Your firm’s receptionist is one of your most important employees. More often than not, they’re the first person potential clients will talk to when they call your office, and they’re often tasked with keeping things running smoothly.
So what should you look for when seeking out the perfect applicant for this all-important position?
A legal receptionist will need to be able to keep the office organized and running efficiently. This means that they will need to be able to make sure that all files are easily accessible.
The scheduling of appointments will also be an important task which the hired individual will need to take seriously. Being able to maintain a schedule and clearly communicate the daily itinerary of events is also an important part of the job.
All important meetings must be properly documented so that the attorney has the ability to organize their day appropriately.
Previous legal knowledge
It is often beneficial that an individual hired for a legal receptionist position has the ability to understand basic legal terminology. The understanding of legal terms will make it easier for a new employee to acclimate themselves to the office without needing to be trained regarding how to understand legal terminology.
This will also make of the employee more efficient when dealing with clients because they will have a working knowledge of the subject matter which potential clients are calling about to gain information.
The ideal candidate will have knowledge of basic computer software including word processing and document scanning program.
Furthermore, the ability to understand how to use dragon legal software will be useful in the transcription of important information which needs to be accurate.
Communicating with a receptionist who understands how to use organizational programs will also be easier in light of the fact that the majority of conversations can be conducted over e-mail. This is advantageous for legal professionals who do not have a lot of time to spend in the office.
Sufficient writing skills
A receptionist must have the ability to compose basic letters. While these will not be legal documents, correspondence between attorneys and their clients often requires the intersection of the receptionist in order to cut down on legal billable hours.
This means that the receptionist will have to have a professional way of organizing their thoughts in order to compose emails and other important communications on behalf of the legal team. Responding to all communication requests effectively and efficiently without needing to interrupt the legal professional is often advisable in order to maintain a positive working relationship.
The ability to deal with clients
The most important thing that the receptionist will be required to do is to represent the office properly. This means being able to conduct themselves in a professional manner even when there are difficult clients to manage.
Dealing with clients who are upset about the speed at which the case they are in the middle of is being handled can often be a difficult task. Having a diplomatic personality will be required in order to be a successful legal receptionist.
Being able to answer questions without becoming emotionally attached to what the client is saying is also an important part of being able to do the job effectively. Efficiently handling all complaints in a professional manner can often become an overwhelming responsibility for a legal representative.