There are many routes that enable you to become a Legal Secretary. The most common path is to undertake a formal qualification. However, there are many legal secretaries who gain their jobs through work experience.
We will focus on the legal secretarial qualifications that you can find in the UK and elsewhere:
One of the oldest and most respected legal qualifications is the CILEX assessment. The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives was founded in 1892 and has been granted a Royal Charter. This Institute was previously known as ILEX. Level 2 and Level 3 of the CILEX qualification relates to the training of Legal Secretaries. However, the qualification can continue up to Level 7, which is designed for a newly qualified Solicitor. This is very appealing to many students with ambitions to continue to progress their careers in the future.
A newly qualified Legal Secretary, who has passed Level 3 of CILEX, will have the option in the future of taking higher levels and progressing on their career path towards becoming a qualified Paralegal or Legal Executive. The option of continuing to further your career, by taking further levels, is a significant advantage of the CILEX qualification.
Another huge advantage is that the CILEX qualification encourages work internships and work experience, whilst studying the course. This enables students to work, earn salary and gain vital work experience to strengthen their CV. The practical exercises in the CILEX Courses
develop a genuine
job readiness, as a result of the qualification.
The CILEX is long-standing and holds a Royal Charter, this has led to the qualification growing outside of the UK and gaining international recognition. Furthermore, the CILEX qualification is well known
throughout the legal industry and many firms use it as their standard training criteria.
Legal Secretary Courses
CILEX is not the only provider of Legal Secretary Courses; there are many providers in the market. These courses often offer a mixture of practical and theoretical tuition and are widely accepted in the legal industry. They are usually made available in a more intense format, so that you can get a job quicker. This option can be very attractive to potential Legal Secretaries.
The level of recognition will depend on the training centre that you take your Legal Secretary Course
or Legal Secretary Diploma
. Ideally, you should look for them to be established for a few years and have connections with law firms. Holding connections with law firms will ensure that the course matter has been formulated around the needs of a modern law firm; this is because the requirements of a modern law firm are constantly changing. Finally, some courses are taught by legal professional teaching staff and some do not have live tuition. You should ensure that you choose the teaching style that will benefit your learning process the most.
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You can also find a Legal Secretary Course or Legal PA Diploma that will combine office skills training, as a Secretary or PA. This is beneficial to people who lack relevant experience. You should ensure that IT
skills, typing courses and audio training are available at the training centre, as these areas are often necessary job skills for a newly qualified Legal Secretary. Some training providers will not have certified IT training rooms for you to practice these skills, outside of your courses hours. You will need lots of practice to develop these skills, so insufficient practice could be restrictive. This should give you some
advice on the areas to consider when choosing a Legal Secretary Course.