The law is an ever-changing area as legislation and case law is continually conceived. As a Legal Secretary, it is important to remain in touch with the law, and it is a part of your job which needs you to be on your toes.
Depending on your practice’s niche area of law, you’ll naturally be assigned to a section even if you work in an all-services law firm. Therefore keeping active in terms of remaining up to date is vital if you are to succeed and progress. For example, the recent changes to the legal aid system which began to filter through in April 2013 are slowly being phased in and your firm will have been made aware of the new legislation way before the changes began to happen. Any changes to the overall workings of practices in law are paramount, as these directly affect all areas. Keeping up to date with overall changes is necessary as they begin to filter into your daily work, as are any changes in your niche.
Naturally, as your chosen vocation, you will want to remain top of the game. Setting yourself targets is a good way of remaining in tune:
- Set aside regular sessions to assess and learn about changes.
- Research new changes as they arise them from relevant websites and literature.
- Draw on any study skills you have gained, to retain information.
Through our Legal Secretary Journal, you can gain valuable information from our contributors about law and legal issues. It is also beneficial to take a look at the Members’ area of our main website, where you can read the latest legal news through a variety of different sources.
Please keep in mind that we provide Single Subject Legal courses in a variety of different areas. Your subject of choice can be studied by distance learning from home at any time of year and will provide you with valuable up to date knowledge.
Most law firms have direct access to literature from the Law Society, the Solicitor’s Regulation Authority and other law literature and these come either via email or through the mail. These vital little snippets of information which can be missed or overlooked could be of benefit. There will always be much media attention on changes in the law, and with the gift of modern technology, information is often free and easy to access.
Ideally, your line manager will also prompt you once changes are about to happen. Equally, changes in law take some time to happen as the process is long, but once Bills have received Royal Assent, it is assumed that changes will begin to happen slowly. They don’t happen overnight. This buys you time to really tackle a schedule of monitoring and absorbing changes.
If you’re looking for progression through your practice, you will have ample opportunity to graduate through the ranks. Keeping up to date with the changes in law will require tenacity on your behalf and it is up to you to progress. Your role as a Legal Secretary requires a certain level of responsibility on your behalf, as you’re more often than not the link between a client and their lawyer and there will be times you have to advise within the remit of your role.
So, dedicate some time to ensure you’re up to date and are aware of what is required of you. It will help you in your role and the profession as a whole.