If you are considering becoming a legal secretary you should expect a somewhat varied role that involves giving admin support to solicitors, lawyers, paralegals, legal executives and other legal staff. Legal secretaries will also be required to deal with any day to day tasks required by the firm they are working for. Legal secretary roles are generally available in solicitors firms, barristers’ chambers, law courts, estate agents and in the police and armed forces.
The main task for a legal secretary is to create legal documents such as leases, wills and other contracts as required. Legal Secretaries often carry out work using recorded tapes from Dictaphones provided by solicitors. The tapes are then used to help the legal secretary create letters.
Other duties of a legal secretary include dealing with telephone enquiries creating faxes and sending emails. A legal secretary will also be responsible for organising the diary of the solicitor and pencilling in any appointments and court appearances as required. Some record keeping and control of petty cash is also often left to legal secretaries. Occasionally attending police cells or court with the solicitor may also be required. As well as these duties legal secretaries will also carry out any clerical work that is required.
Often, firms of solicitors choose to specialize in an area of law such as family or criminal. Other practices will offer a wider range of subjects such as corporate law, divorce law and more. In smaller firms the legal secretary may be required to work in a few different areas of law whereas in larger firms there is more opportunity to specialise.
Depending on firm to firm of course, the usual working hours for a legal secretary are office hours of 9-5 Monday- Friday. Sometimes part time positions are available in the field but often roles advertise for full time secretaries due to a hefty workload.
There are no set entry requirements for a legal secretary but having good communication and computer skills is essential. There are legal secretary courses available.