When recruiting legal support staff, law firms have specific skill sets they seek out to ensure the people they take on can hit the ground running. If you’re a legal secretary considering entering the jobs market or someone who thinks a job as a legal secretary might be for them, you might be wondering what skills you’ll need to be able to demonstrate as part of an application.
Here, we explain which five skills law firms look for in legal secretaries and support staff.
1. Communication skills
Being able to communicate clearly with colleagues is essential to success in any role within a legal firm.
As a legal secretary, you will have lots of client contact and will often act as a liaison between client and lawyer. Being a friendly and effective communicator will help you build and maintain relationships with clients and, ultimately, deliver a great service.
Keeping track of documents, filing papers, scheduling meetings, and other administrative tasks are all part and parcel of a legal secretary’s day-to-day role. Being organised and able to stay on top of deadlines, manage lawyers’ diaries and prioritise projects is key.
3. Attention to detail
Even small mistakes can have large consequences within a law firm. As a legal secretary, you must have good attention to detail and be able to check facts and proofread documents precisely to reduce the risk of error.
Law firms are often fast-paced working environments in which things can change unexpectedly. Legal secretaries must be able to respond to change and adapt their workload and priorities accordingly so they can continue to support their team effectively. The ability to multi-task is also important, especially if the role involves supporting multiple colleagues.
5. Computer skills
Legal secretaries need to be computer literate and be able to use programmes like Microsoft Word, Outlook and Excel proficiently to carry out their duties. A good working knowledge of Adobe Acrobat is also useful for creating and processing reports, contracts and other documents and the ability to type quickly and accurately is crucial.