Legal Secretary: NATED N4 National Certificate

Course Summary

Award type:
National N Certificate
Accredited by:
DHET, QCTO
Duration:
12 Months
Entrance Requirement:
Be able to study through distance learning, Be at least 16 years or older, Matric Certificate – National Senior Certificate OR Amended Senior Certificate, Write and understand English

Our Legal Secretary: NATED N4 National Certificate course is the first course you will complete in our NATED Legal Secretary Programme. The Legal Secretary: NATED N4 National Certificate equips you with the necessary skills to start your career as a Legal Secretary.

Legal Secretary: NATED N4 National Certificate is offered in conjunction with the Bellview Institute of Distance Learning.

NATED Legal Secretary

Legal Secretary: NATED N4 National Certificate - Subjects

Here are the subjects that you will study for the Legal Secretary: NATED N4 National Certificate:

Compulsory Subjects 

  • Office Practice N4
  • Information Processing N4
  • Communication N4
  • Mercantile Law N4
How NATED Courses Work

Career Opportunities

Here are the career opportunities that you may consider on completion of your Legal Secretary: NATED N4 National Certificate:

  • Junior Legal Secretary
  • Junior Conveyancing Secretary
  • Loan Consultant
  • Personal Assistant
  • Receptionist
  • Administrative Assistant
  • Customer Service Agent
  • Document Examiner
  • Filing Clerk

What Will I Learn?

On completion of the Legal Secretary: NATED N4 National Certificate you will have learned the following:  

  • Basic communication principles  
  • Meeting procedures
  • Building relationships
  • Language usage 
  • Computer skills
  • Information Processing systems 
  • Law in business

Legal Secretary: NATED N4 National Certificate - Assessments

You will be assessed on completion of your Legal Secretary: NATED N4 National Certificate. Here is how you will be assessed:

Assignments

There are three open-book assignments for each of your subjects. Prepare and submit the assignments in time. The minimum pass mark for your assignments is 40%.

Exams

Exams for NATED courses are held twice a year. Exams are held in May / June and October / November. Registration for the May / June exams is in February while registration for the October / November exams is in August.

NATED Legal Secretary refers to a Legal Secretary qualification acquired through the NATED programme. NATED stands for National Accredited Technical Education Diploma. NATED courses were designed by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET). 

The courses are career-oriented and also have a practical component. NATED courses prepare students for the workplace.

To become a Legal Secretary in South Africa, you can study the NATED Legal Secretary Programme. Here are the entry requirements: 

  • Matric 
    • To qualify for this programme, only a Matric is acceptable
  • Be able to study by distance learning 
    • You must have the discipline to study by distance learning
  • You must be 16 years or older

Here are the Legal Secretary National Qualifications (NATED) that we offer at Matric College:

No, you can not study the NATED Legal Secretary Programme without Matric. For this course, even a Matric Equivalent Qualification is not acceptable. However, it is not too late. You can register with Matric College to study Adult Matric or Matric Upgrade if you have an incomplete Matric.

Yes, anyone can be a Legal Secretary. To study for a Legal Secretary there are no considerations of gender, race, colour, tribe, or disability. You will however have to meet the entry requirements.

Legal Secretaries work as administrators in law departments of institutions. These institutions can be law firms, public courts, legal departments of large corporations, financial institutions, and real estate firms. In addition to administrative duties, they also perform clerical duties. 

Here are some of the duties of a Legal Secretary:

  • Assists with case research
  • Updating and maintaining legal files
  • Contacting witnesses
  • Typing correspondences
  • Keeping the firm’s diary
  • Accounting duties
  • Answering calls and responding to emails

With the Legal Secretary Programme, you will begin to develop skills that will prepare you for a successful career. Some of the skills you may already have, but can improve on. The good thing about gaining soft skills is that you can use them in any other work or social environment.

Here are some of the skills that you will build as a Legal Secretary:

  • Organisational
  • Research
  • Computer
  • Typing
  • Communication
  • Analytical

Organisational

Lawyers are busy people. They not only deal with one client at a time but with several. Therefore, a Legal Secretary needs to be organised. You should be able to know what time a client is coming, which client needs to be attended to at court, and how the diary looks for the day, week, and month. For you to be an effective Legal secretary, the office must be able to run smoothly and all the documents need to be accessible.  

