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There are a number of different roles within the legal profession to consider, all with long and complex training processes involved. But if you don’t want to train to be a barrister or a solicitor but are keen to work in the legal profession, then the role of legal secretary is one to consider. Here’s a look at what the job involves and what training you need to land one of these roles.
The job definition
The role of the legal secretary is somewhat similar to the paralegal. They are on hand to help with the many essential tasks that are required within a law firm of any kind. Depending on the type of firm, it could require some specialist knowledge or just a good general education and Legal Secretary Training Courses to provide you with the finishing training.
Legal secretaries will often be required to write legal documents including summonses, motions and subpoenas. The role will also include conducting research and reading legal articles to put together advice and information regarding cases. Legal secretaries also carry out more traditional secretarial duties such as answering the phone, handling email and maintaining schedules, ordering office supplies, communications and other maintenance tasks.
Qualifications for legal secretaries
You don’t need to go to university in order to be a legal secretary – junior roles will often ask for a good basic education such as five GSCEs at C or above grade, sometimes with a requirement for an A or above in English Language. Most companies will then want to add legal secretary training as part of the role to further enhance the skills of their staff, usually working towards something like a Legal Secretary Diploma.
You can also take specialist legal secretary training that will help stand you in a good position for beginner and also more advanced roles. Secretarial skills are also worth considering complementing the specialist legal secretary training.
Job skills and requirements
In addition to training, there are skills and requirements for the role that will lead to a better chance of getting the job and being successful. Examples of these skills include:
- Listening skills – being able to listen to requirements, translate them into a plan of action and communicate them to others
- Communication skills – being able to communicate information to other in a precise and accurate manner
- People skills – you will be dealing with clients and other legal professionals, as well as those within your company so good people skills, are important
- Organisational skills – any secretarial role means having great organisation skills and this is no different with a legal secretary
- Computer skills – there may also be some requirements to understand specialist computer systems, but a good general computer skill will be needed to allow you to use the most popular computer systems
The career progression for a legal secretary is a varied and interesting one. You can continue in the same kind of role but move to larger or specialist companies, only dealing with certain areas of the law. You can also go on to become a personal assistant for a lawyer or even a partner at a law firm. This will involve a lot more responsibility and organisational skills to become their first contact point and to make a lot of decisions on their behalf. You might even have a role that sees you involved with areas such as marketing the company, organising accounts or budgeting tasks.
Legal secretaries are the people that hold the legal profession together and there is always demand for them which is why training to be one is a good career path. CPD Legal Secretary Courses or Accredited Certified Legal Secretary Courses are a great way of gaining an Accredited qualification, in order to get a job. There are also lots of ways to progress your career and try something new.