Useful Technology for VAs

TechnologyWorking from home as a Virtual Legal Assistant is a great way to freelance and find freedom in the way you work. As recently as ten years ago this sort of remote working, although not unheard of, was not really as practical as it is today. The technology just wasn’t affordable, and the legal world has been noted to be quite cautious when it comes to new technologies.

In these changing times, however, it is becoming more common for all kinds of administration tasks to be outsourced to remote workers. Budget constraints, changing attitudes and cheaper technology are leading more organisations to seek out third-party secretarial services.

Use Your Legal Secretary/PA Experience and Become a Virtual Assistant

Legal Virtual AssistantIn today’s working environment of never-ending advances in technology and the slow-burning fire of crucial green issues, more and more people and companies are looking to the alternatives, from working from home and remote working from the office to using independent workers or contractors to outsource work.

Outsourcing is not a particularly new phenomenon, but it is one that has taken hold in the modern business world and one that is growing rapidly, egged on by continual technological developments.  One positive side effect is the emergence of the virtual assistant (VA) industry.

What is a VA?

The UK Constitution: Time for a Change?

It is fair to say that there is a lot of disillusionment with our Parliament and with certain aspects of the UK constitution at the moment. There are many who feel that our system is weak, and that this has been proven over recent months as so many elected representatives to our Parliament have used their position for their own financial gain and, in some circumstances, to help out members of their own families.

One thing is clear and that is the fact that UK citizens have clearly had enough! Nothing could have demonstrated this any more plainly than the shocking results that emerged from the European Parliamentary elections. Not only was Labour relegated to third place, in terms of the number of votes received, but also clear and, in some cases, extreme opinions were communicated by way of the parties who won seats to the new EU Parliament.

The Frustration of Living With Anti-Social Behaviour: What Can Be Done?

Anti Social BehaviourAnti-social behaviour appears to be a menace that is on the increase in today’s society. Of course, such problems have always existed to a certain extent, but there is a definite statistical rise in the number of incidents reported, and both police forces and local authorities are having to find additional resources to deal with such matters.

Anti-social behaviour may come in many guises, ranging from blatant criminal damage and harassment to noise problems coming from neighbours.

The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 attempted to address this phenomenon by way of the introduction of Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (or ASBOs). These may be obtained through Magistrates’ courts, even though in actual fact they are civil law remedies. Where a person breaches an ASBO, this will then become a criminal matter.

How to Mind Map

Mind Map for Legal SecretariesMind mapping is a very powerful technique for promoting creative thinking and improving memory.  Developed by Tony Buzan, it has become a very widely used tool, primarily because it is such a visual way of planning or remembering things.  So if you need to plan or remember something, here are the top ten tips for creating and using a mind map:

1. Use A3 paper – give yourself plenty of room to develop your ideas; you can always reduce its size later if necessary. If you don’t have A3 paper to hand, the back of an envelope is equally good as a starting point.  Just transfer your initial map to A3 paper later.

Who Rules the UK?

Courts Threaten Democracy legal Secretary

What role should the Courts have in maintaining our democracy?

The summer of 2009 may be remembered as the point in time when trust in Parliament reached an all-time low. The understandable anger at the endless revelations about MP’s expenses has seemed to threaten our entire system of government. What has made matters worse is the apparent lack of real accountability for MPs.

A Career as a Virtual Assistant Might Be Just for You!

I have worked as a legal secretary for many years now, and have never been out of work since leaving school in 1983, apart from going on maternity break for a couple of years when the children were very small.  So when I was made redundant whilst working for DLA Piper in their Birmingham office in March of this year, it came as a huge shock to find myself suddenly jobless.

The Venables Website – A Personal Story

I first ‘discovered’ the Internet on a trip to the US in 1995. I was an IT consultant for a group of lawyers, and I could immediately see the possibilities that the Internet offered the legal world. I soon set up my own website at www.venables.co.uk with information that I thought would be useful for UK lawyers. At that time, only a handful of firms of solicitors had a website and there was only one other independent legal site in the UK – Nick Holmes’ infolaw (www.infolaw.co.uk). He and I met quite soon after this and agreed that the Internet was big enough for both of us, and we have been friends and colleagues (and occasionally rivals!) ever since.

Patience Is a Virtue

Do you feel frustrated or discouraged whilst waiting for something you want, such as a promotion, a new job or a new qualification?

Many people may find that their patience is being tested at the moment due to the recession. You may not be receiving the promotion you had hoped for, or perhaps finding a new job is turning out to be harder than you expected. Studying may be more difficult if you are stressed about your finances. The recession requires patience from everyone, however, remember that we are all in this together.

Office Ergonomics

Office ErgonomicsLooking After Yourself at Work

If you spend most of your work time seated at a desk, fingers tapping a keyboard and eyes glued to a screen all day, you have what is known as a sedentary job. You might think, while you are sipping a cup of tea or sending an email, that this comfy desk life exempts you from the work-related types of injuries you could get working in a danger-filled job as a tree surgeon, crab fisherman or professional ninja. Quite the opposite is true! Sedentary work has its risks. Whilst danger doesn’t lurk around every office corner, it can certainly lurk in your computer screen and even in your mouse. I am talking, of course, about the danger of repetitive strain injury.