SecsintheCity Launches 10th Annual PA of the Year Awards

The UK’s only dedicated business support job board, SecsintheCity, has just opened nominations for its 10th annual PA of the Year Awards. If you’re a Personal Assistant (PA), Executive Assistant (EA), Legal PA or Office Manager, you could be the winner of one of these momentous accolades.

Nominations are now open for the 2021 PA of the Year Awards, an annual celebration of the essential support provided by PAs and EAs to the businesses and individuals they work for.

PA of the Year Award nominations will close on 10 September 2021, after which our judging panel will interview a shortlist of finalists to select a winner in each of the following categories:

  • PA of the Year
  • Legal PA of the Year
  • Office Manager of the Year


Sarah EL-Doori, Marketing Director at SecsintheCity, said the awards are designed “to champion the profession. As the role continues to evolve, it’s vital that PAs and EAs recognise the value they bring to their managers, teams and organisations.”

Why nominate for the PA of the Year Awards 2021?

Winning a PA of the Year Award is the ultimate recognition of your hard work and achievements as a business support professional.

Mental Health Awareness Week

We can all agree that mental health is an important topic. But how many of us are actively prioritising it in our daily work routine? In honour of Mental Health Awareness Week, 10 – 16 May 2021, we want to share some simple things that you can incorporate into your day to help your mental wellbeing.

Get out into nature

This year’s theme for Mental Health Awareness Week is “nature”. Nature has many restorative and healthful properties. It is proven to reduce stress and anxiety. LawCare, an association that offers emotional support for legal professionals, explains that as workers in a busy sector, “we often think we don’t have time to take a proper break during the working day, but having a break outside can make all the difference to your productivity and give you perspective on a work issue. Researchers found that time spent in nature can renew our attention spans when they are flagging after a hard day’s work or an extended period staring at a screen – this is known as Attention Restoration Therapy (ART).

Take a break

Executive Support Events Presents ES Tech

Technical skills are number three in the top 10 skills required for Legal Secretaries. Many Fee Earners expect their Legal Secretaries to be tech-savvy in order to ensure they can use the relevant legal technology to perform their tasks efficiently. ES Tech will feature two days of intensive training, workshops, keynotes, product focuses, case studies and networking opportunities guaranteed to upskill any Legal Secretary.

The online event will take place over 15 and 16 September 2021. It will include:

Legal Secretary Vacancies May 2021

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

Legal Secretary – Highgate Hill Solicitors

Location: London

Salary: Market Competitive

Legal secretary urgently required to work in a dynamic law firm with a market competitive salary.

View the full job description here:   

Residential and Commercial Property Secretary– Vivash Brand LLP

Location: Sutton

Salary: £22,000

This role will be to assist Fee Earners within the property department with busy, mixed property caseloads in their day-to-day work by providing support and an efficient secretarial and administrative service. The role demands a high standard of English grammar and excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to work on own initiative and to a high standard.

View the full job description here:   

Conveyancing Legal Secretary – Slater Bradley & Co

Legal Secretary Vacancies April 2021

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

Float Secretary – Pickerings Solicitors

Location: Tamworth

Salary: Dependent on experience

Pickerings Solicitors is looking for an experienced Legal Secretary to join their team.    

The job holder will provide secretarial and administrative support to various departments, as and when needed, and will assist fee earners in delivering a high-quality legal service to our clients.  Responsibilities include client liaison, organising meetings, audio and copy typing, file opening, filing and the completion of legal forms.           

View the full job description here:   

Part Time Legal Secretary – Divorce and Finance Team – Pickerings Solicitors

Location: Tamworth

Salary: Dependent of experience

Pickerings Solicitors currently has a vacancy for a part time Legal Secretary to join their Divorce and Finance team. They are ideally looking for someone who can work 21 hours per week across 3-5 days. 

17 Diary Management Tips for Busy PAs

Personal Assistant diary management is a huge task. Some employers have complex and often overwhelming diaries which can take up huge chunks of your time.

To be a successful PA, it’s imperative to be able to stay on top of your boss’s diary; otherwise, it could lead to missed appointments or important life events. So, what can you do to achieve highly effective PA diary management?

In this article, we share our very best diary management tips for PAs.

What is diary management?

Diary management involves managing the diary and day-to-day life of a business leader. While this task may appear rather straightforward, there’s a lot more to it than simply keeping track of important events.

Key PA diary management tasks can involve:

Joelson to Provide Mentoring Scheme to ILSPA Students

The Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs is delighted to announce that Joelson will be offering mentoring to three lucky Students.

Founded in 1956 (as Joelson Wilson), Joelson is a top-ranked, multidisciplinary law firm providing first-class, partner-led services to their clients. Their services cover many sectors, including property, litigation, and corporate and commercial law. Joelson’s offices are based in Central London, although they act for clients internationally throughout Europe and all over the world. They have well-established relationships with firms throughout Europe, China and the US.

Many of Joelson’s lawyers and support staff have worked at the firm for many years, which has led to a family atmosphere. In turn, this has helped the firm provide an effective, friendly service and develop long-standing relationships with their clients. They are now looking to apply this inclusive and supportive approach to the mentoring scheme.

The mentoring will take place over a 12-month period and happen alongside ILSPA studies. It will include the following:

Improving Your English

Learning a new language as an adult is always a daunting challenge.

You might have spent years learning a new language and, finally, you have the opportunity to use these new skills in your career. Making sure that you have a high level of English aptitude is important for communicating with clients and producing important documentation.

Take a look at some of our strategies that you can implement in your daily life to improve your English skills.

Speaking English fluently

Language learners are often intimidated by communicating with native speakers in their language.

Don’t be afraid to jump into the deep end. The quickest and best way to improve your speaking fluency is to immerse yourself in the language as much as possible.

Some ways to improve speaking fluency in your daily life:

How to Negotiate Your Salary for a New Job

In a job interview, the question about salary expectations is a loaded one. Talking about money is awkward at the best of times, but in an interview situation, it can be particularly tricky.

In a nutshell, while honesty is important, it’s better to avoid giving a specific figure. Give one that’s too high and you’ll quote yourself out of the role, too low and you’ll shoot yourself in the foot.

To navigate the question successfully and minimise embarrassment all around, there are a few steps you can take in advance of the interview.

Understand the question

First, you need to know the multitude of reasons interviewers ask this question. The obvious one is “to know the amount they’ll need to pay you”, but it’s not as straightforward as that.

What they really want to know is whether they can afford you. If you give the impression you’re too expensive, you might get yourself knocked out of the ring prematurely. But they also want to know how much you value and assert yourself, so if you price yourself too low, it could raise doubts about your self-worth or confidence level.

Guilt-Free Flying on the Horizon

We are all hopeful that the lockdown restrictions will be a thing of the past soon and we will be able to return to our normal way of living. This includes going on holiday and flying to our favourite destinations. However, many of us have heard about climate change and how the aviation industry plays a major part in contributing to damaging CO2 emissions. This puts us in a bit of a dilemma, as whilst we would love to jet off to sunnier climates, we also don’t want to harm the planet.

This may be something we will not have to face for much longer though. A new jet fuel has been developed from food waste through biorefining. The developers of the paraffin-like fuel believe that it will significantly reduce greenhouse gases, as it stops kerosene emissions and means that not as much food waste will go to landfill, where it produces methane.

The UK government’s aim is to reach net zero emissions by the year 2050. In fact, the UK was the first country to pass laws to end its contribution to global warming and has one of the most ambitious targets in the world. It intends to do this through schemes that offset greenhouse gases like planting trees and capturing and storing carbon.