If you’re considering a career as a Personal Assistant, you may be weighing up all of the different options available. After all, each PA role will have very different roles, responsibilities and required skills. For example, a PA in a fashion house is going to be expected to carry out very different tasks to a PA for a financial organisation. There are also more specialist Personal Assistant roles, such as a Legal PA. Let’s take a look at the key differences between being a PA and a Legal PA (also known as a Legal Secretary).

The Similarities

In some respects, the roles of a PA and a Legal PA are very similar.

  • Running the office (or offices) – Most Personal Assistants will be expected to keep things running smoothly at their employer’s office or offices. Effectively, becoming the management’s eyes and ears around the workplace.
  • Organising meetings and minute taking – It’s your job, as a PA, to ensure that meetings go without a hitch. This includes organising them, making sure the right people attend, and even taking the minutes throughout.
  • Managing Diaries – One of your main tasks will be to keep track of appointments, meetings and events for management. Managing your employer’s time well is an essential part of being a Personal Assistant.

You will find that there are various other similarities between the two roles, although we have covered the main responsibilities. Both PAs and Legal PAs need to be organised, well presented, and excellent communicators.

The Differences Between a PA and Legal PA

Now that we know how many similarities there are between the two roles let’s focus on the difference. Essentially, there is one primary distinction between a PA and a Legal PA. While the former is a more generalised role, a Legal Secretary is far more specialised. In fact, it’s likely you will have to have studied various elements of the legal world. Those specialising in law will also need to know how to create legal documentation. Without this knowledge, it’s unlikely you will be able to secure a job as a Legal Secretary. There are courses available that will enable you to have the specialised skills needed for this type of role. An ACLS Legal Secretary qualification will not only look great on your CV but will also teach you how to create legal documentation and other role-specific skills.

The only real difference between a PA and a Legal PA is that the latter will require more in-depth knowledge, and, in most cases, a particular qualification. A Legal Secretary is a more specialised role and one that is in high demand from law firms across the globe. If you want to climb the career ladder, then gaining the right legal qualifications can significantly improve your chances.