Do you want to pursue a career in Law but are unsure of what role you are interested in? You could choose to become a solicitor or a barrister and while the salary benefits for one of these roles is certainly interesting, it may not be the right role if you are looking for a less demanding career. Have you thought of becoming a legal secretary or thought about doing legal secretarial training?
What a Legal Secretary Does
Much like a paralegal, a legal secretary’s main role is to provide administrative support as well as help with the day-to-day running of the law office. They can also be instrumental in helping to produce legal documents including wills, court papers and contracts. They can also deal with client enquiries, deliver and collect court forms and statements or even attend court with solicitors. They make sure everything at the law firm is running effectively.
These roles can make it very easy for a legal secretary to learn a lot from the solicitor. Depending on the size of the law firm, some legal secretaries will specialize in just one area, making them highly knowledgeable in the law regarding this particular area.
Skills and Qualifications Needed to Become a Legal Secretary
If being a legal secretary sounds like something can do, the following are just some of the qualifications and skills you should have;
- First legal secretaries need to have a good work ethic, meet deadlines and easily handle the pressures of a busy law office.
- Word processing and experience working in any office environment may also be required.
- You don’t need a University degree but most law firms do require that you have a GCSE grade C or above and an A in English. There are some that will require a Legal Secretarial Diploma. In fact, you may be able to get work with a level 2 diploma and no work experience.
There are lots of law firms that offer trainee programs for legal secretaries. This is a great way to start since most law firms actually prefer to train their own legal secretaries. If you are good at your job, you will climb the ranks.
How to Progress your Career
One of the ways legal secretaries can climb the career ladder is to become persona assistants to top lawyers. This is not just a well-paying position, but also a step higher in the legal profession. Personal assistants will typically work for one lawyer which makes them the primary point of contact for clients. They are also responsible for making decisions for their bosses as well as take on other roles aimed at making their boss’s job much easier. These roles can include scheduling, marketing or even accounts and budgets.
If this is the plan for you, you require additional skills including excellent organizational skills, reliability, effectiveness and a commitment to your boss since they will rely on you for everything. The truth is the legal industry would not function as effectively without legal secretaries. So if you are thinking of becoming one, know that this is a viable and important career path.