When applying for a Legal Secretary position, the application itself is a crucially important work product. Yes, the recipient will scour your work history, your academic background, etc.—but this “screener” also will be looking at how well you present yourself when it comes to important correspondence. (They will assume that your application materials represent the best work you can do. So why disappoint them?) The cover letter is your chance to shine.
Anyone who has experience in hiring legal secretaries is likely to have been disappointed at one time or another. Therefore, everything about your application must support this unspoken theme: “I am the candidate who won’t disappoint.” How to do this? Pay close attention to details—both in what they want and in what you communicate. You must demonstrate professionalism and establish trust at every opportunity. Listed below are our suggestions on what you should keep in mind.
Basic Requirements For Legal Secretary Positions
Legal secretaries prepare, disseminate, and file legal documents and related correspondence. In executing these important duties, legal secretaries play an essential role on any legal team. What are the core competencies for a legal secretary?
The best legal secretaries are skilled in written communications, and are highly knowledgeable on matters of language usage, grammar and style.
Familiarity with technology is another core competency. Specific skills here are highly dependent on the practice area you serve. On a litigation team, for example, the production of Powerpoint slides or other presentation graphics might be a common task. Do your homework. Learn the specific skills needed for each position you pursue—and then tailor your applications to put your best self forward.
“Soft skills”—the ability to interact successfully in a professional environment often don’t get as much attention as those capabilities (typing speed, for example) that are easier to quantify. But these soft skills are crucially important. Are you flexible? Good under pressure? Can you work with difficult people and minimize office “drama”? If so, find a way to communicate these qualities—in both interviews and written situations.
Legal Secretary Cover Letter Tips
What To Do:
- Keep your cover letter focused and succinct. (1-2 pages is the norm)
- Differentiate yourself!
- Make a clear and compelling representation of your best skills.
- Be accurate and truthful at all times.
- Show enthusiasm for the opportunity.
- Speak their language (Review the values and “cultural tone” expressed on their websites and position descriptions).
- Use meaningful details to bring your accomplishments to life.
What Not To Do:
- Get bogged down in details about your background or job history.
- Apologize for capabilities you lack
- Waste the reader’s time
- Try to “shoehorn” yourself into a position that clearly is not a good fit for your skill set and experience
What Traits Do Employers Seek In A Legal Secretary?
- Work under pressure
- Collegiality, i.e. “soft” skills
How Is A Legal Secretary Cover Letter Different From A Legal Assistant Letter?
Legal Secretary cover letters must demonstrate expertise in correspondence, document preparation, and related skills for supporting a lawyer’s day-to-day responsibilities. In contrast, a Legal Assistant letter will highlight familiarity with legal principles, legal research capabilities, administrative skills, and experience in managing interaction with clients and legal organizations.
Not sure where to start with your cover letter? We’ve provided the attached template for a Legal Secretary Cover Letter to help you get started . Remember to customize this for each application you submit. Good luck!
Looking for a new Legal Secretary position? Contact us today to see what positions we have available.
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