What Exactly is a Legal Secretary?

Pursuing a career in law is always going to difficult. However, contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to undertake years and years of degree training in order to enter the business. Legal secretaries bridge the gap between lawyer and office manager. While they don’t actively work on cases, they provide secretarial skills that will aid department functions.

As a legal secretary, your job is to make the whole operation run as smoothly as possible. You will be responsible for easing the workload for solicitors and ensuring that clients are taken care of. As this is still a secretarial position, you may also have to perform some basic bookkeeping duties.

Which Branch Of Law Should I Focus On?

Just like any other specialist law subject, legal secretaries can specialize on specific branches of law, such as criminal, civil, commercial, corporate and family.

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What Will I Learn?

When you train as a legal secretary you will focus on five key areas of the legal document production procedure. These are presentation and engrossment, proofreading, forms processing and completion, time recording and invoicing, touch typing and audio touch typing.

What Software Do I Need?

When you enter the business you will need to have access to all of the basic Microsoft programs, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, and Outlook. Microsoft software is the industry standard that’s used across all law firms and clients will expect you to know each program inside out.

What Skills Do I Need?

You need to be punctual, adaptable and have excellent written English skills. The role of a legal secretary is a highly specialized task that will require your full attention. You will have to not only present documents in an articulate and formal manner but also feel comfortable correcting mistakes by your superiors. Working in the business will require you to be a fast worker. You will have to focus at all times and ensure you can keep up to speed.

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Do I Need Other Qualifications?

Providing you can read and write good English, you don’t need higher education qualifications to become a legal secretary. While a degree in law or a similar field may give you an advantage, it’s fairly uncommon.

Where Can I Train?

If you are still interested in a career as a legal secretary, it’s always best to study in the capital. Legal secretary courses in London from Souters will provide you with a firm understanding of the business through theoretical on-site training.

Fundamentally, your role is to take the pressure off the legal team so they can concentrate all of their attention on their cases. While you may have had visions of entering law, working deep into the night on a difficult case and feeling a prideful sense of completion in the courtroom, the real life of a solicitor isn’t quite so glamorous as it is on television. In reality, it’s a very grueling profession. Becoming a legal secretary is a great way to still be a part of the process, but without the baggage that goes with it.

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