Becoming a Legal Secretary with an apprenticeship is a great first step into the law sector. The average earnings of an experienced Legal Secretary in the UK is around £21,000 and many apprentices go onto higher levels roles as office managers or paralegals.
You can find out more about what a Legal Secretary Apprenticeship involves in this article, as well as get answers to some of the most common questions we get asked by people who are thinking of following this career path.
Business Administrator – Legal Pathway
If you don’t have a lot of admin experience, an apprenticeship is a great way to get your foot in the door. The salary will be less than what an experienced Legal Secretary would make, but you will get the training, qualifications and experience you need. Here at Damar Training, we offer a Legal Pathway within the Business Administrator Apprenticeship standard. This means that you would get the Level 3 Business Administrator qualification, as well as successfully complete three CILEx legal units.
The first step is getting a Legal Apprenticeship job role. You can see our vacancies here. It’s also a good idea to register your details on Get My First Job and the government’s Find an Apprenticeship website so that you can get alerts when new suitable job roles become available.
Once you start in the job role, that’s when the apprenticeship training would also begin. You would complete nine business admin modules over the year – one every six weeks. This would involve group workshops, 121 coaching sessions and study time using the online resources on Damar OpenLearning and OneFile. You would also complete the three CILEx units over the year – one every 18 weeks, which are assessed using tests and assignments. The units are:
- The legal environment
- Proofreading in the legal environment
- An area of law – a CILEx unit which is specific to the area of law in which you are working
After you have completed your business and legal modules, you would have a “gateway” meeting with your supervisor and Damar Training Coach to agree that you are ready to go through to your final assessment. This end-point assessment would include a knowledge test, interview and project presentation.
So by the end of the apprenticeship you have a level 3 business admin qualification, three legal units and around 15 months’ real work experience in the job role. Most of our apprentices stay on in legal secretarial and admin roles within the firm or are promoted to managerial or paralegal roles. We’ve even had apprentices start out on the Business Administrator Apprenticeship and eventually go on to complete a Chartered Legal Executive or Solicitor Apprenticeship.
What does a Legal Secretary do?
A Legal Secretary performs admin tasks within a law firm or legal department. They interact with internal or external customers, and contribute to the effective running of the organisation by providing administrative support to solicitors, barristers and legal executives. They have excellent communication, problem-solving, decision-making and time management skills.
What makes a good Legal Secretary?
Good Legal Secretaries are experienced with IT, able to produce documents and records, have good communication skills and are effective planners and organisers. In addition, they are professional, reliable, responsible, proactive and adaptable. They understand their organisation and customers, and the relevant laws and regulations. These are all examples of the knowledge, skills and behaviours that you develop as part of the Business Administrator Apprenticeship standard.
What do you need to be a Legal Secretary?
If you are starting out as a Legal Secretary on an apprenticeship, you would not be expected to have all of the skills and knowledge of an experienced Legal Secretary. You would, however, be able to demonstrate from your time in education or in other job roles how you’ve used IT, communicated effectively to achieve tasks and been able to plan and organise. Some employers make ask for certain GCSE grades or other prior qualifications.
What does a Legal Secretary make?
The average salary for a Legal Secretary in the UK is around £21,000. But if you don’t have a lot of admin experience and are starting out on an apprenticeship, your salary would be lower. This is because the company is investing in you, developing your experience and supporting you to complete your qualification.