In this article our partners ILSPA - The Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs share the job description of a legal secretary
Legal secretary job description
Law firms are busy and diverse places to work, and it is not just Lawyers who make up the team. Legal Secretaries are an important part of the legal profession and assist with the smooth running of legal departments. Providing support to Lawyers, Legal Secretaries perform valuable administrative duties.
They are required to have knowledge of law, legal terms, procedures and documentation. If you are looking to work within law but are unsure whether you would like to be a Solicitor or Barrister, then the career of a Legal Secretary may be something to consider.
The work of Legal Secretaries varies greatly as there are many different areas of law and practice.
Depending on the legal department you work in and the cases being handled, your day-to-day work could include producing legal documents, completing forms, typing professional correspondence from dictation, liaising with clients, responding to enquiries and attending court, as well as performing many other important duties.
Legal Secretaries can take time-consuming tasks off Lawyers’ hands, from basic jobs such as filing or photocopying to more complex tasks such as arranging meetings or performing legal research. By working as a Legal Secretary, you can get to know a wide range of legal procedures and build up experience in a number of different areas.
As Legal Secretaries are often the “front window” of the firm, they must be well informed and confident in order to deal with whatever arises. Lawyers rely on their support staff to ensure that clients are well looked after.
Legal Secretaries have a great responsibility to record and relay accurate information, so they need to be able to communicate well and have a good knowledge of each client’s needs.
It’s not just law firms and Barristers’ chambers which rely on the skills and services of a good Legal Secretary. Legal Secretaries are also needed to work in law departments of large corporations, licenced conveyancers, local authorities, law courts, banks and even estate agents.
Due to this, Legal Secretaries have great scope to choose the sort of working environment which best suits them. They can even be self-employed and run their own Legal Virtual Assistant businesses.
Requirements for a Legal Secretary
In order to work as a Legal Secretary, you must have:
An understanding of law and legal procedures
Administrative skills or experience
A fast and accurate typing speed (minimum of 50 wpm)
The ability to produce legal documents, forms and professional correspondence
Computer literacy, including an understanding of Microsoft Office
Familiarity with office procedures
A good standard of written and spoken English
High attention to detail
Great communication and organisation skills
If you are interested in becoming a Legal Secretary and would like more information, you can contact The Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs.