maximum: $70,271
Legal Administrative AssistantsCompared to: Occupations in Business, Finance, and Administration
Percent employed full-time90%81%
Percent self-employed0%7%
Where will I likely work?
Area of EmploymentLegal Administrative AssistantsCompared to: All NS Occupations
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Cape Breton9%x13%$32,974
Annapolis Valley11%x13%$32,958
What are the workers like?
AgeLegal Administrative AssistantsCompared to: All Business, Finance, and Administration
% Employed% Employed
Median Age4848
GenderLegal Administrative AssistantsCompared to: Occupations in Business, Finance, and Administration
% Employed% Employed
EducationLegal Administrative AssistantsCompared to: All Business, Finance, and Administration
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Less than high school1.1%$28,5764.7%$23,775
High school15.8%$33,25923.7%$30,074
Trades certificate2.8%$27,9385.8%$32,871
College certificate or diploma57.6%$35,03834.4%$33,837
University certificate or diploma4.5%$38,6193.0%$35,053
Bachelor's degree18.1%$33,21922.9%$39,473
University advanced certificate or diplomaN/A$33,8111.7%$40,672
Master's degreeN/A$30,5073.6%$23,407
Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometryN/Ax0.1%$41,688
Wage Disclaimer

Hourly earnings data are from the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada. Data are not available for all occupations. Hourly earnings are calculated based on usual hours worked per week. This is how an annual salary, for instance, gets converted to an hourly rate. The data include full and part-time workers along with new and experienced workers. Self-employed workers are excluded.

Annual employment income data reported in the Work Prospects section, are from the 2011 National Household Survey by Statistics Canada. Much of the data (around 70%) came directly from tax records. The data relates to the year 2010 and includes total wages and salaries and net income from self-employment.


Employment Requirements & Contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile
Useful contacts:
Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia
5523 B Young Street
Halifax, NS B3K 1Z7
Tel: (902) 454-2198
Fax: (902) 455-3105
International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP)
10502 N Ambassador Dr., Ste. 100
Kansas City, Missouri 64153
Tel: (816) 891-6600
Fax: (816) 891-9118
Canadian Association of Paralegals
2606, avenue Adhémar-Raynault
L'Assomption, QC J5W 0E1

Training Paths & Education

Program Name:Legal administrative assistant/secretary
Education Level:This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to serve as legal office managers, special assistants, and legal secretaries. These programs include courses in office management, secretarial science, principles of U. S. or Canadian law, legal terminology and documentation, legal research, legal software applications, law office procedures, record-keeping, billing, applicable policies and regulations, and professional standards and ethics.
See all institutions providing this program+
Eastern College - Halifax
6940 Mumford Road, Suite 111
Halifax, NS B3L 0B7
(902) 423-3933
Centre for Distance Education
222 George Street, Suite C
Sydney, NS B1P 1J3
(866) 446-5898
Additional resources:

There are no additional resources for this occupation.