What Is The Career Pathway For a Legal Secretary?

posted by Chris Valentine

If you speak openly with a Legal Secretary recruitment service for corporates, they will tell you that they often speak with Legal Secretaries who feel as though they are ‘stuck’ or pigeonholed into a one dimensional career path in legal administration.

Many individuals develop incredible, long term careers within the legal sector experiencing great diversity and challenge in their roles along the way. But legal secretary recruitment services for corporates have also witnessed and supported many to identify their key worth and transition their skill sets in to new industry sectors.

Working experience as a Legal Secretary provides the opportunity to build some strong competencies that are well respected. Exemplary attention to detail, the ability to meet stringent deadlines, experience supporting people under pressure, advanced computer & admin skills, confident communication, reliability, and impeccable presentation are all recognised as key traits in legal support.

The skills you develop can open up a multitude of career options, often ones that are not as easily accessible to other admin professionals. Junior Legal Secretaries who start out supporting at Paralegal and Associate level generally progress their career to Intermediate and Senior level Legal Secretary. Many Legal Secretaries at this level forge strong relationships with Partners and often work hand in hand with them for many years, sometimes for their whole career, growing and developing together as the trust and knowledge develops.

Other Legal Secretaries may change roles gaining exposure to various areas of law, enjoying the variety and getting to know the more transactional areas of law, then perhaps switching to a litigious area before finding their passion and the area they want to work in long term.

A legal secretary recruitment service for corporates can support candidates if they are looking to diversify their experience, as they have many contacts outside of the law firm you are working within, that may be open to taking someone in to a new practice area, when your law firm is not able.

Legal Secretaries who move on from working for a Partner (and or a team) in a secretarial capacity have a wide scope of options available to them, its just about figuring which part of the role or the industry you enjoy most. Many people working in law become very passionate about it and this is their driver, for others the career path they choose is based on identifying strengths and knowing where they add value the most.

Some candidates who have discovered a real passion for the legal work do often navigate their way toward a Paralegal role, often supported by the firm they work at and often with additional studies being taken on.

Other Legal Secretaries will identify leadership skills, moving into management roles coordinating legal support teams, then moving into office management, practice management and some as far as HR roles, which also requires additional study part time. Some of our most senior clients in HR came from a legal secretarial background. Others in law firms might move into supporting the management team or a Managing Partner or even CEO if they are more passionate about providing support to an executive and developing their EA Skills.

Legal Secretaries who leave the legal industry often pursue a career as an EA. These individuals generally identify that they like to have more of the coordination style duties in their days, rather than just pure administration. Depending on what stage of their career the move is made, they may commence as a Team Assistant, a Personal Assistant or an EA to a General Counsel with their sights set on working their way up to a C Suite EA role. These options allow the individual to transition out of law firms, but skill utilise their well-developed skill sets and be respected for what they have to offer.

If you are feeling uncertain about where you want to go with your legal support experience, get in touch with a reputable legal secretary recruitment service for corporates for some guidance and advice.

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