Admin, HR, legal

Legal secretary

Legal secretaries provide administrative support for lawyers and legal executives.

Annual Salary

£18,000 to £45,000

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

36 to 38 a week

You could work: 9am to 5pm;

25%
Future employment

There will be 25% fewer Legal secretary jobs in 2024.
In your local area

What's it all about?

Day to day tasks

In this role you could be:

  • producing legal documents like wills and contracts
  • preparing court forms and statements
  • handling confidential information
  • working from solicitors' written notes and audio files (dictation)
  • dealing with clients
  • making appointments and managing diaries
  • accompanying solicitors to court or police stations
  • delivering and collecting documents
  • keeping records, filing and general administrative work

Working environment

You could work in an office, in a court or at a police station.

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • specialist courses run by a professional body
College

You could take a course in audio transcription, legal word processing, or a qualification like a Level 3 Diploma for Legal Secretaries.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
For more information
Apprenticeship

You could get into this job through an intermediate and advanced apprenticeship in legal services or as a paralegal.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
For more information
Work

You could start as an admin assistant with a legal business or organisation and then apply for a trainee position. For most trainee legal secretary jobs you'll need excellent word processing skills of around 45 to 50 words a minute.

Other routes

You could complete qualifications offered by The Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs and the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx). Both have information about part-time and online distance learning courses.

More information

Further information

You can get more advice about legal secretary careers from The Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs.

With experience you could become a senior secretary, PA or office manager in larger firms.

With further qualifications, you could become a legal executive, paralegal or licensed conveyancer.

You could also work towards training as a solicitor or barrister.

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Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • administration skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • excellent written communication skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • knowledge of English language
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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