Legal secretaries are responsible for carrying out a variety of secretarial duties as well as general administrative tasks.  A legal PA is mainly responsible for assisting lawyers with their work and ensuring the efficient operation of a legal office.

As well as word-processing letters and legal documents, legal secretaries are likely to be responsible for responding to telephone enquiries and dealing with clients. They may accompany solicitors to courts, business meetings and police cells to take notes.

Other duties of a legal secretary include:

  • Typing up legal documents

  • Answering the phone

  • Organising diaries

  • Preparing court forms

  • Attending court

  • Performing legal research

  • Making appointments with clients

The working hours for a secretary are normal office hours 9-5, sometimes with additional hours at busy times, with twilight shifts being available in some larger firms.

How to become a legal secretary:

The role requires you to have good secretarial skills, accurate spelling and grammar, the ability to pay close attention to detail, good communication skills, including a confident telephone manner and the ability to work under pressure.

Legal secretaries mainly work for solicitors. Other employers who would employ a legal secretary would include the legal departments of large industrial and commercial firms, public sector organisations, barristers' chambers and courts.

There are no set entry qualifications, although GCSEs/S grades or the equivalent are useful. It is possible to enter as an office junior and train on the job, or to join a legal firm after taking a legal secretary course. General secretarial training is sufficient for entry, although specialist courses are available.

The Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs and the Institute of Legal Executives (ILEX) offer qualifications in legal secretarial work as do many of the Scottish colleges and universities.

This job has excellent promotional prospects to more senior legal secretary jobs. With further training, they can become a legal executive, paralegal or licensed conveyancers.

The average salary for this job is £19,000 but could increase to up to£45,000 with experience.

Contact the Legal Division Team

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