A legal receptionist is often employed as a type of administrative assistant or even office manager at a lawyer's office. As a result, it may be a bit more challenging, and take somewhat more specialized knowledge, in order to become a legal receptionist than to become any other type of receptionist. Though a legal receptionist is not the same thing as a paralegal, many people do take paralegal courses in order to work for a law office, simply to increase their qualifications. At the very least, it will be necessary to have office experience before being qualified to become a legal receptionist.
This means you should begin by getting administrative and receptionist office experience. There are a number of different types of offices that will hire people to work as receptionists without a great deal of experience. This is a great way to learn how offices are run as well as how to use office equipment, such as multi-line phone systems, fax machines, and others. You will also learn how to use different types of office software that will be important for any type of receptionist job. It would be very difficult to become a legal receptionist without any existing office experience like this.
Another way to become a legal receptionist is to take some college courses. Even though college is not required to become a receptionist, someone working in a law office will likely be dealing with a lot of legal terminology on a daily basis, and it could be very helpful to have some existing legal knowledge. As a result, taking some courses such as paralegal training classes could be a great way to increase your knowledge and get hired. If you decide you like it, you may even choose to finish a paralegal degree, and then your career options will increase even more.
Once you have experience, education, or a combination thereof, you can take the next step to become a legal receptionist by applying for jobs, or simply sending your resume to various law offices. If you get called for an interview, be sure to dress very professionally -- in a business suit, for example -- and be prepared to discuss your skills and qualifications. Legal receptionists need to be friendly, polite, and professional at all times, as well as capable of practicing discretion. In addition, it is important to be self-motivated and responsible, since some receptionists are actually responsible for running the office if the lawyer is out at a meeting, in court, etc; this is especially true of smaller law firms.