What is the work like?
Legal secretaries provide secretarial and administrative support to those working in the legal profession. They carry out a wide range of administrative and office management duties. The role may involve specialist duties and direct contact with clients.
Tasks and duties may include some or all of the following:
* typing up letters, reports and legal documents
* answering telephone calls and handling mail
* taking dictation and transcribing records
* organising functions and travel
* researching areas of law for specific cases
* keeping accounts and billing clients
* keeping records and filing documents
* proofreading letters and legal documents
* making appointments and organising office diaries
* attending court, client meetings and police stations to take notes.
Legal secretaries may work for lawyers, legal executives and paralegals. They often work closely with one or more lawyers and are crucial members of the legal team. Many secretaries are given responsibility for case management in areas such as conveyancing and debt recovery.
Many legal firms specialise in a particular area of law such as criminal practice, litigation, commercial law and family law. The role of the legal secretary will vary depending on the structure of the organisation and the nature of the business. Small firms often require an all-round approach, whereas larger firms may have greater opportunities to specialise.
A legal secretary who works for one person in a firm may be known as a legal personal assistant (PA). They may have additional responsibilities such as budgeting, accounts or marketing.
Hours and environment
Most legal secretaries work standard office hours, from around 9.00am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday, with some larger companies offering flexitime schemes. Part-time work and temporary contracts may be available.
The work is varied. However much of it is carried out in front of a computer screen, and a legal secretary will spend long periods of time sitting. Offices tend to be well lit and airy.
Personal appearance is important, particularly if the job involves receiving visitors, and smart office clothes may be required. If attending court, legal secretaries are expected to wear smart dark clothes.
Salary and other benefits
These figures are only a guide as actual rates of pay may vary, depending on the employer and where people live.
Salaries for legal secretaries tend to be higher in and around major cities, particularly near London.
Starting salaries may be around £13,000 to £16,000 a year.
Experienced legal secretaries may earn around £25,000 a year.
Salaries for highly experienced and qualified legal secretaries can reach up to around £37,000.
Skills and personal qualities
Legal secretaries need:
excellent keyboard skills
good organisational skills
an excellent command of the English language
accuracy and attention to detail
discretion when dealing with sensitive information
flexibility and adaptability
excellent interpersonal skills
good knowledge of legal practice
knowledge of legal terms, acts and procedures
to work well with colleagues
research skills for using law libraries and the internet
to produce neat and accurate work to deadlines.
It is important to be interested in:
administration and the use of technology
law and legal practice.
More full description http://www.connexions-direct.com/jobs4u/index.cfm?pid=14&catalogueContentID=37&render=detailedArticle
Hope this helps