It’s the year 2008 and the war for “best talent” is on. So when one of your Legal Secretaries hands in their notice, a Senior Solicitor announces his retirement or one of your highest billing fee-earners is going on maternity leave – how do you find quality candidates to replace your best assets quickly and efficiently?Gone are the days when a lineage ad in a popular weekly legal publication will attract an abundance of keen legal candidates. Whilst law firms have become more selective over the legal staff they employ, talented legal job seekers have become lazier. Ever-developing technology now means that candidates can go to a search engine, type in the title of their dream legal job; and hey, presto – generate fifty matching legal vacancies that they can apply to with just the click of a button. Why should potential legal staff spend hours trawling through countless publications, when law jobs could come straight to them?So we’ve already established that a legal job seeker’s life is becoming easier by the day, but is this to the law firm’s detriment? With competition getting stiffer for law firms as Legal Recruitment moves predominantly to the user-focussed web, it is imperative that law firms have a strong internet presence in order for their legal jobs to be seen. This will involve setting up a variety of marketing campaigns including paying through the nose to advertise on a variety of legal job boards – which, lets be honest, will probably end up being swamped by millions of other similar vacancies. Advertising legal vacancies on a law firms own website may also be a pointless exercise as when a candidate Googles “Commercial Property Solicitor job” it is highly unlikely to be seen without the website having undergone a substantial amount Search Engine Optimization work focussing primarily on keywords such as “legal jobs” – which seems an expensive and utter waste of time seeing as the primary focus of a law firm’s website is to attract new clients. Now for just a few legal vacancies, going to all of this trouble may seem an expensive and timely exercise. Relax, there is another option – why not use a Legal Recruitment Agency?In the nineties when legal recruitment began to take off, legal recruitment agencies were seen as a waste of money – a middle man placing a one or two adverts (that lets face it, the law firm could have done themselves just as quickly) and charging a whopping great fee for the no more than adequate law staff that they attracted. Well, times have changed and the Legal Recruitment industry is working harder than ever before to earn their fee, and more often than not, using a good Legal Recruitment Agency is a far more cost and time efficient method of sourcing candidates than going it alone. Good Legal Recruitment Agencies will have more time and experience in devising marketing strategies that work, they will also have the resources to invest in a number of different advertising mediums, and a good team of consultants with a knowledge and experience of the legal profession.With so many Legal Recruitment Agencies emerging it may seem like a daunting task finding a good one. However, in actual fact a good Legal Recruitment Agency should be extremely easy to find – they will have a good, user-friendly Legal Recruitment website; a large presence on the most popular legal job boards; and they will have good brand awareness online as well as in traditional media. All of these attributes are easy to measure by simply going to a Search Engine and searching for “Legal Recruitment Agency” in the area that the law firm is based. The best will have a good search engine ranking and a simple and effective website. The second step would be to call them up, discuss you requirements and judge how well informed they are about the legal profession, the culture of the area that you are based, and how well they have grasped your requirements. It is also worth discussing their fees and seeing whether there are any discounts for using that particular Legal Recruitment Agency exclusively, and whether there are any rebate periods. A good Legal Recruitment Agency should not charge you unless a candidate has been successfully placed with you.Quite often, a Legal Recruitment Agency will already have a good matching candidate on their database that is readily available. Otherwise, or in addition, the Legal Recruitment Agency will place a number of adverts in different strategic locations. Depending on the nature of the job, the Legal Recruitment Agency may even look at targeting passive candidates. The candidates that the Legal Recruitment Agency sends through will be filtered and should be good matches to your initial requirements. Should you want to interview any of them, the Agency should liaise closely with you and the candidate to get this organised quickly. The Legal Recruitment Agency should also be liaising between the candidate and client until the contract of employment has been sent out by the law firm and returned by the candidate.All in all, using a Recruitment Agency could save your Human Resources department hours of time an effort. So when you next foresee a Legal Recruitment nightmare within your Human Resources team, don’t discount Legal Recruitment Agencies – you never know, the right one could actually be the answer to all of your prayers!
