Secretary: Law and Legal Secretaries
When people hear the word ‘Secretary’ – I’m pretty sure they picture someone behind a desk typing. Yes, this is pretty accurate but a Secretary in whatever field is so much more (and one can indeed spend much time running between their desk and any multitude of places! ). I remember learning a spelling mnemonic of sorts at school that Secretaries keep the secrets. Now I realise it’s perhaps more to do with the word’s derivatives but it’s stuck with me!
Having finished a Legal Secretaries Level 3 Diploma course in which I have an overall grade of a Merit, I have found myself privy to these ‘secrets’ and the opportunity I wanted: to expand and specialise my skills in an administrative field. It has given me a goal, having not taken the most direct job path. It can be difficult to find the right next step to take in your working life. Law is a fascinating arena, even more so ‘backstage’.
It might at times seem to be a far cry from the drama of the court room but without Legal Secretaries doing their part to make a difference with their input in the office, which affects the Solicitor who passes that effect onto the client, all aiming to reach the desired result, I’m not quite sure what would happen. Sometimes I think it takes an organiser, an administrator or a (Legal) Secretary to understand another – it takes one to know one.
What’s the difference between a legal secretary and a legal assistant?
The day to day achievements can be small, but by getting a complex subject filed comprehensively, simply giving someone the assurance that their enquiry is being looked at correctly or preparing someone thoroughly for a meeting, you in turn ensure that the client is getting the best service possible (even though you may not be attending that meeting in person). These are things that I already do but in the sphere of law they become magnified – what starts as small, indirect input evolves into an integral part of the law process.
That is quite something to be part of and I look forward to it. Within my reception role, I have had over 2 years of part-time work experience in dealing with clients and solicitors in an office environment. My role included answering the phone, getting personal details from callers, and transferring to the appropriate member of staff. I learned to be patient, methodical, and efficient. Flexibility is one of my strengths; I am also prepared to learn new skills. I have extensive experience of using computers.
I have experience with Microsoft and Microsoft Excel in which I passed exams. I have used Word to produce documents such as letters, posters, and minutes. I am able to prioritize my workload. Being flexible, I also have a positive attitude. This was particularly evident at The Broadcast Monitoring where I was able to concentrate all day even when working an early morning shift which began at 6. 30am. I also undertook nightshift to cover for staff on holiday. I work well under pressure. There were many deadlines throughout the day.
This also involved good written and verbal communication skills which were required when report writing and dealing with colleagues. I have found that I am able to build up close working relationships with other members of staff; most recently during my time in Chipatiso Associates (I can appreciate client confidentiality). I am a good organizer and am able to work on my own initiative. I was efficient at delegating the department workload at the Solicitors firm. I have an editorial/press reader eye for detail. I am polite and reliable, trustworthy and conscientious.