Research

Your research skills must be on point. You should be familiar with your / the library. In addition, you should also have mastered internet research skills. Be resourceful so that you explore interesting angles, where you can get relevant information on whatever it is that you are researching.

Computer

You must keep abreast of ever-changing technology. You should be knowledgeable in computer packages such as Microsoft Office and industry-specific software. To be an effective Legal Secretary, you should be familiar with how to back up files, set up online meetings, and how to produce electronic presentations.

Typing

As a Legal secretary, you should have good typing skills. Your typing speed should be standard. This is because law firms deal with large documents that need to be typed. You will not want the workflow to slow down because of slow typing speeds.  

Communication

A Legal Secretary should be able to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing, across all levels. One of your key functions is to relay messages both within and outside your organisation. Legal matters are crucial, it is therefore important that messages and briefs are communicated clearly. 

Analytical

As a researcher, it is important to analyse the type of information that you are providing to the lawyer/s. For example, when doing research, ask yourself, is the information that I am presenting relevant? Will it have an impact on the case that is being dealt with?

Yes, Legal Secretary is a good career. Here are some of the reasons why you should study the Legal Secretary: NATED N4 National certificate:

  • You can study further
  • Job satisfaction
  • Flexible hours
  • Accredited course 

You Can Study Further

Having completed your Legal Secretary: N4 National Certificate, you can study further for the N5, N6 and complete 18 months work experience to be awarded your National N Diploma. 

Satisfaction

A Legal Secretary job can give you job satisfaction. It is a job where you can measure the impact of your contribution. Imagine the feeling, for example, if a complicated case is won on the strength of the research that you have done.

Flexible Hours

In firms or organisations that are not so busy, a Legal Secretary may work flexible hours. Working flexible hours can give you time to study or to pursue other interests.  

Accredited Course 

NATED courses are accredited. There are three bodies that NATED courses are accredited by. These bodies are:

QCTO

The Quality Control for Trades and Occupations is the body that ensures that Trade and Occupational courses fulfill the required standards. NATED courses are Occupational courses and are subject to quality control by the QCTO. 

SAQA

The South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) administers the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). NATED courses are registered on the NQF. The N4, N5, and N6 Certificate Courses are NQF level 5. The N6 National Diploma Qualification is NQF level 6. 

DHET

The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) designed the NATED courses and certifies them too. It also has a programme that facilitates the placement of students on  work-based training.

Your Next Step Is To Get Your Legal Secretary: NATED N5 National Certificate:

On completion of your Legal Secretary: NATED N4 National Certificate, your next step will be to study the Legal Secretary: NATED N5 National Certificate course.

Why Choose To Study With Matric College?

Here is why you should study at Matric College:

  • You do not have to attend classes 
  • We can assist you with your study timetable
  • Study at the pace that suits you best 
  • You can work and learn at the same time 
  • There are tutors available to assist you 
  • A Facebook study group will assist you with your learning 
  • We provide you with textbooks and study notes

According to za.talent.com, the average entry-level (0 -3 years of experience) salary of a Legal Secretary is R 14 000 per month. Those with 4 – 9 years of experience earn about R 17 000 per month while Legal Secretaries with more than 10 years of experience take home an average of R 54 000 per month.

LEGAL SECRETARY LEVELAVERAGE MONTHLY SALARY
Entry – Level (0 to 3 years of experience)R 14 000.00
Middle Level (4 to 9 years of experience)R 17 000.00
Senior Level (more than 10 years of experience)R 54 000.00

One of the branches of law which pays the most is a Patent Lawyer. Here are other types of lawyers that are paid competitively:

  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • Trial Lawyer
  • Tax Lawyer
  • Corporate Lawyer
  • Labourt Lawyer
  • Divorce Lawyer 
  • Immigration Lawyer

It will take you about 6 -12 months to complete the Legal Secretary: NATED N4 National Certificate course. Here is the duration for the NATED Legal Secretary Programme:

LEGAL SECRETARY COURSE LEVELRECOMMENDED DURATION
Legal Secretary: N4 National Certificate6 – 12 months
Legal Secretary: N5 National Certificate6 – 12 months
Legal Secretary: N6 National Certificate6 -12 months
Legal Secretary: N6 National Certificate18 months work experience

Yes, you can become a Legal Secretary without experience. But, remember that NATED courses require you to have practical experience as a requirement to be awarded the National Diploma. This means that your practicals can give you work experience.

