Technology is leading to change in role of legal secretaries, says ILSPA
The Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs (ILSPA) has hailed a recent review of the legal market as “enlightening”, especially regarding the changing role of legal PAs in large city law firms.
ILSPA says that the role of legal secretaries is changing as a result of new technologies and the cost-saving measures that result, with legal services now being delivered more quickly and effectively to allow senior staff to focus on core business practices.
As a result, legal PAs are increasingly becoming more involved with senior management tasks, including client care and making decisions on behalf of their boss – as well as managing some projects and being involved in business development.
ILSPA says that the job of legal PA now requires a higher skill set from candidates – with qualified and commercially aware legal PAs needing to be at the top of their game.
However, although the role is evolving at large city law firms, the role of the legal PA in smaller firms may not develop as quickly if the workload is managed in a smaller team – and legal PAs will still be required in some firms to carry out the traditional roles of managing personal timetables, diaries and travel, as well as organising events and engagements and producing legal documents.
ILSPA is advising legal PAs working in city firms to adapt to the changing role by improving their technology skills and being willing to perform more managerial tasks.
Some firms are offering legal PAs the opportunity to take on more responsibility and be team managers or executive assistants.
“One of the Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs’ aims is to encourage professional development, so that legal secretaries and PAs are continually developing their skills to be the best they can be at their jobs – they need to be aware of any changes which are taking place in the industry and adapt accordingly.
“The Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs’ Continuing Professional Development programme highlights the importance of continuing professional development within the field. It is essential for Legal Secretaries and PAs to develop themselves professionally so that they have the best skills and are adaptable to changes.”
ILSPA added that salaries for legal PAs continued to be attractive, with a salary range of £22,000-£65,000 annually.
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