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Career Progression Tips for Legal Secretaries

Written by: Evie Courtier | ILSPA
Published on: 19 Feb 2024


  • Make note of your accomplishments:

    Keeping track of your accomplishments is a valuable practice that can significantly aid your career progression. Having a documented list of your achievements allows you to track your career goals, build self-confidence, and articulate your contributions / demonstrate your value to the organisation within performance reviews and evaluations.

  • Advance your knowledge and skills:

    Furthering your knowledge with additional study is an efficacious way to build your career. ILSPA offers a range of advanced level courses, allowing you to become an expert in your desired field of law. Courses cover:

    • Civil Litigation.
    • Corporate and Commercial Law.
    • Criminal Law.
    • Family Law.
    • Land Law and Conveyancing.
    • Wills, Probate and Administration.

    The Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs offers courses which are recognised by law firms and legal recruiters throughout the UK and around the world, providing you with the legal knowledge and practical skills you need to be a competent Legal Secretary. Conducting an advanced course allows you to develop in-depth knowledge and key skills in your desired area of law, aiding your advancement up the career ladder.

  • Enhance Technical Skills:

    Developing technical skills is a strategic investment in your professional development as a Legal Secretary, enabling you to navigate the evolving landscape of the legal profession and contribute effectively to the success of your team. Staying up-to-date with the latest office software, legal research tools, and case management systems is essential for efficiency, accuracy, and overall effectiveness in supporting legal professionals.

  • Develop communication skills:

    Strong written and verbal communication expertise is essential for effective collaboration, client interaction, and overall success in the legal support role. Communication skills not only facilitate day-to-day tasks but also contribute to the overall professionalism and success of the legal team.

    Throughout your career, make note of how you manage:

    • The drafting of correspondence.
    • Client communication.
    • Interacting with other legal professionals.
    • Negotiation and resolution.
    • Adaptability in your communication style.
    • Active listening and conflict resolution.

  • Stay informed about industry trends:

    Keep yourself updated on changes and trends within the legal field. Understanding the current landscape can help you position yourself as a valuable asset to your firm. As we know, the legal landscape is dynamic, with constant changes in laws, regulations, and industry practices. Having a proactive attitude demonstrates you as an adaptable and capable colleague.

  • Build organisational skills:

    Given the nature of legal work often encompassing handling substantial volumes of information, meeting tight deadlines, and managing sensitive client information, it’s essential to present strong organisational skills as a promotable Legal Secretary.

    Developing organisational expertise is not just about managing documents; it's a critical aspect of ensuring the smooth functioning of legal processes, maintaining confidentiality, and contributing to the overall success of legal operations.

  • Take the initiative:

    The responsibility of career progression comes down to you, as the active job seeker - demonstrate a proactive attitude by:

    • Taking on additional responsibilities.
    • Offering to assist with special projects.
    • Leading on tasks that showcase your skills and dedication, demonstrating leadership potential.
    • Demonstrating proactive problem solving by identifying potential issues before they escalate and proactively addressing them.
    • Showcasing yourself as a reliable employee - Legal Secretaries who consistently take initiative build a reputation for reliability and dependability.
    • Fostering innovation - bring innovative ideas to the table, whether it's proposing new processes, suggesting creative solutions to challenges, or introducing efficient tools.