Having acquired the requisite knowledge and skills for being a legal secretary is one of the major steps in becoming an in-demand secretarial professional. However, you do you set yourself as part of the ideal candidate for such a position in the legal field? You will have to go above and beyond mastering the necessary skills to grasp the significance of having the following seven essential work traits of a legal secretary.
1. Be Reliable
As a legal secretary, you hold the position of a lawyer’s right-hand person. Such a role demands utmost reliability that is not focused on showing up to work early. You may have to endure days where you have to spend long hours in the office. In some instances, your employer may have an early date with the courts and will have an easy morning if the needs files for the case are in order and will not rummaging through the documents.
Therefore, you should make some changes to your personal life, where necessary to that your work does not turn into a stressful profession. It will help ensure that you become someone that the attorney can rely on, especially during the most demanding of moments. Some of the things you can do to become more reliable include having the number of your favorite take-out joint on speed dial and making plans for child care if you have kids,
2. Be a Self-Starter
Have that drive to do things, take the initiative even when you are least required for such. Avoid sitting around waiting for instructions and assignments from your employers. Stay on top of things; know what you need to do, how and when. Anticipating your boss’ needs will greatly bolster your image as an in-demand secretarial professional. Step out of your comfort zones and learn new things and acquire new skills that will help you execute your duties and ensure the practice runs smoothly.
3. Be Efficient
In every law firm, efficiency is the key to making good money. It is the same thing (work trait) that is expected in any legal secretary. You should work efficiently, and this will translate to time and cost savings that are bound to go unnoticed by your employer. Such a trait makes you an indispensable asset for the attorney and the legal team.
4. Be Discrete
Matters related to your job are sensitive and thus the need to exercise utmost discretion when handling confidential client files and information. Knowingly or unknowingly disclosing confidential data is one of the quickest ways of ending your career. Always leave work at the office when you are stepping out of the door, just as you do with your personal life when you are leaving your home. Do not rehash your day with your friends or family; that is one of the ways you can easily slip and mention something that should remain confidential.
5. Be Pleasant
Do your best to stay positive. Avoid being too demanding and grumpy. Strive to be courteous with everyone, your workmates and the clients. Keep in mind that those who come seeking legal assistance often are dealing with serious issues and will greatly appreciate talking with someone that makes them fill calm and is reassuring.
Therefore, always try to maintain a smile and not be rude. If the pressures of work seem to weight you down, take a moment to take a breather. If the client needs some alone time, offer them a glass of water or coffee as you step out. Be patient and handle things with diplomacy and tact as you try to forge solutions or smooth over any disparities. Such a character in the execution of your duties will make you an invaluable member of the practice.
5. Be Patient
The nature of the work of an attorney seem many of them under pressure to deliver and thus they more often than not very busy and highly dependent on their assistants or secretaries. As such, they may have some work habits and attitudes that may need you to distinguish exercise patience and understanding. You may have an employer who is a chronic procrastinator or one that is woefully disorganized or even who is a bit strict with work ethics. Your ability to understand and handle every personality is one of the challenges of your line of work that fashions you to become a successful legal secretary.
7. Be Compassionate
Of all the traits that can be mentioned, compassion may be the most significant. Every person that working into the law firm seeking assistance entrusts the practice with matters that they deem vital to their lives. It is the strong feelings they have about such issues that push them to enlist the services of legal professionals. If you are compassionate, you will be able to handle everything with this understanding, and this will make the clients see you in good light, and your employer will value your services and expertise.
To become a professional in the legal field, you have to do more than just pick tips from watching Law & Order or Suits; you need to put in the time and work. Understand that the legal field is broad and thus has different lawyers. Consequently, you should familiarize yourself with all the legal terms and requirements.
You also should gain the following essential skills.
1. Communication Skills
How you communicate will influence how far your career in law will go. As an attorney, you should articulate your points with ease, making them clear and concise whether in oral or written form. How you talk should be in a persuasive yet reassuring language. Also, be attentive; listen to your clients so that you understand their issues so that you can give answers based on the details they deem vital and opt to disclose to you. Furthermore, you should be confident as you communicate because such confidence will also be necessary when you are speaking in courts, explaining complicated information to the client or negotiating settlements.
2. Keep Learning
The world is continuously evolving, and lawyers need to change with the times. They should be up to date with current affairs, be able to process data with ease using the latest techniques. Such a requirement is only possible through continued learning, which is something that any legal advocate should enjoy. It helps them stay abreast with the current laws and legal requirements or new legislation. And as a lawyer, you should have excellent research and analytical skills. As such, your desire to read and learn new things is well placed, but you should have the skills need to extract information pertinent to your client’s case from even the unlikeliest of sources.null
3. Attention to Detail
No details, big or small should go past you when handling a case; otherwise, you may overlook something that is a significant piece in winning a case. Such a skill is vital especially if you have handling matters related to refining the details in a contract for a client. If you are not attentive, you can easily miss a vital phrase, word, or clause that could make or break the case.
4. Organization Skills
Your profession requires you to be very organized since you will be handling a lot of different documents and data, information that you would not want to lose or have it mixed up. Some of the people that come to you may have extensive amounts of information; thus, the need to have a robust filing system that makes it easy for you to draw up the documents you need quickly.
You will have to learn how to prioritize your time so that you can handle your workload and meet your deadlines. Such a demand will push you to learn how to multitask besides having to do things based on a strong work ethic. You will need to plan effectively and allocate enough time for the various things you need to handle.
6. Customer Service Skills
You must have a friendly and welcoming personality; this is key to the delivery of exceptional customer service. Understand that you will deal with people from all walks of life and must strive to form trust and strong relationships with your clients irrespective of their diversities in opinion, needs, and reasons for seeking your legal expertise and assistance.
Author note: Laws are different depending on where you live. This guide is not meant to be a legal reference, but instead, educational. Adoption is a legal process where a child becomes a member of a new family, gaining one or two new parents.
An adoption order indicates that the birth parents no longer have parental responsibilities and rights to the child and is issued by the court. Once the court has made the adoption order, these rights and responsibilities are transferred to the adoptive parents and the child essentially becomes a member of the adoptive family. The adopted child can then take the adoptive family’s last name and is entitled to the same rights and privileges as the biological children, including the right of inheritance.
But to get the adoption orders, the following conditions have to be satisfied;
The child has to be below 18 when the application for adoption is made
The child must not be- or has never been married or in a civil partnership
Both birth parents must give their consent for the adoption
If the birth parents or guardian cannot be found or is incapable of giving consent or if the child’s welfare would be at risk of the adoption was delayed, then the court may give the adoption order without the consent of the birth parents. For more information, it’s best to take advice from adoption solicitors and lawyers.
Who Can Apply to Adopt a Child?
You can apply to adopt a child if you meet one of the following requirements;
You are single irrespective of sexual orientation
You are a partner of the parent of the child to be adopted
You are a married couple
You are civil partners
You are an unmarried couple (same sex or different sex) living in a stable home environment.
The court will consider your application based on whether you are able to meet the child’s needs and it matters little whether you own a home or are out of work. It is worth noting that all adult members in the household will be required to undergo a police check as part of the application process.
How Long Does it Take?
The time it takes to complete the adoption process will vary from one case to another. It can take just over 8 months for the adoption agency to complete its assessment of your suitability to adopt. After that, it can take another few weeks before you are matched with a child. Here you will find further resources.
The child will then go and lives with you and you can then decide if you want to apply for an adoption order. The child must however have lived with you for more than 10 weeks before you can apply for the order. Once the adoption order is granted, you will have officially adopted the child and assumed all the parental rights and responsibilities for the child.