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Legal Secretarial Team Leader - US Law firm

JM Legal Ltd
Closing date
21 Dec 2021

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Contract Type
Full Time
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Recruiting for a Legal Secretarial Team Leader for a team of 5 Secretaries at a leading US Law firm in the City - £45,000

  • To ensure high quality secretarial support is provided to the group(s) on a day-to-day basis. This includes leading by example where a team is very busy and everyone in the team needs to go the extra mile.
  • To deal promptly, effectively and fairly with any issues around the performance or conduct of any individual secretary. To keep the DoA/Staff Partner informed on a regular basis of any such issues and to seek their assistance where necessary.
  • To carry out annual appraisals for secretaries, including gathering feedback from partners, associates, PSLs and other support users, leading appraisal meetings, writing appraisal forms, agreeing individual ratings with the DoA/Staff Partner and taking part in moderation. To agree individual development objectives and plans and follow up with individual secretaries to ensure they are implemented.
  • To monitor timekeeping for secretaries and resolve any issues arising so that excellent service is maintained. To escalate problems to the DoA/Staff Partner as necessary
  • To give regular feedback on secretaries, DPU and float(s) to the DoA/Staff Partner.
  • To ensure that new permanent, float and temporary secretaries are clear about the processes and procedures in the group, after the initial introduction into the firm by the HR Department.
  • To be the first point of contact for secretarial queries within the group.
  • To take active steps to be aware of the busyness of different groups around the firm so that each STL can collaborate effectively with other STLs (offer help/ask for help) to address short-term pressures where there is an imbalance in workloads. To impress upon secretaries that such collaboration is a key part of a One Firm approach.
  • To attend regular meetings with the DoA/Staff Partner to discuss issues within the group.
  • To attend meetings with other STLs to discuss mutual challenges, areas for improvement and innovation and to assess how collaboration can be improved.
  • To arrange adequate cover for telephones e.g. during lunch breaks and draw up rotas where necessary
  • To explain departmental routines and procedures to new legal staff, including trainee solicitors.

Workloads/Secretarial Cover
  • To arrange departmental cover for absences of one day or less. To liaise with other STLs in the first instance regarding secretarial cover for absences. To refer to the DoA/Staff Partner where significant gaps in cover arise to agree resourcing.
  • To discuss and organise with fee earners and secretaries resources regarding workloads, deadlines and urgent work.
  • To carry out regular reviews of secretarial workloads and propose options to the DoA/Staff Partner where persistent imbalances arise.
  • To organise departmental cover for all secretarial holidays or long term sickness absences on a weekly basis and notify the fee-earners and secretaries.
  • In consultation with the Staff Partner and DoA to agree the discretionary working from home arrangements for each secretary taking account of the business needs for cover in the office and the need to ensure unforeseen holiday/sickness absences do not cause cover in the office to fall to unacceptable levels.

  • To act as the department's absence coordinator, liaising with HR and the DoA/Staff Partner as needed. Monitor and record absences for fee earners and secretaries in the Firm's online absence management system; liaise with the Staff Partner for approval of fee earner holidays and update the system accordingly.
  • To inform the Staff Partner of any clash or overlap of holiday dates of all legal and secretarial staff within the group.
  • To inform the relevant fee earners of absences (other than holidays) of their secretary.
  • To complete and circulate the New Starters Form.

Secretarial Duties
  • Complying with all internal policies, procedures and processes and keeping technical skills up to date.
  • Accurately typing and amending correspondence and documents.
  • Preparing materials (often using PowerPoint) for presentations.
  • Proactive diary management - making diary appointments, arranging meetings, booking all logistics, preparing paperwork, etc.
  • Managing fee-earners' emails as required and dealing with email queries as appropriate.
  • Organising travel arrangements.
  • Quickly and accurately preparing bills, ensuring they are sent out quickly, liaising with Accounts and/or other departments.
  • Assisting with timesheet posting if required.
  • Carrying out conflicts checks and opening and closing files in conjunction with fee-earners.
  • Departmental admin, including copying, printing and scanning.

Client focus:
  • Providing proactive support to fee-earners.
  • Being one step ahead at all times, anticipating requests and issues before they arise and offering solutions.
  • Taking ownership and control of all diary, meeting, email and day/organisational management for fee-earners
  • Gaining an understanding of fee-earners' work and building relationships with clients and their PAs.
  • Assisting with business development initiatives, e.g. organising client lunches, seminars, events, training (internal and external), etc.

Personal Management:
  • Proactively managing all fee-earner work, delegating and prioritising tasks on a daily basis, taking ownership of all tasks to completion.
  • Completing paper and electronic filing and archiving quickly and accurately.
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