Q&A with Shama Ali - ILSPA Graduate from Dubai

Our Legal Secretaries Diploma Course is suitable for a wide variety of individuals, whatever their experience, whatever their schedule and wherever they live in the world.

We were pleased to be able to communicate with Shama Ali, who recently completed our Legal Secretaries Diploma course from Dubai. An experienced Legal Secretary, Shama took a five-year career break to have two children, returning to the legal sector during the pandemic. We asked her what led her to take a qualification at this stage in her career, as well as how she found studying overseas with a busy family.   

What were you doing before you joined ILSPA?

How to Negotiate a Higher Salary

It is not unexpected that many people find it difficult to request higher pay. Especially once their job hunt is over and they have an offer. They do not want to risk the opportunity now that they've made it this far.

However, as the UK HR experts point out, hiring in many sectors has surpassed or even reached pre-pandemic levels. On top of that, there is a shortage of skilled professionals, increasing competition for top talent and driving up salaries.

If you do not negotiate a salary offer while having specialised skills and a strong CV, you may lose a huge amount of well-deserved money.

Most recruiting managers will give you time to consider the offer and will not demand a response right away. Here are some pay negotiation techniques to help you politely and confidently request what you want.

How to Build Your Self Esteem at Work

You’ve probably heard it before: your self-esteem impacts every part of your life. The truth is, if you want to be successful at work, you need to feel confident in yourself and the value that you bring. Building self-esteem isn’t easy, but it is possible!

Ask for feedback

One of the best ways to build your self-esteem at work is to ask for feedback. Whether it’s from your boss or colleagues, asking for constructive criticism will help you improve yourself and grow as an individual.

Here are some tips on how to do this:

Cohabitation – Is Reform on its Way?

In last month’s publication of our journal, there was an article on the “Top Three Legal Myths’, which included the myth regarding cohabitation, i.e. of there being no such thing as a ‘common law wife’, or a ‘common law husband’, or indeed a ‘common law marriage’, that is to say a couple who are living together, with or without their children, and are not married or under a civil partnership. As was shown, the conception of such a thing is, in fact, a misconception – and it can be a serious one at that. If that relationship breaks down, such couples have extremely few rights when it comes to aspects such as finances, property and most seriously of all, the children of their relationship,

Legal Secretary Vacancies December 2022

Here is a selection of vacancies from our Legal Secretary Jobs Board this month:

Legal Secretary – LF Legal Limited  
Location: Central London
Salary: £20,000-£30,000

An opportunity has arisen for a Legal Secretary (remote) to join a small legal practice specialising in different areas of law, including areas such as company commercial, immigration, litigation and dispute resolution, family law, white collar crime and litigation, but not necessarily limited to them.

For this role, the candidate must have had experience working within a law firm as a Legal Secretary for at least five years. This is an ever-evolving role, and the nature of duties will develop and alter with the progression of time and the gaining of experience.

Introducing the 2022 Winners of the PA of the Year Awards

Last month saw the gathering of PAs, EAs and Office Managers, from across the UK, to celebrate the annual SecsintheCity PA of the Year Awards, sponsored by Tay Associates.

Boasting the splendour of the Ivy in London, the event saw hopeful nominees, friends, and supportive colleagues gather to celebrate the achievement of all those involved.

Having received an outstanding 700 nominations, the judges whittled down the nominees to just 19. 

Assess your Legal Administration Skills

Everyone in the legal profession is confronted with a degree of administration duties. As a legal secretary this is an area you are expected to lead on. You may have years of “admin” experience and already consider yourself an expert, but it can be very beneficial to take an assessment of your current skill level from time to time. You may also just be starting in the legal profession, so we will start with the basics before considering what kinds of advanced skills would help you achieve expert status.

Useful Blogs for Legal Secretaries and PAs

Blogs are a fantastic, but often shamefully underrated resource. Think about it, where else can you access free, constantly updated, and tailored information from some of the world’s lead thinkers in their area?

When considering blogs in those terms, many of you may be now thinking “Why don’t I read more blogs?” It could have a lot to do with how many bloggers there are out there- how do you know that you are getting the most accurate and relevant information for your search?

ILSPA has selected some of our favourite blogs to help you navigate the plethora out there:

All Things Admin

The Top Three Legal Myths

Many of us have a basic understanding of some aspects of the law, but there are a few areas where myths seem to persist. For example, is there such a thing as a Common Law wife or husband? Does a Will guarantee your wishes will be followed after your death? And if you break the law unwittingly because you genuinely didn’t know the action you took was illegal, the courts will be lenient. These are three commonly held beliefs – but how accurate are they?

Let’s take a look at each in turn: 

Myth 1: ‘Common Law Wife or Husband’.

Have you ever thought that living with a long-term partner gives you ‘legal’ rights in law similar to that of a married couple?

If so, then you are wrong! There is no such thing as a ‘common law wife or husband’.

Quiet Quitting: An Impossible Concept for the Admin Industry?

‘Quiet Quitting’ is the new buzz phrase, born from lockdown where people have started to re-evaluate their priorities and work/life balance. Gathering speed on social media, it essentially means ‘just staying within the parameters of your job description’ – doing no more, and no less, than what is required by your contract. For example, no more staying late at work, checking emails outside of your contracted work hours, or volunteering to do the ‘nice to have but not really necessary’ jobs, such as organising social events outside of office hours.