I hope you find the following information on Legal Secretarial/PA jobs useful.THE ROLELegal secretaries assist in all aspects of running a law firm. The legal secretaries¡¦ jobs can include basic tasks such as word processing, audio-typing and dealing with general clerical work. Some legal secretary work can include meeting clients, arranging meeting and some even attend court or police cells.Legal Secretary jobs can incorporate all areas of law – from criminal and civil law to property, family, corporate, private client and banking.SKILLS and INTERESTSIf you are looking for a Legal Secretary job you should:Have an interest in lawHave excellent secretarial skillsBe PC literateBe accurate and methodicalBe discreet when dealing with confidential informationHave a good standard of English, spelling and grammarWork well under pressure and be good a meeting deadlinesOf course, a polite friendly manner helps!A mix of these skills would provide a solid foundation for anyone looking for jobs as a legal secretaryClick here for Legal Secretary jobsQUALIFICATIONSThere are no formal qualifications to becoming a Legal Secretary, athough a high standard of general education is required. To become a Legal Secretary office and administration experience is useful as is some existing knowledge of the law.Career DevelopmentEmployers often offer on the job training. There are different pathways that lead to legal secretarial qualifications:** The Institute of Legal Secretaries and PA¡¦sThe Institute of Legal Secretaries and PA¡¦s offer a diploma that¡¦s has been recognised as the most comprehensive qualification for Legal Secretaries. The diploma is extremely useful if you are looking for jobs as a Legal Secretary. The syllabus for the general diploma is divided into five main units:Outline of the English Legal SystemOutlines of the Law of Contract and the Law of TortConveyancing and an outline of Land LawCivil LitigationSuccession (Wills, Probate and Administration)The Institute of Legal Secretaries and PA¡¦s also offers courses for Legal Secretaries who would like to specialise in one are of law.The subjects covered are:- Civil Litigation- Company and Corporate Law- Conveyancing- Criminal Law and Practice- Matrimonial Law and Family Practice SuccessionClick here for Institute Of Legal Secretaries Website and further information: http://www.institutelegalsecretaries.com** ILEX Legal Secretaries Certificate & DiplomaILEX offer a Legal Secretaries Certificate (Level 2) and a Legal Secretaries Diploma (Level 3)The ILEX Paralegal Programmes (ILEXPP) for Legal Secretaries are now considered the benchmark for those aspiring to or working in a legal environment as secretaries or personal assistants. Reflecting the National Standards in Administration, the programmes offer: a flexible route,
no entry requirements (although a Grade C or above in English Language GCSE is desirable),
a choice of when and where to study, task based assignments which are all accompanied by up to date training manuals.”The ILEX Legal Secretaries Certificate covers the following areas:Legal Word ProcessingAdministration in the Legal EnvironmentCommunication Skills in the Legal EnvironmentInformation Processing in the Legal EnvironmentThe ILEX Legal Secretaries Diploma covers the following areas:Advanced Legal Word ProcessingAdvanced Administration in the Legal EnvironmentAdvanced Communication Skills in the Legal EnvironmentAdvanced Information Processing in the Legal EnvironmentClick here for ILEXPP Website and further information on the ILEX Tutorial (Training to be a Legal Secretary) Web pages** OCR (RSA) Legal Word ProcessingOCR(RSA)offers specialised qualifications in legal text and legal word processing. The course is for those with previous word processing experience who wish to specialise in legal work. This programme is ideal for those who are in employment or wish to gain employment in the legal sector. You will be taught about the production of a range of documents in a legal context. Legal styles and formats. Legal terminology and English grammar are also covered
Legal Text Processing is part of the OCR (Oxford, Cambridge and RSA) suite of qualifications in text processing which are widely recognised by employers as benchmark qualifications in text processing.Candidates who are successful in achieving accreditation will be able to extend their range of text processing skills at intermediate level and progress to different optional units within the suite of units at Level 2 or to progress to the OCR Text Processing Advanced (Level 3) qualification.Legal Secretaries work in all areas of law from solicitors offices, barristers chambers through to law courts, police stations and within in house legal teams. It is possible to start as a legal secretary and work towards becoming a legal executive, paralegal or a licensed conveyancer. You could even study for a law degree.
What is Legal retainer-ship?In today’s complex legal environment the corporate entities and professionals need to be very careful in all the commercial dealings, communications, agreements and contracts. This is because any communication can be viewed as a contract or not a binding contract by judicial forums in a later stage when litigation reaches courts. These types of communications include appointment letters, suspension letters, removal letters, email communications, statutory notices, reply to notices, warning letters, letters notifying delays, letters expressing disagreements etc., The stakes in every dealing today is also very high. Moreover certain actions have to be taken within a particular time frame otherwise negative inferences can be drawn by the courts in later stages. In such a situation, companies choose to engage a law firm with multi-discipline experience and international exposure to advise them in their day to day legal issues. Such an arrangement helps the companies to get expert advice under one roof in a pre-determined cost for the services what they are going to avail from that firm. Law-Senate law firm is serving many companies on “Annual retainer-ship basis” which helps the companies to get quality legal consultation without worrying about the bills, since the fee is fixed in advance for a year, on the basis of the budgeted work load for all non-litigation work. Later even if the work load increases the determined fee will not be changed within that one year period.How Law Firm Legal Retainer Ship will facilitate YouThere are few facts you must know about Law Senate Legal Retainer Ship, which will clear you why legal retainer ship should be availed:
Un-limited non-litigation legal Service in fixed cost:
The Firm agrees on a fixed annual fee for un-limited chamber legal work including consultation, settling of contracts, settling of legal documents, settling of legal communication, labor related documentation, employment related documentation, issuing legal notices, responding to legal notices, arbitration notices, demand notices etc., The Firm has lawyers from various branches of law in its panel and in-house to respond to the consultation requests from the clients on issues arising out of various branches of law. The Firm also allots a dedicated lawyer for ensuring customer friendly communication and effective service. The clients can use email, courier or personal consultation to get their issues resolved. For example in case of settling of legal documentation, the client can email the proposed draft of the document to the firm’s dedicated lawyer. The dedicated lawyer will get the response and comments of the relevant lawyer and inform the client within the pre-fixed time. Hence the specialty of the whole process is the customer friendly, high quality, swift and cost effective administration of the required legal services. The said fixed annual fee is excluding Litigation, arbitration, drafting of contracts and appearance before authorities and tribunals. The above said fixed fee is not uniform for all, it is finalized after estimation of work and the size of the Company.
