01 Jun Life in a Family Law Firm
Sophie: My Life at Amanda Wilson Family Law
For the last six months, I have been working at Amanda Wilson Family Law as a legal secretary (covering for Alix who recently had a beautiful baby!) and I have loved every minute of it.
My time is very sadly coming to an end as we look forward to Alix making her return to work so I thought I would share a little about what my job has entailed here and some of things I have learned about working in a family law firm.
A legal secretary’s job is a varied but important one. We are responsible for typing letters and emails from audio recordings, ensuring mail goes out on time, managing the solicitor’s diary and much more. I also answer the phone and can be the first person potential clients will speak to.
As I have just completed my law degree and love a little bit of research I also get the opportunity to assist with legal researching and writing for blogs, like this one, which for me is a little perk of the job.
A typical day for me involves getting set up in the morning by logging on to the computer, checking the mail and my emails. I have my headset on, ready to answer any calls that come in from existing or potential new clients and will schedule them in for appointments with Amanda.
We cover all aspects of family law such as, separation, divorce, adoption, surrogacy, cohabitation agreements, pre and post-nuptial agreements and child matters. Amanda can also advise on alternatives to court such as mediation and collaborative law which is really interesting.
As such, phone calls to a family law firm can be unpredictable, you have people going through some really tough times whether that be divorce or issues with seeing their children. Sometimes you have to just listen and be understanding of their situation.
It’s great to work in a place where there is so much variety to the work and every day is different. This is definitely one of my favourite aspects of the job.
What I have learned
I have learned so much in my short time at Amanda Wilson Family Law. I have no doubt that I have so much more to learn but these are just some of my main takeaways as a legal secretary in a family law firm:
- Be friendly! You can be the first person someone is speaking to about their divorce or other serious issues so you have to be approachable and empathetic to their situation.
- Spelling. As you can be typing letters to go to clients, other solicitors or even the court it is important to ensure that everything is accurate. When typing long documents it can be easy to accidently miss something so having a good eye for catching mistakes is always helpful.
- Grammar. Separate from spelling but just as important. I know I have never thought more about apostrophes in my life!
- Communication. As I’m new to this I have really valued being able to communicate with Amanda to ensure that I understand what it is she needs from each piece of work. This ensures that the work I’m doing is up to scratch and what the client needs.
All in all I love working as a legal secretary alongside Amanda. It has been a great opportunity for me to learn the ins and outs of a family law firm and I am looking forward to using the experience as I further develop my legal career.