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Legal Secretary

The role

Legal secretaries handle all the administrative tasks involved in running a legal firm. These tasks include:

  • typing letters and legal documents such as wills, contracts and court papers
  • answering telephone calls, letters, faxes and e-mails
  • organising diaries and making appointments
  • preparing court forms and statements
  • keeping records of costs and controlling petty cash
  • dealing with enquires from clients
  • attending court or police cells with solicitors
  • filing and other general clerical work

 

In a small firm, legal secretaries develop knowledge and experience of a wide range of legal matters. In a large firm they tend to specialise in one particular area.

How to become a legal secretary

 

After gaining a good basic education comprising at least 5 GCSEs, including English, aspiring legal secretaries can go on to a legal secretarial course at a college. Apprenticeships are another way of pursuing a career as a legal secretary.

 

Skills and knowledge required

 

Good legal secretaries possess the following:

  • fast and accurate typing skills
  • computer literacy
  • a high level of accuracy and attention to detail
  • discretion for dealing with confidential information
  • a good standard of spelling and grammar
  • the ability to work to deadlines
  • the ability to work well as part of a team and also alone
  • a polite and helpful manner

 

Income

Salaries range from £12,000 to £18,000 a year, rising to around £25,000 with experience. Highly qualified legal secretaries in top law firms earn up to £36,000 a year.

 

The hours

Legal secretaries usually work eight hours a day from Monday to Friday, but as with most jobs, extra hours may be required during busy periods.

 

Useful websites

www.institutelegalsecretaries.com

www.apprenticeships.org.uk

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