- Use administration skills and a keen interest and knowledge of law in this role
- Work closely with legal executives, often travelling to law courts or police stations
- Opportunities to move into senior or managerial roles, or even train to become a solicitor or barrister
As a legal secretary, you'll work in solicitors' offices and barristers' chambers, as well as for law courts, local authorities, estate agents or the police.
- Produce legal documents like wills and contracts
- Prepare court forms and statements
- Handle confidential information
- Work from solicitors' written notes and audio files (dictation)
- Deal with clients
- Make appointments and manage diaries
- Keep records
- Accompany solicitors to court or police stations
- Deliver and collect documents
- Do filing and general administrative work
You'll often work in an office but you may travel to deliver documents, visit police stations or go to court.
This role requires administration skills, excellent verbal and written communication skills, thoroughness and attention to detail, the ability to work well with others, knowledge of English language, good initiative, and the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure.
You could take a college course in audio transcription, legal word processing, or a qualification such as a Level 3 Diploma for Legal Secretaries.
You could get into this job through an intermediate and advanced apprenticeship in legal services or as a paralegal.
You could start as an admin assistant with a legal business or organisation and then apply for a trainee position. You'll need excellent word processing skills of around 40 to 50 words a minute for most jobs.
Alternatively, you could complete qualifications offered by The Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs, and the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx).
If you're working in a small, local firm, you'll develop experience in a wide range of legal matters. In larger firms you'll usually specialise in one particular area of law.
With experience you could become a senior secretary, PA or office manager in larger firms. With further qualifications, you could become a legal executive, paralegal or licensed conveyancer. You could also work towards training as a solicitor or barrister.