Thinking of becoming a legal secretary but not too sure where to start? It can be difficult when every job advertisement you see requires you to have experience, so how do you get that experience? Here are a few ideas to help kick start your secretarial career:
Whilst it's not always essential to have completed Legal education it will certainly boost your chances in securing a role and will be beneficial once you start. There are a number of institutions here in New South Wales, and you would also have similar colleges in your local area, offering diplomas and certificates.
Finely tune your technical skills. Time equals money in the legal world, so speed and efficiency are crucial and highly regarded. You can improve your typing speed and accuracy using websites such as typingtest.com. Brush up on your MS Word knowledge with a short course or online tutorials.
Familiarise yourself with all the regular duties required of a legal secretary, including, but not limited to, diary management, dictaphone typing, preparation of correspondence, filing, scanning, archiving, liaising with clients and formatting documents. Think about what areas of law you are particularly interested in and which law firms appeal to you the most.
Apply for suitable roles
Put together a professional resume and register with a recruiter who specialises in legal support recruitment and can assist you with interviewing tips and market information and who has the relationships and networks to assist you in securing you the position of your choice. If you haven't yet gained legal secretarial experience, senior legal secretarial and paralegal roles won't be ideal for you. However, you should consider entry level positions. Some legal firms also offer trainee programs, which are a great way to gain experience in a few different areas of law.