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Law

Legal secretary

Legal secretaries provide administrative support for lawyers and legal executives.

Annual Salary

£18,000 to £45,000

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

36 to 38 a week

You could work: 9am to 5pm;

26%
Future employment

There will be 26% fewer Legal secretary jobs in 2025.
In your local area

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.

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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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