Litigation & Representation Services in pre-determined fee schedule:
The Firm will handle almost all types of litigation, arbitration and appearance before authorities in a predetermined fee schedule on case to case basis. The lawyers of the Firm regularly appear in Supreme Court of India, High courts, Competition Commission of India, Consumer Courts, National Consumer Commission, EPF Appellate Tribunal, Company Law Board, Electricity Tribunal, Mines tribunal, Petroleum tribunal, Civil Courts, Criminal Courts, Central Excise & Tax authorities, Revenue authorities etc., The Firm charges special reduced rates for the clients who engages the firm on annual retainer-ship basis. Hence this arrangement with our firm will help the clients to cut their legal costs.
E-reporting and online storage:
It is very difficult for the Companies to get them updated about the pending cases from the old style lawyers. But Law-senate law Firm sends periodical (Weekly/ monthly) reports about the pending cases and matters to each of its client. The Firm also has the facility of e-storage of documents, even in a later stage after many years, the firm can supply copies of the documents from its e-storage points. Since law-senate is a modern law firm with all modern facilities and technology it serves its clients with Zero error quality.
Conventional Legal advice Models:
Earlier Companies used to appoint independent lawyers and pay them separately for consultations, settling legal documents, legal documentation and appearance in various Courts and tribunals. This model gives surprises and financial strain to the Companies since the expenses under legal heads are neither predetermined nor pre-budgeted. Hence the Companies in their endeavor to cut legal costs ended up in low quality and un-professional legal services which resulted in losing of cases etc.,Appointing in-house counsel or law officers:To handle above said legal matters some companies choose to appoint their own in-house counsel or law officers. The appointment of in-house counsel or law officers may improve the situation but will not lead to the full solution for the following reasons:
Appointing experienced law officers is very expensive in the current salary market. Hence small, medium companies and professionals can afford only a newly graduated or less experienced in-house counsel. Such a less experienced person may be doing only the co-ordination work between independent lawyers and the company.
Even if experienced people are appointed they will have their expertise in a few fields of law only. Hence they need to consult independent lawyers on the other issues. Independent consultation is again an expensive matter and finding the correct lawyer is a challenging job.
Appointing Independent lawyers as consultants:Law is a complex field which is growing every day. There are so-many divisions of law and hence no lawyer can claim that he/she is aware of all the divisions of law. More over independent lawyers will not be able to ensure the high quality of service due to limitations in infrastructure, facilities, staff etc.Advantages of legal retainer-ship:Even though there are many advantages for the small, medium industries, Professional organisations, hospitals, educational Institutions, NGOs, charitable Institutions etc., in following the legal retainer-ship model than the conventional legal adviser model, the following are the important ones,
Legal advice on multiple legal subjects from experts under one roof
Unlimited non-litigation services
Litigation services on a special fee schedule
Annual customized fixed fee for unlimited consultation and documentation services
Dedicated lawyer for each client
Periodical reporting about the pending matters
Who will be benefited from Legal retainer-ship Model?Large companies may appoint their own team of experienced in-house counsel supported by law officers and para legal staff in view of their higher volume of legal work. They also engage big size law firms and pay for each service separately because they may not bother about the legal expenditure. But the following types of Companies and Institutions will be greatly benefited by legal retainer-ship model,
Medium and small size companies
Distributing Companies & Agencies
Private educational institutions
Schools & Colleges
BPOs and Call centres
NGOs and charity organisations
Professionals & Consultants etc.,
In short legal retainer ship is helpful for those organizations who are not interested in spending money for legal departments or permanent legal counsel of every practice area of Law. If you have any query about legal retainer ship then you can ask anytime.