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What does a legal secretary do?

(9 Posts)
Enid Thu 20-Mar-03 10:35:50

I may apply for a job as a legal secretary (no experience necessary!) - what on earth do they do?? Thanks x E

kaz33 Thu 20-Mar-03 11:01:03

I assume that you are a trained secretary. There is no fundamental difference between being a normal secretary and a legal secretary - ie: audio and copying typing, filing, shorthand, admin, dealing with clients on the telephone ( if you are in a very old fashioned firm ).

The reason that legal secretaries are different is that they tend to acquire a raft of other skills dependent on the area of law that they practice in ie: you learn new terminology, learn how to fill in certain forms, maybe do property searches...

If you are applying for a job as a legal sec I would emphasise that you are organised, like admin, like dealing with people on the telephone and interested in learning new skills...

Hope thats useful

kaz33 Thu 20-Mar-03 11:01:52

Sorry that should have said shorthand ( if you are in an old fashioned firm ).

megg Thu 20-Mar-03 12:49:54

I'm a legal secretary specialising in conveyancing. Its not that exciting and you get to deal with estate agents and banks which is a pain in the a**e. You have to *lie* a lot as well lol. In 20 years of working I've never done shorthand. We use audio. A lot of the form filling is on-screen now. Which field of law is the job in? Personally I find criminal and matrimonial very frustrating as you just want to bang their heads together and tell them to get a life, dealing with children is quite upsetting as you get to hear about what the poor kids have gone through and civil litigation is boring boring boring. Its not that different to a normal secretarial job and its quite quick to pick up the terminology.
Kaz33 I told my boss about saying Enid should be organised etc and he thought it very funny. As someone who is totally disorganised, hates admin (I don't do filing at all) and hates dealing with eejits on the phone who think they know better than you maybe I'm in the wrong job. I love my job though but maybe thats because my boss is fantastic (not that I would ever tell him lol).

seahorse Thu 20-Mar-03 13:17:27

Is anyone based near Salisbury as I need a part time secretary - some legal background might help but I was hoping for someone who would work as a PA and help with the leagl formalities work. I was looking for a part time - perhaps school hours only or mornings.

I'm about to take on office space in the next month or so.

Demented Thu 20-Mar-03 23:51:50

I am an ex-legal secretary (hoping it stays that way for a while at least). I would say on the whole I have enjoyed the jobs that I have had. IME I would agree that it is not too different to a normal secretarial job although obviously there is the legal jargon to get used to and a large amount of forms (certainly in Scotland). Having had a few legal sec jobs I would say that much depends on your boss, I have worked for some solicitors that all but want you to wipe their bums for them and others who supply you with everything you need and make you wonder why they need you. It can be a fun job, I personally like civil and criminal work but can't stand conveyancing, commercial conveyancing can be a bit more interesting though. All those files can be heavy though! All the best if you decide to go for it!

Demented Thu 20-Mar-03 23:54:40

BTW don't even know shorthand, I have spent my entire career with headphones wedged in my ears, solicitors are not renound for speaking clearly, one of the downsides of the job but can also give you a laugh trying to work out what on earth they are saying!

jodee Fri 21-Mar-03 23:32:14

LOL, Demented! And you should see the writing - on a par with doctors, if not worse! As the others said, not much difference from a regular secretary, just a lot of legal terminology and form filling ... arm yourself with a legal dictionary, there are a lot of words/phrases in latin. I work in an international banking/insolvency dept which is basically a lot of paper turning, number crunching. Not that interesting, to be honest. Good luck with the job, though, Enid.

Enid Sat 22-Mar-03 09:05:18

I've now got an interview doing another type of job (one that I am actually qualified to do!!) so I think the legal secretary thing will stay on the back burner for now - thanks everyone.

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