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Professional Development

Practising the Art of Shorthand

In my younger days people would say that shorthand and typing were “such useful skills” and that one would scarcely be out of a job with such aptitudes tucked under one’s belt.

‘Shorthand’ includes many types both written with the pen and produced by machines. Pitman, Gregg and Teeline are renowned pen methods, whereas Stenotype and Palantype are well-known machine systems.

Proofreading Tips

As a Legal Secretary or PA, you may be required to proofread a document before it is sent out. This means checking it over carefully yourself or reading it out loud with someone else who also has a copy. You may even be asked to just look something over for someone. If you are given a proofreading task, it is useful to know some tips, as it can be easy to read the body of the text quickly and not notice small, but important, errors.

The Importance of Good Client Care

This month we will consider a recent publication by the Legal Ombudsman about client care1 and note what lessons might be learnt. The leaflet contains many general points about client care, but in particular it focuses on vulnerable clients such as the elderly and issues they might have. This is a subject that those who have completed the Wills, Probate and Administration unit of the Legal Secretaries Diploma course will be familiar with. 

Keeping Up to Date With Law

The law is an ever-changing area as legislation and case law is continually conceived. As a Legal Secretary, it is important to remain in touch with the law, and it is a part of your job which needs you to be on your toes. 

Depending on your practice’s niche area of law, you’ll naturally be assigned to a section even if you work in an all-services law firm. Therefore keeping active in terms of remaining up to date is vital if you are to succeed and progress. For example, the recent changes to the legal aid system which began to filter through in April 2013 are slowly being phased in and your firm will have been made aware of the new legislation way before the changes began to happen. Any changes to the overall workings of practices in law are paramount, as these directly affect all areas. Keeping up to date with overall changes is necessary as they begin to filter into your daily work, as are any changes in your niche.

Make Your Firm Proud and Advance Your Career!

Think about how happy your firm would be if you could take on more responsibility and be more productive in your role. If you were to further your knowledge of law, you could be more involved in legal procedures and save your employer precious time and money. Not only would it be beneficial for the company, but it would lead to greater job satisfaction for you.

Creating a Positive Work Environment – Part 1

We all strive or wish for a positive work environment so that we can effectively do our jobs and enjoy our roles.  This can be accomplished by listening to others and making sure that each of your colleagues feel valued and respected for what he or she does or has to say. 

Relaxation Exercise - Visualisation

The mind is like a muscle; in the same way as a muscle, the mind cannot be in tension and relaxed at the same time.

Visualisation has proved one of the most effective ways to relax. It is well worth taking time to practise this as a relaxation skill. It is an experience of focused attention on images and feelings which are positive and nourishing for you, allowing you to cultivate an ever-greater sense of freedom from the distractions of mood or circumstances. 

Relaxation Exercise - Walking

With spring just around the corner, now that you might have a little more of a ‘spring’ in your step, this exercise builds on some of the previous relaxation exercises in a rather more active way. Believe it or not, walking promotes our relaxation response; any physical exercise produces natural, feel-good chemicals in your brain. It need not be a long walk – even 10 minutes once or twice a day makes a positive difference.


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