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Any Legal Secretaries out there?

(8 Posts)
runningqueen Sun 20-Jul-08 19:02:28

Hi, Looking to retrain. I have been a medical secretary previously but this is not particularly well paid and as I live in London I was thinking about doing some kind of course to become a legal secretary.

Have looked at ILEX legal secretarial courses or a Legal Secretarial Diploma course run by The Institute of Legal Secretaries and PA's. Just wondering which is the most well thought of and what the employment opportunities both temp and perm are like? There seem to be a lot of jobs on the net but best to get an opinion from someone actually doing the job I think.

Would be grateful for any experiences or information. Thanks.

2Princess Mon 21-Jul-08 11:38:45

Hi have been a legal sec before. ILE is probably your best bet. Legal secretary is not as hard as medical secretary to be honest, as I have done both.

Legal sec is better paid then med s it's not the NHS! but of course you don't get the pension benefits. If you find the right law firm then you can get great benefits such as private medical insurance, parking, gym membership etc.

I would contact ILEX, but to be honest unless you want to become a legal executive, then there is no point in doing a lega sec qualification as I have never met a legal secretary with one and I have been in the legal field for 7 years.

Jobs are fairly obtainable to be honest, as long as you can type 60 wpm, can audio type, take calls, arrange files etc then your already a legal sec.

Also it depends on what area of law that your a secretary, as there are so many different areas of law and you mainly specialise in one...i.e. employment, conveyancing, commercial litigation, family etc. Usually a secretary can do numerous areas of law, but secretaries are also expected to fill in forms to help the solicitor out, but again you will be shown how to do this and the forms vary from each area of law.

Hope this helps, if you have any more questions then feel free to ask and I'll try and do my best to answer them.

2Princess Mon 21-Jul-08 11:41:03

There are loads of opportunities both temp and perm.

Temp (not in london) you can gain around £9-10 per hour and there are loads of specialised legal agencies out there. Carpe Diem, More Legal, Legal Prospects, Totally Legal, Total Jobs, Law Gazette. You can look on these for perm jobs to, there are so many out there and the pay is great for a sec in london.

There are also loads of firms that require evening secs, pay so much better in london for this.

Louisebutterfly Mon 21-Jul-08 15:29:41

I have done the Legal Secretaries Diploma course with the Institute of Legal Secretaries and it is very good. It teaches you different areas of law and the practical procedures of being a Legal Secretary such as completing forms and documents. Some firms are willing to train you on the job but you will have a much better chance of gaining employment with a good qualification like this. I know that some of the Institute's Students have managed to get Legal Secretary positions requiring experience as the course is so comprehensive.

The Institute of Legal Secretaries has given me CV help and advice on how to find work so I am very pleased I took this route.

runningqueen Mon 21-Jul-08 18:32:52

These replies are so helpful, exactly what I was hoping to hear to be honest. I am in my mid thirties, would my age be against me?

Louisebutterfly that course would be the best for me as I can't really commit to a years study at college. Difficult to get childcare but the one evening a week would be doable.

2Princess that is what I would be looking for initially - evening work. Would fit in nicely with getting ex to have kids. I live in London so not a problem.

Thanks again for your replies, really think I will give it go now on the strength or your opinions.

Louisebutterfly Mon 21-Jul-08 23:49:30

When I did the evening course in London there were Students of all ages there, ranging from about 20-45 years old. The tutor, Amanda, was great!

I nearly did their Distance Learning course because you can study from home in your own time but I managed to get my child looked after one night a week.

Good luck runningqueen!

fridayschild Tue 22-Jul-08 13:45:18

I am a lawyer and you really can tell the difference between people with a legal secretary course and without, so I would encourage you to do the course.

runningqueen Tue 22-Jul-08 18:01:34

Thanks fridayschild. That is very encouraging. I am definitely going to do it. I am also going to study a specialist module afterwards as well, which can only be studied at home so may do a couple. Thinking Family and Matrimonial and/or Personal Injury/Compensation. Thanks again for all your replies, they have really encouraged me to go for it.

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