Senior Secretary

Recruiter
DLA Piper
Location
Dublin (County), Leinster (IE)
Salary
Competitive
Posted
11 Nov 2020
Closes
10 Jan 2021
Role Classification
Other Professional
Contract Type
Permanent

Description

DLA Piper has a unique approach to our legal secretarial function - 'the hub' (a model encouraging true teamwork). This approach allows us to stretch and develop your skills ensuring you are given interesting work at an appropriate level whilst making sure you are not over-burdened. You still have contact with clients and partners but you will collaborate and work with a wider range of people in the department than in a traditional secretarial model.

The feedback on 'the hub' from our existing team has been really positive - we see it as the natural evolution of secretarial services.

We have 4 levels of role in the team:

Team Coordinator - monitors incoming work and team capacity and distributes jobs and projects to members of the team, whilst also operating as a senior level secretary. They are also responsible for communicating with fee earners to keep them appraised of a task or projects status

Senior Secretary - takes ownership for the efficient running of the team by role-modeling as an effective and responsible team member and act as workflow supervisor where required

Secretary - provides general secretarial and administration services as part of the secretarial team

Team Administrator - a junior role for those still developing their skills, undertakes routine secretarial tasks at the direction of the Team Coordinator.

MAIN DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

At DLA Piper a Senior Secretary:

  • takes ownership for the efficient running of the team - acting as an senior team member by setting a good example to more junior team members

  • plays an active role in knowledge sharing with administrative staff to ensure growth and development;

  • acts as workflow supervisor, when required, on a shared basis with other senior secretaries; 

  • ensures urgent work is promptly completed or delegated to the appropriate team member; 

  • ensures all work (other than confidential) is directed through the team and works hard to make sure fee earners follow this process;

  • delegates all junior level tasks to administrative resource;

  • assists the team in providing fee earners with effective and high quality secretarial support , enabling them to focus on providing the best legal services to clients;

  • undertakes all aspects of the role using the most appropriate tools and resources for the task to meet deadlines;

  • demonstrates flexibility and proactively contribute to the team's success by actively seeking to improve working processes;

  • ensures all work is undertaken in the correct priority order;

  • devises a plan to share complex tasks which are time bound;

  • proactively engages with and assists fee earners regarding work requirements and encourages and supports all team members to utilise the team; 

  • communicates with fee earners to keep them appraised of a task's status; 

  • engages in mutual delegation of tasks between team members and assist the team to meet deadlines; 

  • ensures clear and concise record keeping relating to tasks undertaken and correct filing of tasks and supporting materials (e.g. email instructions / discussions);

  • follows team processes and procedures when undertaking tasks;

  • collaborates with team members on team processes, procedures and solutions - ensuring more junior members of the team understand and adhere to these;

  • actively participates in team meetings 

Working collaboratively with the rest of the team, to deliver and provide superior secretarial service by:

  • undertaking work of a confidential nature, or requiring high level skills and expertise;

  • undertakes specialist tasks (e.g. attending to court filing, organising service of legal documents, expert and witness arrangements and appointments, conducting research at fee earner request);

  • developing specialist expertise (i.e. super-user on specific tools, e-billing, client reporting, knowledge management support);

  • supporting the secretarial team by ensuring the timely completion of the support team's shared work, ensuring work of an appropriate level is dealt with according to priority;

  • demonstrating flexibility with working practices in line with the business need, especially in times of pressure/ high workload;

  • utilises skill in influencing stakeholders -quickly building rapport through pro-active development of close professional relationships and active attempts to influence events to achieve goal; 

  • going beyond what is necessarily called for, anticipating and preparing for a specific opportunity or problem that is not obvious to others;

  • ensuring accurate and timely use of our practice management system (Elite) to facilitate matter opening, maintenance, closure and archiving. Generating accurate billing reports, letters and draft bills in a timely manner. Managing accounts payable (invoices), expenses and disbursements. Recording time for fee-earners when required (including non-billable productive time) on a daily basis;

  • demonstrating exemplary file management of correspondence, emails and research in a practical and easy-to -use manner;

