To Sue or Not to Sue

Civil Litigation Procedure - Part 1Civil Litigation Procedure

The Rules of Civil Litigation

The law is fundamentally about knowing what the rules are. Every area of law will have particular rules that must be followed. In litigation it is important to be familiar with the correct rules because if you are not, then inevitably your opponent (or the court itself) will be all too happy to point out the error of your ways! Worse still, if you make a major mistake, you may be liable to pay your opponent’s legal costs or even lose a case entirely.

Moving Up or Moving On?

Changing jobsTips for your Career Success

Having worked in the recruitment industry for over a decade I have met many candidates who believe that moving to a new company will be the answer to their prayers. That new job, with more money, increased responsibility and additional training opportunities, is something that many aspire to. Before giving in to your desires and jumping ship, it’s worth double-checking to see if your needs can be met in your current company.

So how do you progress up the ladder and not get overlooked by your bosses?

E-conveyancing

econveyancingA brave new world and what it means for you

People working in the property sector will now be familiar with the Land Registry's 'e-conveyancing' programme. Whether they know much about the specifics is another matter. The Land Registry's plan has been to phase in 'paperless conveyancing,' with 2008 and 2009 seeing the launch of a number of new features. A fully functional 'e-conveyance' system may not be available until 2010, but such a fundamental change to the process of buying and selling land was never going to happen overnight.

Citizen Trust Training Charity

Citizens TrustI was recently invited to attend a meeting to discuss training and employment opportunities with a private training charity called Citizen Trust. I was greeted there by a friendly and warm-hearted adviser named Jasmine, who told me about the services of Citizen Trust. The training covers how to apply for employment, tips on filling out application forms, role played in groups, being interviewed, and feedback given by the training to each customer client as a former student of Citizen Trust.

I found the training very useful. I learnt to be more assertive, to approach employers with my updated CV, and discovered skills I did not know I had, like networking. I developed essential business skills and now have my own network, which is essential for support advice in all areas of life.

A Day in the Life of a Legal Secretary

dayinlife.png.460x277_q100.jpgI joined the firm Trowers & Hamlins in 1998 to assist a partner in setting up the Bahrain office. We started with two rented desks from Ernst & Young. This was my first time working with lawyers and it was a real eye-opener. I had been working for the management consulting arm of KPMG, so I was used to working on lengthy documents, but not so used to the exacting standards required in a law firm. I now try to assist new secretaries and trainees to come to terms with what, in the non-legal world, would be treated as being particularly pedantic. I appreciate how the insertion of a comma can change the emphasis of a point, or inserting the word “reasonable” will allow a clause to be accepted by all parties to the contract.

Profile - Amanda Hamilton, Tutor

How did you become a tutor with the Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs?Amanda Hamilton

I was teaching my own courses through my company, AH Paralegal Training, which was accredited by the National Association of Paralegals. The General Secretary of the association approached me in 1999 about the Legal Secretaries Diploma course which they had been conducting through distance learning and asked me if I would be interested in teaching it as a class attendance course.

Several years later, the Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs took over the Legal Secretaries Diploma course and asked whether I would continue teaching for them.

Tell us about your legal experience

Preparing to Write a Report

Everyone has to write a report at some stage in their career. A well written report canWriting a report further your career, since people see not only the content and well reasoned arguments or recommendations, but also the confidence and clarity with which it is written.

But preparation is key when writing a report: "If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail". So time spent at this stage will mean that your report is more focussed, it will be written with the reader in mind and it will be structured into a logical order, avoiding repetition. By preparing more thoroughly you will also be able to write your reports quicker and do fewer drafts – if you prepare really well you may only have to write it once. So here are the top ten tips to help with preparation.

Employment Law Update

Employment LawA Round Up of Recent Developments

With a new Employment Bill working it way through Parliament and expected to come into force in April 2009 we have focused on a few of the Bills main provisions. There have also been a number of recent developments in relation to protection from harassment at work.

The Employment Law Bill

A Century Later

A Centuary LaterDNA Proves a Hanged Man Was Innocent

‘It is one of the most notorious cases in British legal history, the story of an apparently mild-mannered doctor who poisoned and dismembered his showgirl wife, then fled across the Atlantic with his young lover – only to be caught after a sharp-eyed captain recognized him from the newspaper,’ writes Martin Hodgson in The Guardian of 17th October 2007.

Hodgson tells the story thus:

Dr Hawley Crippen was hanged in 1910, after an Old Bailey jury took just 27 minutes to find him guilty of murdering his wife, Cora, who had vanished earlier that year.

Nearly a century later, research appears to show that the evidence which sent Crippen to the gallows was mistaken: the human remains discovered under his London house could not be those of Cora.

ILSPA Members' Working Lives

workinglife.png.460x277_q100.jpgLegal Secretaries help with the smooth running of law firms and can work in barristers’ chambers, local authorities, law courts and with the police. They hold a wealth of professional skills and overall they must be excellent secretaries with an understanding of law and legal procedures, computer literate, have good communication and organisational skills, an eye for detail and professional acumen. The work can be challenging and demanding so being calm and confident is essential.