Legal secretary

Legal secretaries provide administrative support for lawyers and legal executives.

Average salary (a year)

£18,000 Starter

to

£45,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

36 to 38 a week

You could work

9am to 5pm

How to become a Legal secretary

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • specialist courses run by a professional body

College

You could take a course in audio transcription, legal word processing, or a qualification like a Level 3 Diploma for Legal Secretaries.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) for a level 3 course

More information

Apprenticeship

You could get into this job through an intermediate or advanced legal administration apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), usually including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More information

Work

You could start as an admin assistant with a legal business or organisation and then apply for a trainee position. For most trainee legal secretary jobs you'll need excellent word processing skills of around 45 to 50 words a minute.

Other routes

You could complete qualifications offered by The Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs and the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx). Both have information about part-time and online distance learning courses.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • administration skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • excellent written communication skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • knowledge of English language
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • being able to use a computer terminal or hand-held device may be beneficial for this job.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this role you could be:

  • producing legal documents like wills and contracts
  • preparing court forms and statements
  • handling confidential information
  • working from solicitors' written notes and audio files (dictation)
  • dealing with clients
  • making appointments and managing diaries
  • accompanying solicitors to court or police stations
  • delivering and collecting documents
  • keeping records, filing and general administrative work

Working environment

You could work in an office, in a court or at a police station.

Career path and progression

With experience you could become a senior secretary, PA or office manager in larger firms.

With further qualifications, you could become a legal executive, paralegal or licensed conveyancer.

You could also work towards training as a solicitor or barrister.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Legal Administrator Apprenticeship

  • Wage : £187.01 Weekly
  • Location: Worksop S80 2AH

Paralegal Apprenticeship

  • Wage : Competitive salary
  • Location: Manchester M2 2JT

Courses In England

CILEX Legal Secretaries - Diploma

  • Provider: Seevic College
  • Start date: 01 August 2019
  • Location: GRAYS

CG L2 Dip for Legal Secretaries (SPL2LEG)

  • Provider: Bromley College of Further and Higher Education
  • Start date: 05 September 2019
  • Location: Orpington

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