A Paralegal is one who has completed a more advanced programme and works closely with a lawyer. The duties that Paralegals perform are supervised by a lawyer. In contrast to a Legal Secretary, a Paralegal is knowledgeable about the law. At times, a Paralegal specialises in a specific field of law, for example, civil law. 

Here as some of the duties of a Paralegal: 

  • Case planning, development and management
  • Legal research
  • Drafting correspondence
  • Drafting pleadings 
  • Respond to legal letters 
  • Contacting and conferencing with clients
  • Analysing documents
  • Fact-checking
  • Preparing for and assisting at trial
  • Locating and interviewing witnesses

Legal Secretaries are expected to dress formally. They meet people from all walks of life. Legal Secretaries must be presentable at all times. Though they do not attend court and are not legal practitioners, their dressing should resemble that of a lawyer.

Legal Secretaries deal with people from across all levels of society. The way they answer calls reflects on the organisation they work for. They are expected to answer calls courteously. They, also, must be as helpful as possible to whoever has called.

No, a Legal Secretary’s function is nowhere near that of a lawyer. A Legal Secretary works within the legal profession but is not a lawyer.

Application Process

To register for a place to study at Matric college, contact one of our course experts or fill in the form below.on application. Our course experts will take you through the course programme and answer any questions that you may have.

How Do I Study Legal Secretary: N4 National Certificate

After you have successfully registered to study for the Business Management: NATED N5 National Certificate, follow these steps: 

  1. Receive your study materials within 5 – 7 days of registering
  2. Join our Facebook Study Group
  3. Study with the help of our tutors and online resources
  4. Prepare for your exams
  5. Write your exams and pass
  6. Get your accredited NATED Certificate

Where Can I Study Legal Secretary: N4 National Certificate?

You can study the Legal Secretary: NATED N4 National Certificate at Matric College. Remember, we are a distance learning institution and you can study at a time and place that suits you.

When Can I Start Studying Legal Secretary: NATED N4 National Certificate?

With all our NATED courses, there is no fixed time for you to start studying. You can register today or at any other time that suits you.

Frequently Asked Questions

No, you do not need a Degree to become a Legal Secretary. You can complete any of our National Qualifications (NATED) to become a Legal Secretary.

The use of the term Legal Assistant, when referring to Paralegal, has sometimes blurred the differences between a Legal Secretary and a Paralegal. 

A Paralegal has completed a more advanced programme and works closely with a lawyer.  The duties that Paralegals perform are supervised by a lawyer. In contrast to a Legal Secretary, a Paralegal is knowledgeable about the law. At times, a Paralegal specialises in a specific field of law, for example, civil law.  

On the other hand, a Legal Secretary is responsible for clerical and administrative duties.

Yes, a Paralegal’s position is higher than that of a Legal Secretary. A Paralegal is knowledgeable about the law while a Legal Secretary is responsible for clerical and administrative duties.

No, Legal Secretary is not the same as a Paralegal. A Paralegal is more senior than a Legal Secretary. A Paralegal is assists Lawyers while a Legal secretary does the administrative and clerical duties.

Yes, Legal Secretaries can work remotely. However, there are some functions, for research, which may need their physical presence.

No, a Legal Secretary can not set fees. In a law firm, only lawyers can set fees. A Legal Secretary is a salaried employee.

Yes, Legal secretaries are in demand. Legal Secretarial is a scarce skill. Though some processes of their functions are being automated, the profession is still in demand as part of their duties needs their physical presence.

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Author: Collin Wilbesi
Editor: Amy Venter
Date Published: February 25, 2022

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