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British Law >> Jobs Area >> Legal Secretary

A legal secretary is responsible for both clerical and administrative tasks within a law firm. They assist lawyers with their work and conduct a wide range of tasks necessary to ensure the efficient and effective operation of a legal office.

A key task involves the preparation of letters and legal documents, and so word-processing skills are a key component of the overall skill-set. Legal secretaries are also responsible for dealing with telephone enquiries, supporting clients, and conducting a variety of administrative duties. They will sometimes accompany solicitors to courts, police cells, or business meetings to take notes in support of the work of the firm.

Legal secretaries require:

  • good secretarial skills
  • highly accurate use of grammar and spelling
  • an ability to pay close attention to detail
  • good communication skills
  • a confident telephone manner
  • good interpersonal skills
  • an ability to work under pressure

Most legal secretaries work for solicitors, while others work for legal departments of large industrial and commercial firms, public sector organisations, barristers' chambers and courts.

There are no fixed entry qualifications, but GCSEs or equivalent are useful, and proven office skills and interpersonal skills are a great benefit. It is possible to train on the job as an office junior, or to join a law firm after completing a secretarial course. General secretarial training is sufficient for entry, but specialist legal secretarial courses are available and completion of such a course will be advantageous, especially for more prestigious positions.

Qualifications in legal secretarial work are offered by:

- ILEX Paralegal Training
- Institute of Legal Secretaries - 0845 6434974.

Promotion to more senior administrative positions is possible. With further training, legal secretaries can become legal executives, paralegals or licensed conveyancers.