Schools Training

5 Tips for Success as New Law Clerks and Legal Secretaries

21 NOV 2013
Career Path : Law

Law firms can be scary working environments.  They are very fast paced and full of powerful men and women.  New law clerks and legal secretaries need to take steps to learn the ropes and adapt in their new work setting.  You are going to take on multiple projects.  You are also going to be expected to be able to pick up quickly.  Here are some tips that you can use to be successful in your new role.

Preparation equals professionalism

Showing that you are prepared at all times will impress.  Time is money in the legal world. If you are asked for your attention, make sure you are prepared.  Have a pen and pad of paper handy at all times.  If you are discussing a client or case, do your homework beforehand to be informed.  This type of preparedness is not something you learn in legal assistant schools.  If you are prepared, you will be taken more seriously.

Press for deadlines on projects

Deadlines are must-know items for the life of a legal clerk.  If an attorney does not want to give you a deadline or expectation for a project, push them for one.  Deadlines are items that you need in order to understand what they want done.

Deliver more than you promise

You do not want to set an expectation for yourself that is too high.  If you are requested to do a project, do not over-promise.  You should try and promise less than you expect to get done.  Your business admin courses in school have taught you time management.  When you can deliver more to your boss than you promised, you increase your value.

Adapting to your environment

Every law firm is different.  Legal assistant schools do not teach you how to deal with varying personalities.  You are going to be working with attorneys who all have different working styles.  Some may be aggressive and high-strung.  Others may be more laid back and relaxed.  You are going to need to adapt to your environment so you can be the perfect assistant to any attorney you end up working with.  Adaptation will allow you to gain their confidence.

Be confident and ask questions

Confidence is going to go a long way in a law firm.  If you are confident and ask questions, you will be more respected.  The more guidance you receive the more likely you are going to do your job appropriately.  This is especially the case if you have a project.  Asking questions so you understand what your project should look like in the end will allow you to complete it effectively.

No matter how many business admin courses you take in school, there is nothing that can completely prepare you for a law firm.  They make for an intense working environment that will push you to be your best every day.  Going in with some steadfast tips will help you increase your chances for success as the new law clerk in the office.

Visit Academy of Learning College Alberta for other career prep like accounting training.

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