6 Resources That Every ILSPA Student Should Utilise

Are you a Student currently enrolled on a course with ILSPA? ILSPA’s Legal Secretaries Diploma and Single Subject Legal Courses are excellent qualifications that will teach you the legal knowledge and procedures you need to become a competent and successful Legal Secretary.

We would like to highlight some other resources that will complement your studies by giving you access to even more knowledge, learning and support.

ILSPA’s Glossary of Legal Terminology

You may have spotted this in the Introduction module of the Legal Secretaries Diploma course material. Single Subject Students may not be aware that they can also access this document in the Student Resources section found at the bottom of our online Student and Member Area home page.

The Legal Glossary is an essential aid for your studies. It allows you to easily look up and understand the correct legal terminology throughout your course and your career. Being comfortable with legal terminology will not only benefit your studies but it will also set you apart as a confident Legal Secretary.

Legal Secretary Vacancies June 2021

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

Legal Secretary – Larbey Evans Ltd

Location: Bristol

Salary: Up to £30,000 + Fantastic Benefits

National law firm is looking to hire a new Legal Secretary/PA to join their busy Professional & Financial Risks Group.

Applicants require previous Legal PA experience, must have excellent client care and organisation skills, as well as a proactive attitude.

View the full job description here:           

https://www.institutelegalsecretaries.com/jobs/candidate/job/175056/

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.

The Art of Concentration

The art of concentration is an important skill to master. Whether for studying, working or managing your home life, being able to concentrate and focus when you need to is often essential. This is especially true in roles such as that of a Legal Secretary, where attention to detail and fine-tuned organisation are paramount. There is so much advice out there on how to improve concentration. You may already be familiar with tips such as taking breaks, removing distractions and creating a designated work/study environment. These things often seem like common sense, and many people try their hardest to implement them, but are they enough?

You would definitely not be alone in finding that despite your best efforts, your concentration is still sometimes lacking. The fact is that a person’s ability to concentrate, and do it well, is often innate. No matter how much you work on controlling the external factors, there will still be things that you are not even aware of working against your being able to concentrate.

In this article we discuss these important internal factors that are often overlooked.

Constant sensory input

Magic and Silver Circle Law Firms: What You Need to Know

For those seeking employment in the legal sector, there are few destinations more prestigious than the “Magic Circle” and “Silver Circle” law firms. These organisations are famous around the world, with hard-earned reputations for excellence.

This select group of legal firms have become widely known for their commitment to the very highest standards of performance and success. As such, obtaining a role with these companies can be seen as a real marker of accomplishment for the UK’s most skilled legal professionals.

Here, we explore the firms that comprise the Magic Circle and Silver Circle, looking at what differentiates these organisations and what is expected of those chosen to represent these firms.

What is the Magic Circle?

The term “Magic Circle” was first coined by the legal media in the 1990s to describe the most prestigious, high-performing law firms in London. All the members of the Magic Circle are known for their high-profile corporate and finance work, overseeing multi-billion-pound transactions and delivering the highest earnings per lawyer of any law firm headquartered in the UK.

Tips for Effective Legal Writing

Good writing skills are fundamental for any Legal Secretary. Most jobs in the legal sector will have some reference in the job description to “excellent communication skills” and this will include written communication. Even if writing skills are not specified, a high standard will still be expected.

We would like to give you some tips to help you spot good legal writing, as well as provide suggestions on how you can improve your own and the standard of others’ written communication.

Keep errers in cheque?

Perhaps the sub-heading speaks volumes about how simple writing errors can totally change your view of how competent someone, or an organisation, is. Errors in language are a “red button” issue for Legal Secretaries as part of what they are paid to do is have an eye for detail. A lack of attention to grammar, punctuation and spelling will be treated seriously. If you produce documents full of mistakes, then not only will the firm’s professional image be dented but the quality of the advice may be questioned.

You’re Invited to LegalEx 2021

ILSPA has partnered up with LegalEx as it makes its much-anticipated return as a live event this year.