  • maintaining up to date client records in Elite, and Outlook/Interaction contacts, including client contact details, client specific requests in relation to billing and bill formats, details of other parties etc.;

  • coordinating internal and external client meetings and ensure all work activities are scheduled effectively, including the identification and resolution of potential challenges and clashes;

  • organising agendas, presentations and meeting papers, including print production and timely distribution; ensuring that fee earners have all documents and adequate preparation time;

  • organising meetings, ensuring rooms and conference facilities, video conference facilities are booked, liaising with attendees if necessary both internal and external and making sure that any required catering and technical equipment is in place;

  • drafting, creating and editing documentation, in line with the DLA Piper Style Guide, templates and precedents;

  • responding and dealing with external or internal telephone calls and queries in a professional manner and taking clear and concise messages for other members of the practice group as required;

  • organising and assisting with client functions, entertainment & seminars, as required;

  • arranging complex travel bookings, including visas, flights, taxis, accommodation and rental cars, etc.; 

  • completing financial reports where required, from internal systems highlighting outstanding monies to be billed and updating particular client financial schedules where necessary;

  • providing administrative support to fee earners with conflict searches and audit requests;

  • assisting on ad-hoc projects as and when required, for example managing bundles, assisting during team events, indexing documents, etc.

  • any other secretarial or administrative duties as required

SKILLS AND ATTRIBUTES

Technical:

  • Extensive relevant experience as a legal secretary

  • Have a strong working knowledge of WorkSite and Bighand or similar tools

  • IT literate with high level of proficiency in Microsoft Office suite (Excel, PowerPoint, Word, Outlook) & Lync - Skype for Business

  • Excellent diary management

  • Exemplary document management and filing 

  • Excellent telephone manner

  • Detailed understanding of billing

  • Excellent organisation and prioritisation skills

  • Applies knowledge and judgement to solve problems and make decisions

  • Experience of delegating to, and training, junior team members

ABOUT YOU

  • Friendly, personable and approachable

  • Excellent communicator- both written and verbally

  • Adaptable and flexible

  • Confident and professional

  • Conscientious and diligent

  • Remains calm under pressure

ABOUT US

DLA Piper is a global law firm with lawyers located in more than 40 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. Our global reach ensures that we can help businesses with their legal needs anywhere in the world. We strive to be the leading global business law firm by delivering quality, service excellence and value to our clients and offering practical and innovative legal solutions to help them succeed. Our clients range from multinational, Global 1000, and Fortune 500 enterprises to emerging companies developing industry-leading technologies, as well as government and public sector bodies.

OUR VALUES

In everything we do connected with our People, our Clients and our Communities, we live by these values:

  • Be Supportive - we care about others, value diversity and act thoughtfully

  • Be Collaborative - we give, we share and we join in

  • Be Bold - we stand tall and challenge ourselves to think big

  • Be Exceptional - we exceed standards and expectations

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION

At DLA Piper we are working hard to ensure that our talent pool is diverse. For us, diversity isn't just about visible differences, it's the unique blend of talents, skills, experiences and perspectives that makes each of us an individual.

We know it's crucial to have a culture and environment where those differences are genuinely valued and that's why we strive to be a business where everyone can thrive, develop and succeed based on their talent. Our aim is to build an inclusive and supportive culture where all our people feel they belong and can achieve their best.

We support anyone with a disability or long term health condition to ensure they have the opportunity to perform at their best.

If you have not done so already, please let us know if you require any support so we can make the right adjustments and considerations, should they be required.

AGILE WORKING

We recognise that people have responsibilities and interests outside of their career and that as a business, we all benefit from working flexibly. That's why we are open to discussing with candidates the different ways in which we are able to support requests for agile working arrangements.

PRE-ENGAGEMENT SCREENING

In the event that we make an offer to you, and where local legislation permits, we will conduct pre-engagement screening checks that may include but are not limited to your professional and academic qualifications, your eligibility to work in the relevant jurisdiction, any criminal records, your financial stability and references from previous employers.