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Legal Secretaries of the future

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Legal Secretaries of the future

​In our previous article our expert legal recruiters examined the evolution of the Legal Secretary role. With the role now akin to a Personal Assistant there has been a fundamental shift in the desirable skillset of the Legal Secretary of the future. In demand Legal Secretaries will ideally be able to use and adapt to technology and have the ability to multi-task more than ever before. Below are a few key skills legal secretaries need to succeed in a role today:

1.Technologically able

Moving on from typing and dictation, Legal Sectaries need to be highly skilled in Microsoft Office products. This might involve crafting engaging presentations on Power Point with ease, creating Word templates, being able to format and edit documents quickly or effectively setting up and tracking budgets in Excel. The ability to be able to adjust and implement new technology will be crucial, especially if it helps with efficiency.

2.Attention to detail

But not like we have known it before. Being across the finer details when supporting teams to deliver quality market facing collateral alongside ensuring presentations and documents produced are of the highest quality.

3.Work under pressure

The ability to multitask and deal with multiple deadlines across multiple stakeholders will be crucial. A Legal Secretary could be working with one dedicated director / partner or up to a team of 7 partners and wider team of authors, all with conflicting needs and deadlines. Being able to manage these stakeholders and their individual priorities to ensure deadlines are met and relationships remain intact will be crucial. The ability to prioritise, communicate well and hold firm to last minute requests will be the key to success.

4.Event co-ordination

As the point of contact person for events, the ability to pull together events will be paramount. This will include liaising with various stakeholders including marketing for items such as invitations and branding, working with the operations team to book conference rooms, organising catering, plan seating arrangements, managing invites and RSVP’s to assisting in the collation of presentation material.

5.Relationship Building

The ability to form trusted working relationships both internally and externally is one of the key strengths of a Legal Secretary. Consistently, the Legal Secretaries that are being promoted and receiving above market salaries are those that develop relationships with ease, are approachable, positive and go above and beyond to deliver for their teams.

6.Try new things

With such a changing set of role responsibilities your ability to give things a go, be adaptable and find solutions for problems will be a real asset to any firm.

7.Get the job done

While the role now encompasses a varied and exciting range of responsibilities, the ability to also get the basics done isn’t gone. Many Legal Secretaries are still responsible for chasing unpaid invoices from clients and dealing with debtors. All requiring some tenacity to push through uncomfortable conversations.

With the role evolving in such a short period of time, many practices are still finding their way to best utilise such a highly competent resource, particularly where remote working is provided to legal support staff. Legal Secretaries that are engaged, agile and taking the changes in their stride are those that we are seeing thriving. If you are looking for a new opportunity or to enter into a Legal Secretarial role from a Personal Assistant or administration role, please get in touch with Kylie or Simone to talk through our opportunities.

Kylie Vercoe - Consultant

027 296 9439

Simone Macdonald

027 224 5228