Legal secretaries have been around lawyers as long as lawyers have been around lawyers. But times are a-changing, it seems and once again the culprit is the “T” word: technology.
Take law firm Arnold & Porter who are working towards fewer staff with greater productivity – much the same as just about every other law firm is looking to do.
But Arnold & Porter are now offering voluntary resignation packages to their entire secretarial staff – ALL of t hem.
“All law firms are constantly analyzing and evaluating changes in the way we provide support services to both our internal and external clients,” managing partner Richard M. Alexander said.
Whether the trend catches on further is something everyone – particularly legal secretaries – will be looking at very closely.
Addressing a changing legal market in which technology makes it easier for attorneys to do more with less staff support, Arnold & Porter has offered voluntary resignation packages to its entire secretarial staff.
Alexander said the move is a result of the changing role and use of secretaries in law firms due to new technology. For instance, before computers became prevalent and even after they did, many attorneys still did not know how to use them, so secretaries were needed to provide services such as dictation, he said. Now all new attorneys hired at the firm are able to draft and edit documents on the computer.
The reduction in staff is also being spurred by the firm’s move next year to a new Washington, D.C., office, which is designed to maximize the efficient use of space, according to Alexander.