Legal secretary
Administration

A legal secretary provides the administrative support in law firms. If you are methodical and are interested in the law, why not consider becoming a legal secretary.

Work Activities

Legal secretaries provide administrative support for solicitors, barristers and legal executives. They produce legal documents on the instructions of legal professionals.

Duties may include:

  • Dealing with clients
  • Answering the telephone, putting calls through to other staff and taking messages
  • Answering queries or referring them to other staff
  • Data input
  • Typing legal documents such as summonses, contracts, wills and so on
  • Audio-typing
  • Organising the filing system
  • Keeping records
  • Organising the office diary, arranging meetings and appointments
  • Collecting and delivering paper documents
  • Accompanying lawyers to police stations or court
  • Opening the incoming post and making sure letters and documents are passed to the right people
  • Collecting the outgoing post, franking it and sending it off
  • Photocopying and scanning
  • Managing a budget
  • Ordering stationery and other office supplies
  • Other duties as required

Personal Qualities and Skills

Key skills for legal secretaries

  • You will need to be methodical
  • You will need good IT skills
  • You will need attention to detail
  • You should have good communication skills, both spoken and written
  • Your spelling and grammar should be of a very high standard
  • You should have the ability to spot mistakes and correct them (proof-reading skills)
  • You should have good organisation skills
  • You should show impartiality
  • You should show the ability to respect confidentiality

Pay And Opportunities

Typical employers of legal secretaries

Legal secretaries are employed by legal professionals. They may work not only in solicitors' practices and barristers' chambers but also for local authorities, in law courts, conveyancing firms and the police.

They usually work 9-5 in offices, but may work later if they are accompanying a solicitor who is visiting a client out of hours.

Qualifications

Qualifications and training required

There are no minimum requirements for this job but some employers set their own requirements. You will be expected to have good communication skills and some employers will ask for GCSEs A*-C/9-4 in English.

If you are looking for work in Wales, it may be useful to speak or write Welsh.

You may find it helpful to have some experience of office work.

You may find it helpful to take a legal secretary qualification offered by the Institute of Legal Secretaries or CILEx through full-time study, part-time study or distance learning.

With experience and training, you might become a senior legal secretary. You may move on to a more senior role in administration outside the legal field. You may become fascinated by the applications of law and go on to train as a paralegal, probably through CILEx courses and could even end up as a qualified solicitor.

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