Legal Secretary Courses

By Frank Bolger - Last update

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The role of a legal secretary combines high-level office administration skills with the specialised knowledge and training required to deal effectively with legal communications and documentation.

Legal secretaries must therefore be familiar with common types of legal documentation, legal processes and procedures, and with the legal terminology typical of any law firm. In addition to having a broad range of clerical abilities and a solid knowledge of law and legislation, legal secretaries must also possess a good understanding of the structure and role of the Irish court system.

Clearly, none of this sounds easy and in truth it isn t. However, where there s a will there s a way, and part-time Legal Secretary courses can help prepare even complete novices for challenging, varied and well-paid roles within law firms or corporate environments.

What does it involve

In order to work in a legal office in Ireland, it is important to develop a sound working knowledge of Irish law. Most Legal Secretary courses will assume that this is not an area of expertise for the vast majority of course participants and so will offer an introduction to legal principles and the workings of the Irish legal system.

Students on Legal Secretary programmes will therefore spend plenty of time examining civil and criminal law, the court system and how legislation comes into being. In addition to the legal aspects of the role, participants will also learn about file management, drafting and lodging court documents, office and client accounts, recording time, client care and abbreviations. Those looking to advance their knowledge of Irish law also have the option of enrolling on a Legal Secretarial Diploma in Irish Law, which will cover the different legal specialisms such as conveyancing, wills and probate, company law, family law and civil litigation in greater detail.

Furthermore, students who are looking to deepen their knowledge in any of these areas can do so by undertaking a dedicated course. For instance, a programme in Wills and Probate Law in Ireland will allow students to become more familiar with the procedures for will-making such as codicils, obtaining a grant of probate, or the documentation regarding the distribution of an estate.

Another popular course is the programme in Company Law. This course begins with an introduction to company law, followed by a period of study on the Companies Registration Office (CRO) and the memorandum and articles of association. It will also examine related areas such company meetings, annual returns and stock transfer forms, all of which will be studied with the aim of preparing graduates for employment within the company law department of a legal firm.

It should also be noted that courses in the foregoing areas can also be taken as distance learning options, which means that students will have the flexibility to work at their own pace.

Why do it

Formal training provides you with the best chance of securing employment in a legal office and equips you with the necessary skills for performing the attendant tasks of a secretarial role in a highly organised and effective manner.

What comes next

Though it often depends on the level that you are aiming to find work at, further training is always a next-step option. As it is very important that legal secretaries be proficient in the use of applications such as word processors, spreadsheets and research tools, it is vital that candidates possess the relevant training before reviewing the job opportunities in the area.

Naturally, as with other areas, the more qualifications and experience you have, then the better your chances are of finding your ideal job whether it is within a private practice law firm, a government department, or with a company s in-house legal department.

At a glance

Certificate-level courses in Legal Secretarial Skills last for 10 to 20 weeks. Students can complete an online Legal Secretary Diploma programme in as little as 11 weeks.

Frank Bolger

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  1. annemarie carew 18th October 2016 at 9:34 pm

    How do i find out more information about this course? I would be interested in doing this online

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