How to become a Litigation Secretary

Litigation secretaries provide support to litigation attorneys and paralegals in the event filed in local, condition, and federal courts and administrative tribunals.

Litigation secretaries operate in lawyers of any size. Some secretaries provide purely administrative support. However, secretaries in lots of firms execute a hybrid role, functioning as both secretary and litigation paralegal.

Here are some of the most typical functions of the litigation secretary through the litigation lifecycle. Secretarial roles vary with respect to the firm, the kind of litigation practice, and how big employees.

Situation Screening

In complaintant firms, the initial step of the situation is screening the situation for merit. Will the potential client have a contributing factor to action? Inflict conflicts exist? The secretary might help prepare situation screening forms and schedule initial conferences between your attorney and also the potential client. In some instances, the secretary will complete a preliminary screening by asking the possibility client questions by telephone. When the client is signed, the secretary will generate a new situation file, and forward the retention contract along with other documents towards the client. Explore BCG Attorney Search’s reputation by going here.

Analysis

Oftentimes, the parties do an analysis before a suit is filed. This analysis may involve locating and interviewing witnesses, analyzing the accident site and collecting documentary along with other evidence. The litigation secretary may assist along the way by scheduling conferences and telephone conferences with respect to the lawyer, creating witness lists, organizing evidence, along with other documents and developing a reliable filing system for paper and electronic documents.

Pleadings

If your suit is filed, the secretary will prepare the pleadings in short processing program. The pleadings can include a summons, complaint, affidavits, demands for admissions, and motions. The litigation secretary will frequently create pleading binders which organize and index all the pleadings for the situation. The secretary may file these documents to the court, either personally or digitally, even though this task is frequently done by a paralegal or court messenger.

Discovery

Discovery may be the longest phase from the litigation process. During discovery, the litigation secretary may perform any a few of the following tasks:

Preparing discovery documents in short processing system, including interrogatories and demands for production

Typing, delivering, and tracking subpoenas

Scheduling depositions with multiple parties, such as the attorney, clients, opposing counsel and court reporters

Scheduling independent medical examinations along with other appointments needed through the Rules of Civil Procedure

Creating discovery binders indexing and filing discovery documents

Organizing and filing situation documents

Scheduling site examinations

Locating and contacting experts organizing and filing expert reports

Pre-Trial

When a trial date is placed, the secretary helps the legal team get ready for trial. The secretary’s role may include:

Typing and formatting pre-trial documents including motions, briefs, subpoenas, and witness lists

Gathering and organizing exhibits

Creating, organizing and/or indexing trial binders

Assisting to organize mock trials

Tracking deadlines and delivering reminders towards the legal team

Cite-checking and proofreading briefs and legal documents

Making certain that documents are correctly formatted in compliance with court rules

Coordinating witnesses

Trial

The litigation secretary performs an essential support role throughout the trial. Their responsibilities can include:

Preparing, typing and formatting trial documents

Coordinating the preparation of charts, graphs, along with other courtroom visuals

Scheduling couriers, court reporters, and expert witnesses

Organizing, filing, and managing documents, exhibits, and trial binders

Coordinating travel plans for attorneys, witnesses, clients, yet others

Other Administrative Tasks

For individuals focusing on the defense side, the litigation secretary will go into the attorneys’ and paralegals’ time allocated to each situation in to the firm’s some time and billing system. She or he may also send periodic invoices towards the client and follow-up on overdue payments. Other general tasks done by the litigation secretary include:

Producing information by transcribing, formatting, inputting, retrieving, copying, and transmitting text, data, and graphics

Tracking situation deadlines

Corresponding with clients, witnesses, and opposing counsel

Answering the telephone

Creating spreadsheets to trace costs, exhibits, along with other information

Transcribing dictation

Maintaining docket systems

Routing correspondence, reports, and legal documents

Organizing client conferences and attorney conferences

Preparing expense reports

Maintaining the attorney’s calendar by planning and scheduling conferences, teleconferences, depositions, and travel

Ordering supplies

Litigation Secretary Education

Many litigation secretaries develop a certificate or affiliate degree program in a trade school or college. However, secretaries with four-year college levels possess the most advancement possibilities within an attorney. Litigation training frequently occurs at work. Experienced litigation secretaries frequently transfer to other roles within the firm, including paralegal and office management positions.

Litigation Secretary Skills and Understanding

Litigation secretaries must possess a number of interpersonal, technology and office skills in addition to legal and procedural understanding. Needed skills and understanding include:

Proficiency with word processing, spreadsheet, presentation and some time and billing software knowledge of Microsoft ‘office’ suite

Proficiency with transcription equipment

Excellent written and verbal skills

Understanding of local, condition and federal court litigation documentation and filing procedures

Proficiency with document databases for example Ringtail, Summation, and Concordance

E-filing experience

Understanding of office procedures and legal terminology

Strong typing skills

Solid organization skills and multi-tasking skills

Capability to interact professionally with all of amounts of personnel

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