Legal Secretary guide to the law industry: Criminal Law

Guide for Jobs for a Legal Secretary: Commercial Law.
February 14, 2013
Guide to Legal Industry for a Legal Secretary: Corporate Law
March 7, 2013
This is an area of law which gains high levels of interest from graduates, paralegals and legal secretaries. This is largely because the subject matter is interesting, rather than it being particularly lucrative when
compared to other areas of law. The possibility of dealing with criminal law is often the principle motivator for joining the industry. This is because criminal law and their associated high profile court cases are the most famous attributes of the legal industry. Furthermore, there are so many films with
exciting court cases that it is not surprising that people want a part of that action.
The reality

In reality a legal secretary will get to work with Criminal solicitors and barristers. However, the majority of crimes are not famous and the cases are unlikely to be as interesting as the high profile ones in the

Legal Secretary guide to the law industry: Criminal Law Legal Secretary Courses

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Pay and Criminal Law Offices

All the same, there is a good chance that you will be privy to sensitive information, attend court and witness some very interesting cases. However, criminal firms often lack the swanky offices that commercial law firms can afford, so, the reality of the job may not be as glamorous as your counterparts who chose commercial or corporate law. Furthermore, salaries in criminal law firms are often lower than similar jobs would be in other areas of law.
What is Criminal Litigation?
Criminal Litigation is usually between the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) and a defendant who has been charged with a criminal act.  The CPS is the  prosecution service for England and Wales, which
will charge a defendant with criminal acts and prosecute them in a criminal court normally on the basis of the case being put forward by the Police. In Criminal Litigation, there will often be a court trial. Bear in mind that 97% of criminal cases are summary offences (minor offences), so there may not be large
dramatic cases that often.
Legal Secretary guide to the law industry: Criminal Law Legal Secretary Courses
                                         Author Michal Marchol and image courtesy of
Legal Secretaries working in Criminal Law

The nature of a Legal Secretary’s work will vary from firm to firm, as each organisation will have individual processes.

Legal Secretary guide to the law industry: Criminal Law Legal Secretary Courses
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However, whether you work for the CPS or the defence, you are likely to have to prepare court bundles, which will involve a lot of audio typing or copy typing. You may also be involved in proofreading.

Legal Secretaries are often the intermediary betweenexternal parties and their fee earners (solicitors), so you may do a lot of client facing, telephone work and diary management ; some of this client type
may be difficult to deal with all the time.

Legal Secretaries may also get to observe meetings with the other side of the case, clients or other key parties. Here they may be involved in taking minutes and maintenance of the client file or case file.

Other options

You should not limit yourself to working in Criminal Law firms; you can also find many interesting jobs working in a Barrister’s chambers which specialises in Criminal work.

If you want to find out more about Legal Secretary Work, you may need to take a Legal Secretary Course or for this partcular area a Criminal Litigation Course.

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