Legal Secretary Bilingual (Spanish and English)

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 March 15, 2023

Legal Action of Wisconsin’s Milwaukee office is seeking a full-time legal secretary who is bilingual in Spanish and English.

LEGAL ACTION OF WISCONSIN:  We are a large and vibrant non-profit law firm funded by the federal Legal Services Corporation, the Wisconsin Trust Account Foundation, the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, Victim of Crime Act funding, the Wisconsin Equal Justice Fund, and many other sources. Each year, we provide free legal aid to about 11,000 – 14,000 low-income persons in Wisconsin’s southern 39 counties with offices in Milwaukee, Madison, Racine, Oshkosh, Green Bay, and La Crosse. In addition, the firm operates a statewide farmworker project and a statewide legal aid to human trafficking victims project. Most of our work is in the areas of housing, public benefits, removing barriers to employment, consumer, and family law.

Legal Action believes that equal justice under law can only be achieved through the collaboration of a diverse staff. We strongly encourage applications from women, people of color, people who identify as LGBTQIA+, people with disabilities, and people with life experiences or educational backgrounds that add to the firm’s diversity and our capacity to provide high-quality legal aid.

OFFICE LOCATION:  The Milwaukee Area Office staff is housed at 633 W. Wisconsin Avenue and is comprised of 45 attorneys, 18 paralegals, and 18 other administrative, professional, and technical staff.  Intake is done by telephone and online or at neighborhood outstations in Milwaukee and Waukesha. The Milwaukee Area Office houses Legal Action’s administrative staff, SeniorLAW, and the Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP.)  In addition to our office at 633 W. Wisconsin Avenue, we place two Legal Action Milwaukee Office attorneys at the Center for Driver’s License Recovery & Employment at Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) and we place one attorney and one paralegal at the Student Legal Aid Project at MATC.

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES:  The Bi-Lingual Legal Secretary’s key responsibilities are:

  • Perform receptionist duties in a professional manner to route telephone calls, take messages accurately, make proper referrals, and provide information to clients and the general public regarding LAW’s services;
  • Receive and route in-person visitors who are seeking LAW’s services and other visitors in a welcoming, professional manner;
  • Make appropriate legal and non-legal referrals;
  • Gather necessary information from prospective clients to initially screen for eligibility for Legal Action’s services;
  • Contact clients as requested by attorney and paralegal staff;
  • Perform clerical functions such as filing, processing incoming and outgoing mail, maintaining case files and documents, ordering office supplies, etc.
  • Other duties may include: drafting letters and other correspondence; assisting with the preparation of pleadings, briefs, motions, affidavits, and other legal documents; opening and docketing cases; and preparing cases as directed by attorney and/or paralegal staff to ensure that all essential documents are completed accurately and on schedule;
  • Open and distribute mail;
  • Compile statistical reports;
  • Notarizing documents; and
  • Implement in implementing established policies and procedures and in maintaining orderly client files and maintaining confidentiality of all client information.


  • Desired: Prior experience performing secretarial and clerical procedures and using systems such as email, word processing, the internet and database systems, multi-line phone systems to answer and direct and respond to incoming client phone calls and provide information.

Required:  Applicants without prior legal secretarial experience must have the skills and willingness to acquire such skills during the six-month probationary period.

  • Required: Accurately type at least 45 wpm (net without errors.)
  • Required: Excellent oral and written communication skills, interpersonal relationship skills, and the ability to work cooperatively with other staff and members of the public.
  • Required: An ability to proficiently speak, read, write, and understand Spanish and English. (We will require a proficiency exam as part of the interview process.)
  • Required: Proficiency with computers including keyboarding skills and knowledge of word processing software. (Legal Action uses MS Office.)

Desired:  Proficiency with Excel, database entry, and online searches.

  • Required: Willingness and eager to learn about Legal Action services and about other community resources.

Desired:  Prior experience in and knowledge of community resources.

  • Required: Ability to exercise sound judgment.
  • Required: Effective time management skills and ability to work with constant competing priorities (requests from multiple team members, phones ringing, visitors arriving, and packages being delivered.)

SALARY: Legal Action has two salary ladders (Tier 1 and Tier 2) available to non-manager secretaries. Placement on the Tier 1 or Tier 2 salary ladder is based on skill level while step placement on the Tier 1 and Tier 2 salary ladders is based on years of relevant work experience. The minimum starting salary (Tier 1, Step 0) is $37,983 annually for full-time (40 hours per week/1.0 FTE). Examples of annual salary for Tier 1 Legal Secretaries: A Tier 1 Step 5 (5 years of relevant experience) Legal Secretary would earn $41,148 and a Tier 1 Step 10 (10 years of relevant experience) Legal Secretary would earn $44,314. Examples of salary for Tier 2 (if qualified) Legal Secretaries: A Tier 2, Step 5 (5 years of relevant experience) Legal Secretary would earn $45,321 and a Tier 2 Step 10 (10 years of relevant experience) Legal Secretary would earn $48,808.  A candidate who is hired as Tier 1 Legal Secretary may advance during their employment to Tier 2 if they meet the criteria. We encourage every employee to advance their skills to be placed on the Tier 2 ladders.

FRINGE BENEFITS:  Legal Action provides a generous fringe benefits package, including employer-paid health and dental insurance for employees and eligible dependents. Some employees are required to contribute to the health insurance premium for their spouse, if the spouse has group health insurance provided by their employer. Legal Action also provides life and long-term disability insurance, a profit-sharing retirement plan, salary deferral options for retirement planning, low-cost employee-paid vision coverage, generous sick and annual leave, personal holidays, and four weeks of paid parental leave for eligible employees.

PROBATIONARY PERIOD:  This position is subject to a probationary period of up to six months.

GOVERNANCE:  The position is represented for collective bargaining by AFSCME. If a policy is not covered by the collective bargaining agreement, this position is governed by Legal Action’s Personnel Policies and these policies are subject to unilateral change by Legal Action’s Board of Directors.

SUPERVISION:  This position is supervised by the Milwaukee Office Coordinator.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS:  Enter information into a computer accurately. Answer numerous emails, phone calls, and other electronic and electronic communications throughout the day. Occasionally move objects, usually about 10 – 20 pounds. Retrieve documents from printers and copiers and similar office equipment and file or distribute to others as needed.

WORK ENVIRONMENT:  This role is mostly sedentary, with most of the duties performed on a computer, phone, table, or reception desk. Desk and workspaces will accommodate a wheelchair or other assistive devices.  This position may require occasional short-distance or long-distance travel.

Applicants must submit the following application materials via Legal Action of Wisconsin’s online applicant portal:

  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • Names and contact information for three professional references

HIRING MANAGER:  Cathy Coleman, the Office Coordinator, is the hiring manager for this position and will lead a panel of Legal Action staff to interview applicants.

DEADLINE: This position will be open until filled. We will review applicants on a rolling basis. To assure early consideration, please submit application materials by April 5, 2023.

Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

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