Have you ever considered utilizing your strong administrative skills in a law firm? Here are some transferable skills and characteristics that will help you succeed as a legal secretary, or in any entry-level legal position.
Oral Communication Skills
Legal secretaries are the main point of contact between attorneys and their clients. This means that it is essential to have clear, professional oral communication skills. A customer service background is always helpful to succeed in the legal field, as it teaches patience and proper phone etiquette that is useful when dealing with clients.
Written Communication Skills
Written communication skills are just as important. A strong knowledge of spelling and grammar is needed for tasks such as drafting client correspondence or proofreading legal documents. It is also useful to know legal terminology when you’re speaking, writing, or proofreading legal information. However, some firms may be willing to let you learn the terminology as you go if you’re new to the legal field.
E-filing, maintaining calendars, legal billing, dictation, and preparing legal documents are just a few of the duties that will be done electronically. In order to succeed as a legal secretary, strong computer skills are a must, being able to understand and utilize new software programs quickly. Not only should you know your way around a computer, but your research techniques should be up to date as well.
Attorneys are insanely busy and even if they intend on being organized, they simply do not have the time. As a legal secretary, you will be responsible for keeping them organized which can include managing their calendar, maintaining their files, and scheduling their meetings.
Attention to Detail
Being detail-oriented is non-negotiable in the legal field. $5,000 is quite different from $50,000 and the spacing/formatting in all documents must be uniform throughout.
In a legal role, you will be exposed to highly confidential information that you are expected not to disclose to anyone without permission.
Every part of the legal process has a strict deadline. This requires you to be reliable with the ability to multitask and switch priorities when necessary in order to meet these deadlines. You will be dealing with multiple clients at once so it’s important to be able to think ahead and brainstorm what obstacles may arise in order to make sure everything is completed timely.