If you are looking for an interesting, varied and fulfilling job, then becoming a Legal Secretary is the career path for you. It’s not just law firms and Barrister’s chambers but also local authorities which need to rely on the skills and services of a good Legal Secretary, and most financial firms and large companies have Secretaries working in their legal department. This gives you great scope to choose the sort of working environment which would best suit you.
There are lots of different reasons to become a Legal Secretary, including the varied working life, the opportunities to advance your career and increase your earning potential, and the chance to learn about our legal system in depth so that you gain a better understanding of how it governs our society.
Your work and responsibilities as a Legal Secretary on a day-to-day basis will vary depending on the legal department you work in and the cases being handled. Your tasks could include producing legal documents adhering to set guidelines, responding to enquiries from new and existing clients, attending court, collecting fees upon completion of legal work and performing everyday secretarial duties.
There is scope to be paid very well as a Legal Secretary, with wages at a higher level than those of a standard Secretary. The starting salary for a newly qualified Legal Secretary can be anywhere from £14,000 to £20,000, depending on the type of firm you are working for and the area of the country you live in. As you develop experience, you could be paid up to £30,000, and Legal Secretaries who are seen as being highly qualified can earn around £45,000 a year.
Being a Legal Secretary is a great way to see that the work you do directly impacts on the performance of the company. Your tasks will be vital in the handling of legal procedures, and at the end of a case you will be able to see exactly what you have done to reach the desired outcome and how you had a hand in helping clients. You will be given more responsibility than in standard secretarial roles, which can be very challenging and will build your confidence, helping you to achieve more at work and in your personal life.
Work and home life balance
Roughly half of all of the Legal Secretaries currently employed in the UK work part-time, so it is a great career for parents returning to employment and looking to balance childcare and earning opportunities. It is also a good career move for law students who want to gain practical legal work experience during their degree studies and get their foot in the door. Legal Secretary qualifications can be studied part-time, so it is a very achievable goal.
Legal Secretaries can become qualified through in-house training programmes or by studying recognised Legal Secretary courses. The Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs provides an online distance learning course which can be started at any time of year and studied at your own pace. If you live in London, you can take ILSPA's evening class which runs one evening a week for 14 weeks. Once you have obtained all the right skills, you can start the career of your dreams. Click here for further information: https://www.institutelegalsecretaries.com/training/diploma/.
By working as a Legal Secretary, you can get to know a wide range of different legal procedures and build up experience in a large number of different legal areas. This will give you the opportunity to work your way up the ladder into other roles such as Legal PA, Paralegal or even (with the right training) Legal Executive.