Legal PA Job Description
Legal PAs are responsible for assisting one or more individuals in a law firm or in-house legal team with all aspects of their professional lives. This can include liaising with clients, drafting documents and project management, as well as booking meetings, travel and accommodation.
In many ways, the role of a Legal PA is similar to that of a Legal Secretary. Employed by national, regional and City law firms, as well as in-house departments and Barrister’s chambers, Legal PAs and Legal Secretaries both provide administrative and secretarial support while having varying degrees of involvement in legal work.
They are, however, distinct roles. Where Legal Secretaries support an entire team or department, Legal PAs provide one-to-one assistance to one or more bosses, managing their personal calendars and diaries. Where Legal Secretaries have limited exposure to legal work, Legal PAs take on more responsibility, and are sometimes involved with senior tasks such as business development, project management and accounts.
The responsibilities of a Legal PA are broad and can vary greatly from role to role. However, as a guide, Legal PAs can expect to be responsible for some or all of the following:
• Directly supporting Partners, General Counsel and other senior legal professionals
• Extensive calendar and diary management
• Booking travel, meetings and accommodation.
• Organising events, appearances and engagements
• Being the first point of contact for clients, internal staff and other PAs
• Monitoring and responding to email and telephone enquiries
• Involvement with marketing and business development
• Establishing and maintaining client relationships
• Project management
• Oversight of budgets and accounts
• Drafting correspondence, legal documentation, forms and contracts
• Carrying out legal research
• Attending court
• Making business decisions for bosses when required and appropriate
• General secretarial and administrative tasks
• Supervision or management of more junior staff such as Legal Secretaries or Paralegals
Often, Legal PAs have previous experience as a Paralegal, Legal Secretary, Legal Administrator or another low-level legal role. Alternatively, experienced PAs may decide to switch to a career in law.
While there are no specific qualifications required to become a Legal PA, employers will often look for candidates who demonstrate a strong academic record, plus relevant secretarial experience and evidence of an interest in law. A degree or qualification in law, business administration or secretarial studies may help you to stand out from the crowd, as would a specialist diploma such as that offered by the Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs (ILSPA).
Recognised by law firms and legal recruiters, the ILSPA’s Legal Secretaries Diploma course provides the legal knowledge and practical skills required to become a competent and confident Legal PA. Find out more about the qualification and how to enrol on the ILSPA website.
Legal PA job descriptions often call for candidates whose skillset includes:• Communication, interpersonal and relationship building skills
• High levels of organisation and flexibility
• The ability to multitask and deal with competing demands
• The ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines
• Demonstrable legal knowledge
• Diary management skills
• Fast and efficient typing
• Strong writing and drafting skills
• Technology and IT skills, including the Microsoft Office package
• General administrative skills such as filing
• Excellent telephone manner
According to data gleaned in our 2018 Audience Insight Report, Legal PAs in the UK took home £32,619 on average last year. This number varies dependent on location, practice area, employer and experience level, with the most senior Legal PAs reporting salaries of up to £50,000 per year. Legal PAs are also subject to a range of benefits, with last year’s salary survey respondents listing gym contributions, private healthcare and flexible working among the perks they received.
Legal PA jobs provide excellent career opportunities for those looking to progress. For those interested in the legal side of things, a Legal PA role can be the first step towards qualifying as a Legal Executive or Solicitor, while those firmly set on an Assistant career can go on to support increasingly senior individuals or perhaps become an EA.
We display the latest Legal PA jobs in a range of locations, practice areas, employer types and experience levels. Discover your next role today on TotallyLegal.
Would you like to take part in an interview about your experience as a Legal PA? If so, we would love to hear from you. Get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.