Thursday, January 13, 2011

Meet Natalie, a Recent Graduate from the Legal Administrative Assistant Program

A legal secretary will need to do more than answer phones and relay messages. A legal secretary today needs to be of real benefit to the company. That means understanding legal language and having skills in business. If you're interested in being a legal office assistant you should learn what some of the basic requirements are.

Meet one of our recent graduates:


Typing
As with any administrative position, typing skills are important because a good portion of your time may be spent recording information and typing up documents. But as a legal administrative assistant it especially important that your keyboarding skills are top notch. When you type up documents you need to make sure that they are typed perfectly - no misspelling of words! Misspelling a word can change the meaning of the intended message and in the legal world that can make the difference between happy clients and a potential law suit!
Know the Lingo
You won't have to be a lawyer but knowing the language that clients and managers are using will make it much easier for you to do your job. You'll be able to relay messages to your managers better. You'll also be able to understand what clients need and in return direct them toward the appropriate person more efficiently. Terminology is not difficult to learn but if you don't understand it you will have trouble doing your job.
Organization
Administrative assistants will always need to be organized but in a legal environment it is critical that those who need documents and files are able to find it when they need it. Managers and other co-workers will not be able to do the job they've been hired for if they are not able to find the background data that they need. There is also a great deal of research that happens behind the scenes in a legal office and when someone is doing research and the paperwork they are looking for is not where it is supposed to be it can slow down the process. The legal administrative assistant will need to know exactly where everything belongs and they will need to make sure that is where it ends up!
Education
While not every law office is going to require that you have a diploma or degree it can be the fastest way to getting ahead of the competition if you are applying for legal assistant jobs. Business colleges offer courses that can be taken in real time classrooms or online and the information that you gather in these courses is invaluable. Experience is an asset but with a degree from a reputable business college you'll find that there are many more jobs open to you in the legal field.

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