Successful and productive in-house counsel often lean heavily on their administrative assistants (See my post of post of May 17, 2006 on the title and definition of this position.). If trained, motivated and capable, a secretary can handle a wide range of tasks (See my post of March 18, 2005 on limits to what paralegals can do.). A good executive assistant helps with much more than scheduling, addressing envelopes, and fielding telephone calls. The person needs to be able to keep confidences, exercise good judgment (such as when to interrupt a meeting), and show initiative.
According to many people, it’s becoming harder and harder to find qualified people for this position at the compensation levels permitted by Human Resources. For more ideas, visit the website of Lawyers Right Hand. For this reason as well as because new lawyers coming into law departments are technologically proficient, I foresee that the ratio of lawyers to administrative assistants will keep moving higher from the current 3 or 4 to one.