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Need advice from anyone working in a solicitor's (lawyers, legal secretary's anyone)

(13 Posts)

I am about to start a legal secretary course next week which lasts for 1 year. When I went for the interview at the college all the other potential students were school leavers (half my age ). I'm 30 now and would be 31 when qualified.

My question is would you employ a 31 year old qualified legal secretary with no experience, or would you much prefer the young nubile candidate?

I want to know if I am wasting my time doing this course and whether I should look at something else all together. I have no legal experience, although I do have admin experience but I haven't worked in 7 years as have been a SAHM.

TIA

(I have posted this under several topics to try and get an answer)

FluffyMummy123 Thu 28-Aug-08 22:18:19

Message withdrawn

MamaG Thu 28-Aug-08 22:18:22

IME most employers would employ you over a school leaver. School leavers can be a bit fickle and faffy - coming in late after clubbing the night before etc.

All the firms I work for would prefer the 31 year old TBH

harpomarx Thu 28-Aug-08 22:19:43

have worked as a legal secretary, unaccomplished. I started as a temp and was offered a full time post. The better secretaries were definitely the older ones and afaik no one had done a course - all picked up on the job.

elkiedee Fri 29-Aug-08 13:14:39

I did a general secretarial course after several years unemployed (no kids at the time) in my 20s, then temped and did an evening class on legal sec work. My break was applying for a leg sec job covering someone's maternity leave for 9 months, I then registered with specialist legal sec agencies and although not all of them were that much use, one did keep me steadily in work for a couple of months at £11 an hour instead of £7 to £8.50 as I'd previously got - this was in central London more than 10 years ago.

Don't dismiss your previous office experience when applying for jobs, either. Lots of legal sec work is, really, the same as other sorts of offices in a lot of ways - typing, admin, dealing with people, answering phones.

Go for it and good luck with the course.

TuttiFrutti Fri 29-Aug-08 15:19:03

I'm an ex solicitor and would definitely prefer an older secretary. I've had both, and the older ones are MUCH better IME: calmer, less flappable when things go wrong, more experienced, less likely to ring in sick when they have boyfriend problems, less likely to come in hungover... The list goes on.

Lack of legal experience wouldn't bother me at all. As long as you can type and have basic common sense, all the other stuff you could pick up on the job IMO.

oldgreeneyes Fri 29-Aug-08 15:56:20

am a legal sec - picked it all up on the way no course - depends on your experience but you could just go into a job without any experience less pay and pick up on job what you need - good luck

WilfSell Fri 29-Aug-08 16:11:17

31. Hhhhhmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm....

Yes, you'll be ancient won't you?

grin

woodstock3 Sat 30-Aug-08 20:50:45

i used to work for a solicitor (years ago) - there were lots of ditzy young legal secretaries who were rubbish and a 40yo who was utterly genius who all the partners fought over. i think you'll be preferred over the young ones especially if you apply for the right kind of firms

TotalChaos Sat 30-Aug-08 20:53:56

I used to work as a solicitor. Vast majority of secs were over 30. Age will not be a deterrent - if anything as others have said, the more mature you are, the better you will be at fielding stroppy clients' calls etc.

expatinscotland Sat 30-Aug-08 21:00:26

I worked as a legal secretary for years, into my 30s, and never found my age a factor in the job search.

But 'legal secretary's'? Pay major attention to your grammar, punctuation and written English skills, even if they are not part of the course.

These are all vital to a good legal secretary, as you will need to use equipment like digital dictaphones and be able to edit some things on your own, as well as proofread documents for errors which can fly under many software application error checker's radars.

I was well compensated and IME being mature helped a lot as I was less apt to come in hungover, phone in sick or waste time on the phone or on email about personal stuff.

expatinscotland Sat 30-Aug-08 21:01:38

A professional manner is paramount.

I worked in small and large firms, legal departments of financial institutions and courts.

ALWAYS expected to dress appropriately and be professional no matter what.

Again, the compensation was good enough for this.

CoffeeAndCarrotCake Thu 04-Sep-08 20:53:23

I'm a solicitor, and my two best ever secretaries were 27 and 45. Age is really irrelevant - what counts is intelligence and initiative.

Go for it!

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