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What are Legal Secretaries and Legal PAs?

| Career Insights

Lawyers require support to enable them to carry out their role smoothly and efficiently. Legal Secretaries and PAs provide this support and are therefore an integral part of any team of legal professionals. 

 

One of the fantastic things about the Legal profession is how diverse it is. There are so many different roles and positions that make up the legal sector and each of these roles require different skills, different experiences and different qualifications. If you have an interest in law, but are unsure whether you would like to be a Solicitor or Barrister, then an alternative career such as Legal Secretary or Legal PA may be perfect for you. Lawyers require support to enable them to carry out their role smoothly and efficiently. Legal Secretaries and PAs provide this support and are therefore an integral part of any team of legal professionals. 

 

Legal Secretaries 

As a Legal Secretary your work and responsibilities will vary depending on the area of law that your department works in and the cases that are being handled at that time. Your tasks could include producing legal documents and forms, carrying out legal research, responding to enquiries from new and existing clients, attending court, collecting fees upon completion of legal work and performing everyday secretarial duties. 

One of the benefits of working as a Legal Secretary is that you can get to know a wide range of different legal procedures and potentially build up experience in a large number of different legal areas. This may give you the opportunity to work your way up the ladder into other roles such as Legal PA, Paralegal or even (with additional training) Legal Executive.

Due to the specialist nature of certain aspects of your work as a Legal Secretary, the wages offered are at a higher level than those of a standard Secretary. The starting salary for a newly qualified Legal Secretary can be anywhere from £14,000 to £20,000, depending on the type of firm you are working for and the area of the country you live in. As you develop experience, you could be paid up to £30,000, and Legal Secretaries who are seen as being highly qualified can earn around £40,000 a year.

Legal PAs

Legal PAs can do similar legal tasks to Legal Secretaries, and therefore require the same level of legal knowledge, but often take on more responsibility with senior administrative tasks such as marketing or dealing with accounts and budgets. They are responsible for managing personal timetables and diaries, together with organising events and engagements and making travel arrangements.

Legal PAs act as a personal assistant to one or more bosses and deliver a very high quality service to their clients.  They can be first point of contact and sometimes make decisions on behalf of their bosses. 

If you are interested in becoming a Legal Secretary or PA, you can contact The Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs for advice and support. 

The Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs (ILSPA) is a professional body who are dedicated to your career every step of the way. Whether you would like to become a Legal Secretary or you would like to advance your Legal Secretary career, they are there to support you through your journey. 

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