LegalEx 2021, taking place on July 7 & 8 at ExCeL London, is the must-attend event to meet industry thought leaders, regulators at the forefront of legislation and code of conduct changes, and experts in client success, technology and business development.

Your FREE registration gives you access to two days of educational seminars from some of the world’s top legal experts, innovators and forward-thinking speakers. Criminal barrister and TV host Robert Rinder will be discussing why legal aid is in crisis and what we, the legal community, can do about it, while I. Stephanie Boyce, President of the Law Society, will be discussing diversity and inclusion within the legal sector and the role technology plays in terms of access to justice, digital engagement, mental health and the rule of law.

Could You Wear the Same Outfit for a Month?

It sounds like a difficult task, doesn’t it? Questions might pop into your head like “How would I keep it clean?” or “What will people think of me?” However, Marina Testino put her reservations aside and did exactly that. Her intention was to dispel the belief that we need to continually wear new clothes to keep up with fashion, and she simply wore the same red suit for one month. Whilst finding it liberating not having to choose something different to wear each day, she made an important statement about consumerism. There is a lot to be said for keeping things simple. You can find Marina on Instagram @ #onedresstoimpress.

The fashion industry is considered to be the second largest polluter in the world, after the oil industry. All too often, we can be guilty of going shopping when we need to lift our mood or we want to impress others. Whilst wearing the same outfit for a month might not be appealing, there are many ways in which we can reduce our footprint when it comes to fashion. Here are some ideas.

Buy second-hand clothes

Will Electronic Signatures Become the Norm?

Some changes have been made as to how important conveyancing documents are lawfully signed. These changes were made early in the novel coronavirus lockdown, but they may become a permanent feature of conveyancing practice. 

Since July 2020, HM Land Registry has been accepting electronic signatures. This is not something totally new. One form of electronic signature, the digital signature, has been legally enabled since the Land Registration Act 2002. What has changed is the high level of take-up by the profession since last year. During the lockdowns of the past year, the benefit of using remote signature methods is obvious. Perhaps what has also driven this change is that the use of a simpler type of witnessed electronic signature has been permitted. The term “electronic signature” can cover:

  • A simple replacement of a wet signature, which is easy to do but is potentially less secure. This would include witnessed electronic signatures and “mercury” signatures (described in more detail below).
  • A “digital signature” as permitted since 2002 involves a process that positively identifies the signatory and encrypts documents so they cannot be altered.

 

Unexpected Positives of the Past Year Within the Legal Profession

This past year has seen some unprecedented changes and unpredictable moments for most of us, in both our working and personal lives. As restrictions continue to ease and life slowly starts to shift back to “normal”, we would like to reflect on the past year. Here at ILSPA, we believe that it is important to find and focus on positives. So in the interest of inspiring and uplifting our Students and Members, we want to share some unexpected positives that have been happening in our profession over the past year.          

Recruitment

After slowing down this past year, we are now seeing a rise in recruitment and positions needing to be filled. Many companies continued to recruit throughout the pandemic and adapted their recruitment, interviewing and onboarding processes to meet their needs during the lockdowns. As time has gone on, other firms have adopted these new methods also, and we have seen some exciting changes to legal recruitment. 

The Best Legal Secretary CVs on the Market

Working on the business support offering at Interlink Recruitment has exposed me to many curriculum vitae (CVs) from Legal Secretaries and Legal Personal Assistants (PAs). In this article, I will be exploring what makes a fantastic CV for a Legal Secretary or Legal PA and what in particular makes a candidate stand out to me when sourcing for roles.

A key attribute I look out for when sourcing appropriate candidates for a more senior Legal Secretary position is how their experience aligns with the role. Law firms are often looking for immediate assistance within their existing departments and, therefore, would prefer a candidate with the relevant experience within that practice area. The reason for this is that having experience working in a practice area means that the candidate is competent working with certain legal documents and processes, making it far easier for them to assist effectively.

Although having that experience is an advantage, it is not always a requirement. There are often many transferable skills that can be applied to a practice area regardless of whether a candidate has worked within it before.