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How to become a legal secretary

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If someone asked me a few years ago what is a legal secretary I would have referenced US TV Series “Suits”.

Over the last 8 months working as a legal office support recruiter, I have learnt of the importance of the legal secretary role. These men and women play an integral part in the smooth running of all law firms. For the right person, it can be an excellent career with great career progression opportunities.

The last 12 months has seen a nationwide shortage of legal secretaries so really the market is screaming out for experienced and qualified candidates. This also means there are numerous opportunities for those interested in the profession.

What are the duties of a legal secretary?

As a legal secretary, It is your job to be the right-hand person to the barrister or solicitor or the legal teams you are supporting. To succeed as a legal secretary, you should have:

  • An interest in the legal profession
  • Great administration and organisational skills
  • Be a good communicator
  • Work well with others
  • Have great attention to detail and the ability to type fast (60 WPM)

The job itself is much more than filing, typing and answering phones. Common legal secretary duties include:

  • Preparing correspondence
  • Typing legal documents – motions, briefs, pleadings and legal invoices
  • Researching and communicating with legal experts, vendors and other staff members.

Legal secretary training

A common starting place for a legal secretary would be a reception role in a legal firm or a junior legal administrator.

These roles are great for getting legal experience and for testing out if you are genuinely interested in working within the legal sector. Formal training isn’t essential, but it is highly recommended.

There are numerous places in Dublin where you can train to be a legal secretary. For example, Pitman who offer a diploma for up and coming legal secretaries in Irish law.

On a typical legal secretary course you’ll:

  • Increase your typing speed (at least 60 WPM)
  • Effective business communication (different forms of written communication and the lingo you will need to be an expert on)
  • Audio transcription
  • Extensive Microsoft office training

What job opportunities are there for Legal Secretaries?

Over the past year, there has been an increased demand for legal secretaries across Ireland. Companies are offering excellent salaries, unheard of benefits and excellent career progression plans. It is a candidate’s market which means it’s a great time to be looking to enter the industry.

How to get the right role legal secretary for you?

If you’re looking to make a move into a new firm or start your career as a legal secretary, look no further.

I recruit for Dublin’s top legal firms and I am always interested in meeting new candidates. I work closely with each of my candidates and will help you find the right firm for you.

If you’d like to learn more about becoming a legal secretary or are looking for a new legal secretary opportunity get in touch with me, I’d be delighted to advise.