What Makes a Good Legal Secretary?

Posted June 24 2018 By Jackie MacGregor


A good Legal Secretary can be the beating heart of a successful legal firm. Dedicated, enthusiastic and responsible, it’s the type of role that requires a truly talented individual with a keen eye for detail. Certainly, there can be challenges and stresses, but more often than not, it’s an incredibly rewarding role.

Legal Secretaries can often be seen as as absolutely fundamental to the everyday operations of a business; keeping everything ticking over nicely.

I often help candidates find their ideal role, marrying them up with a business that is a good culture-fit and in need of their expertise. It’s a position that requires many specific attributes in order to be successful.

Take a look at what it takes to be an excellent Legal Secretary:

Skills and Qualifications

A genuine interest in law and the legal profession is always a good place to start – but that doesn’t mean you need to have a law degree or any similar qualification. Knowledge of specific practice areas may give you the edge when applying in a competitive market, whether that is Private Client, Property, Litigation, Corporate and so on.

Being a good audio typist is critical. A typing speed of 60 to 80 words per minute is what most firms will look for. Whether you have this experience from a legal or non-legal background, you should definitely highlight it on your CV.

Microsoft Office skills are absolutely essential for a good Legal Secretary to be able to format documents, list expenses and compile reports and presentations. If you’re already proficient in these areas, always ensure that your skills are refreshed and kept up to date.


As you will be expected to provide Partners with support with diary management, travel and expenses, being able to multi-task and stay organised is a great attribute to have.

Being able to plan your day will ensure that it runs smoothly, no matter what crops up last minute. It will also give you a good idea of where you need to be and when, in the case of meetings, so you can plan your workload around them. Not wasting any time or effort is essential during a busy day.

It goes without saying that if work starts at 9am, you can’t be strolling in the door at ten minutes past. A good Legal Secretary will always arrive early, whether it be for work or a meeting. It shows that you care enough to be there not only on time, but ahead of schedule. 

Accuracy is also incredibly important when it comes to filling in or typing up legal documents – there can be no room for error. 

Personal excellence is something that you should strive for in every aspect of your life, and definitely within a professional environment. This means turning up on time, dressing appropriately and committing to working to the highest possible standard. This will prove how much value you add to the business.

If you would like to speak to me about Legal Secretary roles across Glasgow and Edinburgh, I’d love to chat to you confidentially about the positions we currently have available. Click here to see my details.



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