So, you made the decision that becoming a lawyer is the perfect for you! You know you have the self-discipline, intellectual curiosity and passion for what law school and the career entails, and now you are asking yourself one question: how do I choose the right school for me?
If you are considering a career as a legal secretary then you’ll be pleased to hear that there will always be plenty of work available! Legal secretaries have made themselves completely indispensable and lawyers know they couldn’t do half as good a job without them onboard. It’s the perfect solution for people that have got into secretarial work but would like to move up the ladder and use more intelligence in their day to day work. There are plenty of ways in, but the most popular one is to complete a relevant certificate in legal secretary work, which can take a couple of years.
A day in the life of a legal secretary
Legal secretaries do a lot more than just type and file all day. They pretty much run the law firm, making sure that all organisational and administrative tasks are up to date. They will plan, schedule and minute meetings and appointments, handle email and website enquiries, deal with incoming and outgoing post, and make travel and hotel arrangements where needed. You will be working for senior executives and lawyers and you will be expected to take jobs off their desk so that they can concentrate on the higher-level work.
Your computer skills will need to be first class, as on any given day you will be expected to write reports, proofread and edit documents, draw up spreadsheets, maintain databases and manage online diaries. If you think your computer skills might need brushing up then it’s well worth going on a few courses to get yourself up to speed.
You will pick up a lot of legal knowledge along the way, but you will need to know the basics. You will need to attend court, prepare lengthy documents and you’ll need to be familiar with all the legal jargon. A lot of people start off as normal secretaries in law firms before they ascend to legal secretary status because they understand that they will pick up a lot of the knowledge along the way.
Because you will spend a long time at your desk every day you will need to know that you can handle being indoors for long periods of time. Your body may suffer from the amount of typing you have to do and RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) is a common complaint. You may get eye strain from using a computer so much and you’ll need to go for regular eye tests. Keyboard work is even linked to carpal tunnel syndrome so it’s important you mitigate the damage by maintaining a good posture and taking loads of breaks.
Obviously, you will have to be very good at grammar punctuation, and spelling, but you will also need to be a people person as you will be coming into contact with people from all walks of life on a regular basis. If you still think this is the job for you then we wish you the best of luck in your career!
About the Author:
Since Jenny Wadlow is a freelance blogger, her interests and insight might help you through your daily dilemmas. Especially job seekers can benefit from her articles about recruitment agencies in Melbourne. You can catch up with her on Twitter @JennyWadlow.
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Legal secretary courses
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