Top Five Skills For A Legal Assistant
Being a legal assistant is so much more than photocopying meeting minutes and answering calls from clients. The legal sector is a sensitive area to have a career. If you have undertaken a certified course you would have learned some legal basics as well as how to draft and file documents. Skills are essential, and a good legal assistant will have the following.
1 – Organisational
When you find employment you will be working in a high paced environment where tasks were expected to be finished yesterday. It is ideal to be organised in daily life, but in a legal office it is essential. Being on time, knowing what tasks lie ahead and preparing for the next one coming are all traits of being organised.
2 – Social
Admin and people behind the front desk are the first faces clients will see when they enter the office. Working with clients is a given and it is important knowing how to deal with them, whether they are polite or not. When you work at a form you also represent it and projecting a professional image is a must
3 – Research
Cases are made or broken with research (or lack thereof). The lawyer working on the case would have compiled the facts. The assistant’s role is to double and triple check the work before filing or sending it off. Items researched include tenants of particular laws and statistics.
4 – Communication
The admin assistant is the voice of the lawyer they work for and so communication is essential. Legal assistants have daily contact with clients/witnesses and clerks in the courts when they file papers, as well as with other lawyers in the office. Communicating clearly in any situation makes it run smoothly.
5 – Computer
Of course there is Microsoft Office suite, but with sensitive documents and programs exchanged daily in a legal office you don’t want to press the wrong button! Legal assistants are expected to work efficiently on a computer exchanging daily emails, filing documents electronically, billing clients and videoconferencing when the time arises.