If you want a career in law but want to stay away from the limelight, why not work behind closed doors by considering a career as a legal secretary?
Legal secretaries have definite personalities. They are usually conventional people which means they’re conscientious and conservative. They are logical, efficient, orderly and organized. Some of them are also adventurous.
Read ahead to learn everything needed to a legal secretary:
Qualifications Needed To Be A Legal Secretary
You will usually enter a legal secretarial role with a minimum of 5 GCSEs or their equivalent including maths and English. You will also be expected to have a good understanding of spelling, grammar, and punctuation. That’s because words are of high importance in the legal profession.
You can be a legal secretary straight out of school.
You can also go for studies that relate to business administration or the specific knowledge and skill needed for the legal secretary position. These qualifications can be either studied full-time, part-time or may be offered as training opportunities in the workplace. You can consider taking:
- NVQ/SVQ in Business and Administration (Levels 3 and 4)
- OCR Higher Diploma in Administrative and Secretarial Procedures
After acquiring the basics, you can go from some additional useful qualifications for legal secretarial work:
- Legal secretaries diploma / advanced diploma (offered by the Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs)
- ILEXPP certificate/diploma for legal secretaries
Salary Of A Legal Secretary
Legal secretaries with good skills are highly valued and even though, you might start around £24k to £29k if you gain enough experience and substantial training, you can ask for a pay that is higher than £35k per year.
Duties Of A Legal Secretary And Skills Needed
As one would expect, impeccable secretarial skills are essential in this role but an interest in law and having the ability to wrap your head around complex legal terminology will give you the upper hand. It pays to be a bookworm when you are a legal secretary as they often specialize in a particular aspect of the law such as litigation, family law or conveyancing.
- Assemble legal forms, contracts, reports, briefing notes and paperwork for lawyers or managers.
- Put into paper dictation of letters, meetings and other memos, making sure that documents are free from typographical or grammatical errors.
- Organise and maintain client files and documents, keeping the privacy and confidentiality guidelines in mind.
Legal secretaries often work in lawyer’s offices, governments and courts, and are highly organised and efficient individuals.
Excellent written and verbal communication skills are necessary for this role as not only will they be communicating with lawyers but, clients also. Other in-demand skills are:
- Computer literacy
- Versatility, and the ability to multi-task
- Advanced proofreading ability
- Ability to work under pressure
Whether you want to build a career in the business and office side of things or go for extra qualifications and training to enter the law world as a legal executive or barrister, a legal secretary is a great experience.
Becoming a legal secretary is an excellent foundation for a legal career and the more experience one has, the higher the salary one can demand.