2016-10 – The Legal Secretary: A Victim of Technology
From recent first hand encounters, I can report that the legal secretary is a dying profession. Technology to some extent is to blame but also cost-cutting, especially by medium-sized firms. So far a survival rate of approx. 60-70% is common. Many front desks are currently unoccupied. Sorry, maybe I was leading the reader on the wrong path: they are occupied by a bell or a buzzer. In some business models, the front desk is shared by law firms occupying a building floor to save on employee costs. Sometimes, the building management is the front desk contact person. Sometimes, there is no desk, you walk out the lift and a person behind a cubicle approaches you and asks how they could help you. In this model, there is no go-to-person for meeting a potential client. The employee who is most eager to stop an unknown person from walking through their private work zone is to some extent the appointed legal secretary. The writer is not concerned about technology or different models replacing the legal secretary position. As long as there is good customer service, it does not matter how it comes about. It is worrying however, that some law firms have unoccupied desks and no-one answers the bell or buzzer when it is rung or activated. Hopefully, no court papers are being served or delivered in the traditional way.