Legal Secretaries have an important role in a legal office, providing administrative support to the Lawyers of the firm, and being a vital part of the cooperative efforts of legal teams. Legal Secretaries need to have not only significant administrative and organisational skills, but also need familiarity with legal procedures and the law in general. Of course, the more specialised training a Legal Secretary has, the more valuable he or she is to the firm.
Salaries for Legal Secretaries can vary significantly, based both on the Legal Secretary’s skills and experience as well as the area where the Secretary’s firm is located. In London, a Legal Secretary’s starting salary could range from £20,000 per year to as much as £45,000 per year. So, what exactly causes this difference and what warrants a higher paid salary?
Legal Secretary Positions
The specific nature of the job candidates apply for can have a big impact on their salary. If they start as a junior Legal Secretary, they will be earning at the lower end of the scale. Taking a lower-ranking position can earn candidates valuable experience, especially if the firm they work for is well-known, and there will be opportunities for advancement down the line. The more experience Legal Secretaries gain, the higher the salary they can achieve.
The amount of specialised knowledge that candidates bring to the job can affect their salary, as the more knowledgeable and skilled they are, the more they will be worth right from the start. If candidates are largely unfamiliar with legal terms or the practice of law, the firm that hires them will have to spend time or money to train them so that they will be able to perform all of the tasks that they need you to do. Alternately, if they are already familiar with law and procedures, then they will likely secure a higher salary based on that alone. The Legal Secretaries Diploma provided by The Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs is very beneficial in this respect. Gaining a recognised qualification in the profession means candidates will be competent Legal Secretaries.
As with most professions, the prestige of the company will also determine how much it is willing to offer their Legal Secretaries. If a candidate is hired as a Legal Secretary by a firm that’s part of the Magic Circle or one of the other large law firms in London such as Sidley Austin LLP, chances are they will earn more from the start than if they were hired by a small unknown legal practice. Certain firms like Sidley Austin LLP are known to pay their staff well and have good employee relationships. Prestigious firms make more money, so they can afford to invest in their staff and secure the best talent.
Increases over Time
It’s important to note that our salary guide doesn’t include raises, bonuses or other increases that a Legal Secretary might experience over time. As Legal Secretaries become more experienced and integral to the workings of the law firm, it is common to be awarded incentives to remain a strong part of the team.