All Change for the Legal PA

Jessica Penrice, Recruitment Consultant16 April 2018

Historically, the role of a PA is to provide crucial support to those above them, allowing senior personnel to concentrate on their main objectives.  This has always been the same within the legal profession and still is today, although the role of the Legal PA across some firms is taking on a new shape, as our legal support specialist Jessica explores.

City firms driving change
The advancement of technology in recent years has seen many large city law firms change their processes to save on administration costs and increase their fee-earning capacity.  Whether it’s outsourcing document production or passing on administrative tasks that were once the responsibility of the PA, to smaller administrative teams, it’s all redefining the role of the traditional Legal PA. 
Today, a personal assistant not only has to adapt to technology in their daily working environment, but also needs to be more business savvy and commercially aware as they do so.  We are already seeing more and more PAs get involved with social media and database management as well as using Cloud-based applications for their work.  And not only that, but they are becoming more engrained in decision-making tasks with senior management where they might assist with projects, business development and client care.

Traditional still necessary
The traditional role of the Legal PA, where vital administrative support is provided to partners and senior lawyers in the form of diary management, travel planning, event organisation, invoicing, producing legal documents and other tasks, is still relevant at many practices across the country where workload is managed by smaller teams.  In these firms, the Legal PA is often the first point of contact for clients and this requires their understanding of law and legal processes, especially with individual cases the practice is dealing with, where legal support from the PA is necessary.  

What makes a successful Legal PA?
Personal Assistants today are expected to know a lot of the terminology and market trends, especially within the legal sector, which sees employers at larger firms more likely to hire those with industry knowledge rather than someone new going in to the sector.  Successful Legal PAs also need to embrace technology, be flexible and adapt to change, as much as be willing to take on new responsibilities.  As firms continue to evolve, so does the role of the Legal PA, which will no doubt see more law firms creating new job title with new duties to reflect more specific positions within the firm, and as the level of responsibility increases, so will the salaries too.

Jessica specialises in recruiting for Legal Support roles across the country.  If you are a Legal PA keen to discuss your next career move or would be interested in starting a career as a Legal PA, give her a call on 0161 214 6117 or send her an email to,   

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