Legal secretaries are a specialised secretary that are in very high demand in the current market. As a legal secretary, it will be your job to act as a Solicitor/Barrister’s ‘right hand person’. This is an extremely important role in a legal firm. You will be in charge of providing support to a partner, solicitor, or multiple solicitors. This will be a varied and busy role. In smaller firms, you can gain a more general experience in different aspects of the law, while in larger firms you will tend to be working in a specific area (unless you are a Float Secretary in a large firm).
Gaining experience as a Legal Secretary can be difficult, as most firms will look for previous legal experience. However, once you gain even 1 years’ experience you will have a skill that is high in demand.
What can you expect in the role?
As a legal secretary, your day will be varied. Most legal secretarial roles will involve typing and production of letters and legal documents, such as wills, contracts, court briefs and statements. Strong typing speeds are usually a requirement for legal secretaries.
You will also look after the general administration in the office. This may include filing (both electronically and hard copies), binding documents, photocopying, scanning and faxing documents. You may also need to go to deliver and collect documents.
Your role may also involve meeting and greeting clients, acting as a first point of contact and handling client queries. Screening phone calls and emails, and handling client queries where possible.
A legal secretary is a necessary role in any legal firm. It is a busy, deadline driven role, but offers excellent salary and career progression opportunities.
What qualities are potential employers looking for in a Legal Secretary?
Strong typing speeds are necessary for legal secretaries.
Strong communication, organisational and administrative skills.
Excellent IT skills, e.g. Microsoft Office, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.
The ability to work on your own initiative. This is a demanding role, and most firms look for someone who will be able to manage their work with minimal supervision.
The ability to work in a fast paced deadline driven environment.
If you are looking to move into a Legal Secretarial role, but have no experience, what can you do?
Do a Legal Secretarial course
There are multiple Legal Secretarial courses on the market at the moment, but full time and part time courses are available. As a legal secretary, you will need to know and understand legal terms. Doing a legal secretarial course can give you an advantage as it will give you an overview of the legal system and legal terminology.
Do an Internship/temp as a Legal Secretary
As there is such a high demand for legal secretaries at the moment, some employers are looking outside of the legal sector for potential candidates. If you have strong administrative experience, and want to move into the legal sector consider temporary and contract roles. This will give you the chance to gain legal experience, and it also may lead into a longer term job.
If you are an experienced Legal Secretary, why should you move jobs?
Legal secretaries of all experience levels are in high demand at the moment. If you have even 1-2 years’ experience, and are looking for a new challenge, now is the time to look at the market. Salaries for legal secretaries are on the rise at the moment. Firms are offering more benefits to get experienced legal secretaries. If you feel you have progressed as far as you can in your current role, there are excellent progression opportunities out there.
If you are considering a move, now is the time to do so. Here at Abrivia, we have numerous legal secretarial roles at all levels. These roles offer excellent salaries and progression opportunities.
We also offer an excellent referral scheme for legal secretaries. If you recommend a legal secretary to us, and we place that candidate into a role, we will offer you a €200 one4all voucher.
For more information on legal secretarial roles or just to have a confidential chat about potential roles, please contact Maryrose Morrissey on 01 5313740 or [email protected] or Michelle Earley on 01 5313733 or [email protected].