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Recruiters notice rise in demand for Legal Secretaries


In-House Legal Secretary Vacancies ‘Increasing’

While many businesses are reporting redundancies during the recession, one recruitment company has revealed a rise in demand for in-house legal secretarial staff.

Jane Firth, business manager at Hays Secretarial, says that the combination of specialist skills and sector knowledge required to be a legal secretary means they are often hard to find.

Ms Firth explains that these professionals often spend several years going through legal training at a law firm, working their way up.

Job Expectations

Job expectations tend to be higher for a qualified legal secretary due to their increased skill-sets, according to Ms Firth.

They have to be more technically adept and have a stronger understanding of legal terminology, she explains, meaning they can be hard to come by for solicitors and law firms.

Monster’s latest UK employment index for April found that there was a modest rise in online recruitment, with the level increasing by two per cent compared to March.

Job opportunities in the legal sector rose by eight per cent month-on-month, which the recruitment firm said reflected a pick-up in demand for professional service workers generally.

Professional vacancies online increased by two per cent, with the legal jobs market registering in the top five industries looking for employees.

Jenny Ungless, career coach at Monster, says that people looking for secretarial work need to make sure they stand out from the crowd in the jobs market.

Legal Secretarial Training

One of the ways they can do this is by undertaking a legal secretary course. “You need to make sure you keep your CV updated with any training courses you have been on and any skills you have gained, so that when you are looking for a job you have a strong CV packed with relevant experience ready to be put to the top of the pile,” she asserts.

“For any qualifications or training courses you have taken, explain how these relate to the job you are going for. Most jobs will have transferable skills that can be applied to a whole range of job positions, so showcase your capabilities to future employers,” Ms Ungless advises.

The government’s careers advice service explains that as a legal secretary, you will usually have to produce letters and other legal documents such as wills, contracts and court papers, which means undergoing a typing course may be advisable.

Other responsibilities include keeping records of costs and controlling petty cash, dealing with enquiries from clients, attending court or police cells with solicitors, organising diaries and making appointments, general clerical work and preparing court forms and statements.

Career Development

Working for a small law firm, you would be likely to gain experience in a wide range of legal areas, whereas in a larger company you would tend to specialise in a particular section of law.

According to Careers Advice, undergoing an audio typing course would also give you an advantage in the jobs market.

The service also recommends taking a recognised legal secretary course.

It explains that aspiring administrators can undergo such training at local centres and colleges or even take a legal secretary distance learning course.

Careers Advice adds that following on from gaining a job as a legal secretary, with further training you could even go onto become a legal executive, paralegal or licensed conveyancer.


Once you have all these skills, you need to make sure you are advertising them, says Jenny Ungless.

“A well-rounded candidate can be very attractive to a future employer,” she asserts, recommending doing other extra-curricular work such as volunteering with a charity or learning another language as a way of marking yourself as more appealing.

“Maybe whilst looking for the job your really want get some work experience in the area you want to go into or take a temp job to make ends meet,” she advises.

When it comes to that all-important interview, you need to be confident and use the knowledge and training you have gained on your legal secretary course to demonstrate you are qualified for the job.

Another good tip is to do research on the company so that you talk about how your skills match the aims and ethos of the employer. “Just because there isn’t a position advertised at the place where you want to work, there is no harm in sending off your CV and asking if there are any available jobs, you never know what might happen as a result,” she suggests.


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