The start of a new year is the perfect time to think about the skills you would like to acquire to advance your career. It provides you with a fresh start, which can give you clarity about what you want to achieve. Whether you are new to the profession or you have been working as a Legal Secretary for many years, there are always skills you can develop to improve the quality of your work.
In line with our article on continuing professional development, we have produced a list of five skills that you could consider honing this year:
- Microsoft Office
When working as a Legal Secretary, it is essential for you to have a good understanding of Microsoft Word in order to produce professional letters and legal documents. It can also be very useful to know how to use Excel for recording and referring to data on spread sheets, while PowerPoint enables you to work on and give presentations. You can become a Microsoft Office Specialist to perform at the highest level in your role. ILSPA Members currently have the opportunity to receive a 50% discount on Microsoft Office courses. Take a look at our Course Discounts page for more information.
Typing emails, letters and legal documents is part of your everyday work as a Legal Secretary. ILSPA recommends you have a typing speed of at least 50 wpm, although some firms will want you to type up to 80 wpm. If you would like to improve your speed and accuracy, you can do so through a free online platform called typing.com. Improving your typing skills will enable you to be more efficient at work and help you secure better positions if you are job hunting.
- Legal knowledge
ILSPA believes that in order to be good at your job, it’s essential for you to understand the law connected to the work you are performing. It is beneficial for you to understand not only how to do a certain task, but also why you are doing it. Our courses provide Students with a solid understanding of various areas of law. If you have studied our Legal Secretaries Diploma course and want to further your legal knowledge, you are eligible for a 20% discount on our advanced level courses. The legal updates section of our journal also contains interesting developments in law for you to read about.
- English grammar
A requirement of being a Legal Secretary is to have an excellent standard of spoken and written English. You will be compiling emails and letters as well as producing important documents, so your grammar must be of a very high level in order to come across in a professional manner. The standard of your English skills will have a direct impact on your firm’s reputation. It is vital that clients receive correspondence and documentation which has been produced to perfection. You can find some free English grammar courses at alison.com.
- Social media
With the advancement of technology and online marketing, it is very beneficial to know about the different platforms your employer can use to promote its services. Larger firms have their own marketing departments, but if you are working for a smaller firm, you might be able to help with social media marketing. Employers are very keen to take on people who are multi-skilled so they can make the most out of your role at the company. It could be very helpful for them to have someone who is able to assist with social media marketing and lighten their load. There are some great resources available in this field if you Google them.
There are many other skills you could consider developing, such as communication, organisation and client care. Take a look at the professional development section of our Legal Secretary Journal to learn more and understand what is required of you as a professional Legal Secretary.