THE DUTIES OF A SECRETARY
When we enter a law office the first individual we meet is the legal secretary. She is the one withe responsibility for the correspondence, records, and other affairs of a.law office. The word "secretary" reflects its Latin root secretum (secret), which originally referred to a person who acted as a confidant, and handled matters of a private nature for his principal. The executive position or executive secretary is one of major responsibility in business or government.
First responsibility of a legal secretary each day is open, read, and note all mail received that day. It is Important in a law office. The mail often includes legal documents crucial to a certain case that day. She must be familiar with all standard forms used in the office. Affidavits, bills of sale, deeds, leases, mortgages, powers of attorney, propositions, and wills.
Tape Shorthand theory means the writing down of dictation from an employer, and then transcribing the material onto sheets with the aid of earphones and computer. Every secretary is required to have a skill speed of 80 WPM before graduating, also when taking the civil service exan. In some offices the dictation is seized by one secretary while the typing is completed by another. Usually larger offices hire clerk typist. It is important that secretaries are capable of reading each others shorthand notes.
Every legal secretary works with computers, duplicators, stencil machines, but the dictaphone is usually the most frequently utilized. Information must be transcribed quickly, and accurately in attractive form.
Filing systems are important to any secretary. The files at any office must be maintained in perfect order, so that any file may be located promptly by any person authorized to use the files. General secretaries often work inside an organization where company records are maintained by special file clerks inside a central filing room, but the secretary may still remain responsible for all the filing.
A secretary must learn the rules of four basic filing systems. The alphabetic, subject, geographic, and numeric systems. Also the vertical files, card files, and open shelf files. Files for audimated data pocessing are required by many firms.
Two remaining basic skills of general and legal secretaries are: Receptionist, trained to meet and route visitors, customers, salesmen, and handle nuisance calls. They greet all visiters with the "red carpet treatment" by treating them with royalty.
The well-trained secretary who is able to accept responsibilies who is able to relieve her employer of many management duties is a real valuable employee to any company.
I studied the secretarial course at BOCES for two years. I understand the responsibilities of a secretary. The general or legal secretary understands the basic fundamentals of the work that requires additional "specialized" training.
The secretary is trained to fill all these skills, a person who knows many of the confidential matters of her office.. This stops unnecessary interruptions, delays, confusions, and clears the employers desk faster.
She understands which phone calls to route immediately to employer or which file to hold until she can supply him with needed reference material. Secretary sits in on conferences when a trusted witness is required. Her manners on the telephone sets the manner of the office. She is an all around daytime hostess for her employer and also his receptionist. A Secretary must act as part of employers memory with her instant recollection of the exact location of filed material. She must prepare an up to date appointment book
Success working at a secretarial career requires special talents and special schooling. There is no reason why any high school senior can't enter the field and become a competent legal, or general secretary.