Let our industry specialists listen to your aspirations and present your story to the organisations in Hong Kong that fit you the best as we collaborate to write the next chapter of your successful career.

See all jobs

Together, we’ll map out career-defining, life-changing pathways to achieve your career ambitions. Browse our range of services, advice, and resources.

Learn more

We understand that no two organisations are the same. Find out more about how we've customised our recruitment offerings to help companies in Hong Kong meet their needs.

Read more
About Robert Walters Hong Kong

Since our establishment in 1997, our belief remains the same: Building strong relationships with people is vital in a successful partnership.

Learn more

Work for us

Our people are the difference. Hear stories from our people to learn more about a career at Robert Walters Hong Kong

Learn more

Becoming a legal secretary

Legal secretaries live a very different life from their counterparts in various specialisations and industries. Although the role does require generic secretarial functions, it is often necessary for a legal secretary to possess additional knowledge about the law.

Aside from having legislative knowledge, other demands of the job would encompass areas of competency and efficiency in completing administrative tasks. Keeping in mind the aforementioned demands, what qualities or traits should an individual possess to excel in this challenging role?

Legal knowledge

As mentioned above, the candidate has to have some form of legal training and background. Legal secretaries act as the right hand person of the lawyer and support them in doing preliminary research as well as proofreading and interviews. Hence, it is critical for one to have legal knowledge in order to make perceptive decisions.

Most employers prefer to hire legal secretaries with past experience as this will save their time retraining staff. However, if you wish to give yourself a competitive edge, consider taking up legal training programmes to earn a certification. This would put you on par with those who have experience, and help you exceed those without legal qualifications.

Strong writing and reading skills

It is no secret that lawyers have strong linguistic capabilities which must be executed in the courtroom. This is no different for their secretaries as they are expected to assist lawyers with their work.

Having a good command of language and proficient writing and reading skills is also key for success in this role, due to the amount of legal research and drafting of contracts you may potentially have to do in this role. Legal secretaries are also relied upon for proofreading of contracts, agreements and other documents. A good command of the English language, and potentially a second language, would also help in the drafting of letters and memos, whilst extending an image of professionalism.

Possess discretion, tact and an eye for details

When taking on the role of a legal secretary, it is imperative to practise discretion and tact. The nature of legal work requires certain levels of discretion, especially when handling sensitive matters or confidential agreements between the firm and the client. Never talk about your job outside of work, and practise tact when dealing with both internal and external stakeholders.

An eye for detail is also crucial given the administrative and supporting nature of the job. Always take the initiative to clarify your doubts and be responsible over tasks handed to you. This will help you work seamlessly with the lawyers, and further help increase productivity and prove your worth.

Strong organisational and interpersonal skills

At the core, this is a secretarial role which requires good organisational skills – from scheduling meetings and travel plans, drafting multiple legal documents and correspondences, to maintaining complex docket systems and engage in legal research. You should be excellent in working with deadlines, and have excellent communication skills to juggle multiple clients and lawyers.

Share this article

Useful links

Sign up for job alerts
Salary Survey
Career Advice
Get in touch

Find out more by contacting one of our specialist recruitment consultants

Related content

View all

Five tips to become a Partner by 35

Despite being more afflicted by economic and political uncertainty over the last decade, partnership at a law firm is still very much an attainable goal for millennial legal professionals wanting to forge a long and illustrious career in the sector. Are you a hard-working aspirational lawyer looking

Read More

Life as a compliance contractor

Working in compliance as a contractor is becoming increasingly popular, especially with new regulatory changes in Hong Kong’s financial services market. Organisations are keen to keep up with the latest measures and as such, experienced professionals are in demand because of the candidate-short mark

Read More

Moving to in-house

Most large companies today have at least one in-house legal counsel – a lawyer hired directly by an organisation solely to represent its legal interests. Rather than hire a private law firm to work on legal matters, most large corporations find it more cost effective to have one or a few legal profe

Read More

Graduate Trainee Programme 2024

Are you interested in launching your career with a world-leading specialist in professional recruitment? Gain valuable experience, expert training, and the opportunity to make a positive impact across the globe.