When you start to train to be a Legal Secretary, you will quickly realise that there is a lot more to the job than the technical skills that you are learning. Traits and characteristics are the things that can help you stand out from the other people applying for the role and are the things that will make you the best candidate for the role. Here are five to cultivate in yourself to get that new legal secretary role that you desire.
As a legal secretary, you will be the right hand of a lawyer and this means they need to completely rely on you. This is a lot more than just ensuring you show up on time or doing an extra half an hour if needed. It is a case of working around what your boss needs so that you are available when it matters most – of course, this doesn’t have to mean you are on call 24 hours a day!
Being reliable involves things like looking to see if he has an early morning court appearance and being there with any documents that he might need. Or ensuring everything they need is in one place ready for meetings the following day.
This overlaps somewhat with reliability but is a trait on its own. Being efficient is about getting everything done in a timely manner, predicting what is required without being explicitly told and ensuring that your work flows. For legal secretaries, the day can be a one filled with lots of little tasks so organising these efficiently to ensure everything is done is very important. This efficiency can also overlap to your boss – sometimes this isn’t the lawyer’s biggest strength!
If you aren’t discreet as a legal secretary, you can land yourself into a lot of trouble. Your role will often mean you see and hear sensitive, private or personal information and you must be very careful about how you handle this. While it might be tempting to tell the fascinating story of your boss’ latest client to your friends or talk about it with your partner, always remember principles around privacy. Most legal secretaries will recommend not talking specifically about their work with anyone outside the business at all – just to be on the safe side.
A people person
Being a legal secretary might not seem like a job where people skills are crucial, but this isn’t the case. You are often the go-between clients and your boss as well as dealing with court officials, other legal secretaries and other areas of the legal profession. Being able to work well with people, chat with them and make solid business relationships can help cement your position and ensure you are a crucial part of your company. Those people skills can help calm a situation, solve a problem and also just make your working life more pleasant.
Patience and compassion
In many situations, when someone is dealing with a lawyer, there is something unpleasant, traumatic or upsetting involved. Being patient and compassionate with them can make a massive difference to that person and to your overall work life. Patience is also important in the legal system in general – there are still many times where your patience will be tried!
By combining the solid skills you learn while training to be a legal secretary with these five traits or characteristics, you can transform yourself into an indispensable part of your company. You will also deal with the highs and lows of the job better and find enjoyment where possible or at least compassion to help others where enjoyment isn’t an option.