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Your guide to working as a legal secretary

Are you looking to enhance your business support career with fast-paced, exciting and rewarding work? Then working for a leading law firm could be a smart career move.  

Learn more about the ins and outs of the role from a Senior Legal Secretary, working in one of the UK's largest firms. What does a typical day in the office look like? Why could it be the career for you?

What attracted you to work for a law firm?

“Prior to working in a law firm, I interned in a professional services firm and I’d previously worked in some fashion of administrative work. Although I enjoyed many aspects of my previous roles, I’d always held a strong interest in law.

Why? I’d originally considered training to be a solicitor, but I was put off by the lengthy working hours. My work-life balance is extremely important to me so working as a legal secretary gives me the best of both worlds. I get to work in law every day, and although there is the odd day that I stay late to help the partners, I almost always have time to enjoy my evenings. I’m lucky that my work doesn’t consume me in the same way as some of my friends.” 

What’s a typical day in the life of a legal secretary?

“It’s important to highlight that working as a legal secretary is distinctly different from working as a secretary in another industry, due to the complexities of casework and unique aspects of the legal sector.”

"My day can range from undertaking administrative duties to working on a brief or helping a solicitor in training research a case for a client. One day is never the same, and more frequently than not I am working directly on the law-based aspects of the job. It’s this work that keeps me motivated to do my job.”

What are the fundamental skills you need to thrive?

"Organisational skills and an attention to detail are key, but beyond professional skills, being trustworthy is integral to the role. I handle confidential information all day and if the partners did not trust me, I would not be able to adequately support them. You’re also working on multiple projects at one time, so you need to be able to manage and balance your workload effectively.”

What does the progression path of a legal secretary look like?

“One of the advantages I think of working in the legal sector is the structured nature of your career path. Opportunities for career growth and progression are placed at the centre of your role so you always have a next step to aim towards.” 

“I’ve found that if you do your job well, are proactive and add value into your job you are usually rewarded and can advance within the firm. I started as a receptionist originally but quickly became a team secretary then senior legal secretary. Even if there is not a promotion available, you can be incentivised well if you work for a law firm who really value their employees.”

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