The rapid technological advancements has brought in change and transformed several jobs across industries. More so in the Legal Secretary's role at Law firms. The dictation in shorthand, transcribing and type writing have become a thing of the distant past. Today, a plethora of digital applications and software easily do these manual tasks and also increase the efficiency of the role.
Digital voice recorders, copy-editing softwares, instant messaging, and voicemails are few examples of how the information flows in to a program and the task is automated to produce the desired outcome. Automation is the name of the game.
Technology has clearly transformed the way we process, store and search information. The benefits of this modernisation have in fact, upgraded and advanced the role of the Legal Secretary.
So how much of it has really changed? Legal secretaries now need to be proficient in electronic documentation, be able to use softwares for case management, copy-editing, document assembly and more.
The expectation is for the modern legal secretary is to be malleable enough to easily transform into a support role which includes higher capacity tasks, to learn-on-the-go, be tech savvy and have ability to flex as required. They have stepped up to offer litigation support, legal research and business development support. Law firms have in-house expertise in the form of the modern legal secretary, who is capable of managing tasks beyond regular administration and effectively allowing the team to charge for more billable work.
This role transition has created a gap which in a lot of instances is unseen, unheard and even unaddressed. With increasing expansion of the job role and the subsequent redirected time allocation, the ability to focus on constantly repetitive tasks is affected. Repetitive in nature, these tasks pile up pretty quickly. Tasks such as expenses, calendaring, electronic and document filing, transcription etc. Great focus is required to manage the tech tools, input data accurately, monitor results and measure outcomes.
Most legal secretaries will agree that they are required to heavily multi-task based on the case priorities. Result? The essential yet mundane tasks are put on the back burner.
So then, how do the Law firms ensure that their solid team members like the Legal secretaries are well supported in their roles and remain efficient?
A growing trend among the international law firms is to partner with an outsourced business support services which specialize in legal administrative processes and assistance. The subcontracting of the basic legal secretarial services, gives the in-house legal secretaries an opportunity to fulfill their potential. It allows them to focus on the demand on their role to perform higher value tasks while leaving the mundane, repetitive tasks that are time consuming to be outsourced. An experienced virtual legal assistant (VLA) on a dedicated assignment can be a great partner for the modern, in-house legal secretaries who have a larger ground to cover.
I have covered the most popular secretarial tasks the Law firms are outsourcing today in my previous blog titled Top 5 Tasks Law Firms can outsource to a Virtual Legal Assistants (VLA)
Technology has brought in advancements and while it has changed the old ways, it has also challenged job positions to do more with less. To compete in a dynamic market place, companies are now investing in automation and stream-lining processes. Legal secretary's 2.0 avatar is expected to perform and deliver at higher levels and thus needs adequate support in order to perform at their optimum. So what is your firm doing to enable the 2.0 avatar to flourish?