Where can you see yourself next?

Legal secretary now….what’s next?

Legal secretary now….what’s next?

Legal Secretary now… what’s next?

The 2023 job market for legal secretaries has had a strong start, with many opportunities in not only a great range of practice areas but also your choice of firm size (including global, top-tier, mid-tier, and boutique), meaning lots of options to find the right fit for you.  But if you are looking for something a little different in your next position, there are some great roles where you can focus on your favourite part of the job, whilst taking a new direction with your career!  To get you started, check out the list below to see if anything piques your interest.

Practice Coordinator/Practice Manager:  If you enjoy mentoring or training your peers and are the “go-to” person for not just your team but others as well, the role of practice coordinator could be for you. The role will see you maintain responsibility for your own legal secretary duties as well as conduct formal training and manage other legal secretaries and become a practice area expert. This is likely the right stepping stone if a career as Office Manager is a long-term goal.

Billing Coordinator:  If billing, having high attention to detail, and an ability to organise others are your strengths, many firms and practice groups are creating roles to head up the billing function of their teams. As a billing coordinator, you would manage the process internally and make sure quality and efficiency are maintained across the board.

EA/Paralegal to In-house Counsel and/or Company Secretary: This role will appeal to anyone who is keen to try a work environment outside of a private practice firm. In particular, senior secretaries with strong Executive Assistant-type skills (i.e. heavy diary management, meeting organisation, creating reports and presentations with PowerPoint and/or Excel, and assisting or managing projects)may want to consider an in-house legal support role. These roles are usually varied in the job description and include not just EA duties, but also a mix of Paralegal/Legal Secretary/Board Assistant work. A “happy to help” and agile approach will almost definitely be required, as your responsibilities may change and vary over time. Of course, the benefit of working in an in-house team is that you are exposed to a whole new industry and the internal opportunities that may present themselves overtime are endless.

Trainer:  Are you the person that trains all the new starters on the internal systems in your firm, or have you been deemed the firm’s systems expert? If you enjoy getting to know the intricate workings of a billing and/or document management system, then a role as a Trainer could be of interest to you. Aside from being the internal training guru and point of contact for all questions, you will also act as the liaison between the software company and the firm for all the capability and solution requests.

BD/Marketing Coordinator:  If you enjoy working on projects, pitches, or event organisation in your role as a legal secretary, you may like to consider specific opportunities in a Business Development team. In law firms, these roles involve working on marketing, events, communications and public relations, tenders, and pitches, and will often give you the chance to utilise your legal knowledge while building on the exposure you have had. Many of those who pursue this option complement their work with further studies in marketing or business to make them competitive for more senior roles in the future.

Project Coordinator:  If you have a passion for being involved, in change and implementing new processes, a career in project management might be the right choice for you. In firms, projects can be divided into two main categories. The first category includes internal projects, such as introducing new systems, coordinating office relocations, or spearheading initiatives like transitioning to a “paperless office.”  The second category involves matter-related projects, where you would collaborate with a specific practice area and the client to oversee budget management, update and communicate with internal stakeholders, report on and review results and processes and closely collaborate with the Client Relationship Manager or Senior Partner to ensure clear communication between the client and the firm.

Above are just a few of the great opportunities and alternate pathways open to legal secretaries. Often the hardest part can be narrowing down what you want to focus on moving forward. For anyone in need of some guidance, we are here to help and of course ready to discuss specific opportunities, contact Sommer on 0407 062 845 to arrange a confidential chat.


Sommer Bath

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