Once you have mastered the core skills required of a legal secretary the next thing is to set yourself apart as an in-demand professional in the legal field. The best way to do this to learn how you can become a great legal secretary by striving as much as possible to master the 7 critical work traits below.
Legal secretaries are the attorneys' right-hand persons meaning that reliability is an important work trait if you wish to be successful. Reliability is more than showing up on time. You will sometimes find yourself being required to stay at your desk after official working hours. Your attorney might have a court date first thing in the morning with an orderly file so that he can access what he requires in court without having to rummage.
If necessary, you will need to make adjustments to your personal life to make sure that this does not become a stressful problem and your office is confident that you can be relied upon. If you have children, you can arrange for emergency child care in such situations. Save the number of your preferred take-out restaurant in your phone so that you can easily make the call once you reach home.
#2.Being A Self-Starter
Initiative and drive are two critical traits you will always find in successful legal secretaries. They don't just sit and wait for instructions or assignments from attorneys since they are always on top of what needs to be accomplished at any particular time. They are able to anticipate the needs of the employer and his or her clients. They are ready to move beyond the comfort zone and learn new skills that ensure that the practice runs smoothly.
In a law firm, efficiency translates to money and is an important trait that any successful legal secretary should have. Efficiency has the potential to deliver cost-savings employers are bound to notice. If you train to be a legal secretary in London or another big city, speed will be drilled into you. Legal secretaries that perform their jobs efficiently and quickly contribute to the bottom line in a major way and make themselves indispensable.
Legal secretaries often handle confidential client data and files and discretion is critical. One of the fastest way to end your legal career is by disclosing confidential client information whether accidentally or on purpose. Just as you are required to leave your personal life at the door when you arrive at work, you need to leave work at the office when you close the door behind you. You should learn to avoid recounting your day to your friends and family since you can easily say something you should not.
Pleasantness goes hand-in-hand with compassion. Nobody ever likes working with negative, demanding, or grumpy employees. Secretaries that are courteous with clients and friendly with co-workers are the ones that go far in the workplace. A clients who is facing a serious problem will appreciate a calm smile but it is important to be ready for anything. Don't forget that you are probably meeting the person at the lowest point in his or her life.
You need to keep on smiling even when clients are rude and surly. If a client needs to be alone for a while, offer a glass of water or a cup of coffee and then go get it for him or her. Secretaries that handle issues with tact and diplomacy, forging solutions, or smoothing over differences is likely to become an invaluable member of the legal team.
Attorneys are not always easy to work with. Some attorneys are habitual procrastinators, others are seriously disorganized, while others are convinced that they are always right. The ability to handle different work challenges and personality types gracefully is an important work trait any successful legal secretary should have.
The work traits discussed above all stand out as hallmarks of a successful legal secretary but compassion is probably the most important one. Clients have entrusted your law firm with critically and fundamentally important issues to their lives and it is something that they feel very strongly about that they have chosen to enlist the assistance of a law firm.
Ensure that you handle everything with understanding and your will surely find yourself ahead of the rest before you even know it.