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Do First Year Lawyers Get their own Secretary? If not, When?

A lawyer working together with his secretary.

Have you ever wanted to be a lawyer, or do you consider yourself a fan of the law? Not me. However, I enjoy listening to attorneys, judges, prosecutors, and the defense dissecting the law. Sometimes, I don’t understand a thing of what they say.

In this article, I want to dive into this question: do first-year lawyers get their secretary? If not, when? Some law firms don’t give their first-year lawyers a secretary until they are more established in the company. That’s because these companies want to ensure that the first-year lawyer has mastered all of their skills before being given administrative duties.

And I don’t think first-year lawyers can have legal secretaries. Here’s what I’ve researched about the subject.

The first year of law school

Handsome african university law school graduate.

I believe studying law is one of those challenging courses at university. I’m not sure if I’d have made it in the first few months. That’s because I’m not a fan of technical subjects, though I taught economics.

Anyway, I believe the first year of law school is tough. Not only are you trying to learn the legal system, but you are also trying to make it through your first year of law school. You have classes, studies, and exams.

And on top of all that, you need to find time for a job.

According to, first-timers, also called 1Ls, may study the following subjects:

  • Constitutional law (United States Constitution)
  • Civil procedure (Federal Rules of Civil Procedure)
  • Criminal law (General common law and Model Penal Code), etc.

I think the workload is overwhelming at times. So, I don’t see first-year lawyers having secretaries because of the intense curriculum.

The role of secretaries

A beautiful secretary holding a folder.

First, let me help you understand how secretaries assist lawyers. These people who work side by side with attorneys have a unique name: they’re called legal secretaries. Think of them as the hub of a bicycle.

Legal secretaries make things happen in a law firm. That’s because a company can’t operate efficiently and smoothly without them. Additionally, legal secretaries must have done a professional course, such as ILSPAs Legal Secretaries.

It makes them grasp the law fundamentals and legal procedure. That being said, here are some responsibilities of legal assistants:

  • Assisting Lawyers with client handling
  • Producing accurate legal documents
  • Attending various tasks, including typing dictation and managing the office diary.
  • Helping attorneys with time-consuming tasks, from filing and photocopying to editing legal documents.
  • Lawyers commonly want to meet their billable hours’ targets. Their schedules will include client meetings and court appearances.
  • Legal assistants take dictations and record appointments in diaries.
  • Furthermore, they’re the firm’s “face,” serving as visitors’ first point of contact.
  • Thus, secretaries need to interact with clients on the phone or in person, mainly when their employer is busy.

Legal secretaries should also have the following traits:

  • Positivity is the key
  • Cooperation is a top priority
  • Good communication
  • Make yourself approachable
  • Sincerity
  • Genuinely show interest
  • Taking on extra responsibilities
  • Become familiar with their professional responsibilities

Looking at the legal secretaries’ roles, I think it isn’t very sure for first-year lawyers to have their secretaries. Also, they’re still grappling with their studies. However, first-year associates perform the duties below:

  • Preparing briefs for the supervision of a lawyer in the firm based on research and analysis of complex issues
  • Providing recommendations for alterations to complex legal documents, including contracts
  • Preparation of litigation through the discovery of various electronic and paper documents
  • Involving the performance of due diligence in contracting, negotiating, and acquiring legal matters

Here are some skills that first-year need to develop before working with legal secretaries.A genuine smile of a secretary.

The legal profession is one of the most demanding professions in the world. It requires a lot of hard work, dedication, and perseverance. A lawyer’s job is to provide legal advice to clients, represent them in court, and draft legal documents.

Lawyers have to be well-versed in various topics, including law, economics, history, and philosophy.

Lawyering Skills: It’s the essential skill every lawyer needs to master. These include legal research, legal writing, oral advocacy, negotiation and settlement, trial practice, etc. Lawyers need to think on their feet and handle any situation in court or out on the field.

Communication Skills: Lawyers need excellent communication skills because they often interact with clients, other lawyers, judges, etc., so they need the ability to communicate clearly and concisely

The pressure of working in law:  Legal careers are never easy; it takes an extraordinary amount of focus to stay calm and focused under pressure.

Developing this skill is simple: Before you set official deadlines, set your deadlines so you can complete tasks on time—plan for time to deal with any issues which may arise.

Organize your time and prioritize critical tasks by creating timetables and plans. You can use these same techniques when preparing for essay deadlines.

Some trivia…

Why Law wasn’t my favorite career choice

A scared young woman holding a book.

Law and lawyers. I don’t remember when I considered the law a career during my school days. Maybe it’s because I didn’t have a good career education.

But I wanted to be a professional accountant. It never happened. Instead, I became a business studies, economics, and accounting teacher. Not a wrong choice.

Ever wondered why lawyers use words many people don’t understand? Or have you ever read a lawyer’s statement? Jargon packed. Again, our question is: do first-year lawyers get their secretary?

If not, when? Let me try to answer this.

Wrapping Up

The decision on whether or not to give a first-year lawyer their secretary depends on the size of the law firm and how busy it is.

A first-year lawyer at a smaller law firm might be given their secretary, but that’s not always the case. Larger firms often hire more lawyers to afford to put fewer people in each case.