The changing face of the legal secretary role

11 months ago by Matthew Heard

The changing face of the legal secretary role


There is no denying that a legal secretary plays a vital role to a law firm and, in particular, the fee-earners they support, but with technology, automation and artificial intelligence making more administrative tasks much easier, where can the legal secretary role develop?

Our Legal Support Consultant Matthew Heard discusses the possibilities.

A more personal focus

Whilst some may question the future of such a role, the worth a secretary offers to their fee earners is invaluable. They are often responsible for a multitude of tasks that creates for a seamless client experience. They are personable, responsive, organised and are focussed on using their initiative and problem-solving. All qualities that are needed to successfully support solicitors and their clients. So could it be that in the future, as the legal secretary role becomes more redundant, in its place is a personal assistant role that encompasses the legal secretary duties?

A more technical focus 

It is often found, across a multitude of different types of firms, legal secretaries are often trusted to carry out work that wouldn’t be out of place on a paralegal’s desk. If a legal secretary is working in a boutique firm or supports a fee-earner that works in a niche market, their knowledge and capabilities can be extensive. Many secretaries are already client facing due to their involvement in following up calls, liaising with them over paperwork and greeting them when they arrive at the office, so it would not be out of place for them to take an active part in meetings or be a go-to contact point for clients. Is that a possible route for legal secretary roles in the future?

A more marketing/BD focus

As the marketplace becomes more saturated, client focus needs to be more prevalent than ever before for legal firms, and many are starting to implement client care strategies. Legal secretaries currently support most marketing and BD efforts, from pulling together pitch information to supporting the running of events. In smaller firms mostly, legal secretaries can be an incredible asset to marketing efforts, and so in the face of automation for administrative purposes, surely the manpower would be better spent focusing on client acquisition and retention?

If you’re not sure how to develop the secretarial roles in your firm, we are happy to provide market insight and support, or if you are looking for a very specific type of candidate for your department, we have a great candidate pool of legal secretaries looking for their next role.

LR Legal is a bespoke legal recruitment agency, offering a comprehensive legal recruitment service for law firms and businesses, across all sectors. Get in touch to find out how we can help you.