Defining Assaults

Defining AssultsWith so many different classifications of assaults, it can often be very confusing to determine the actual extent of an offence that may have occurred. To do so, it is necessary to consider a number of crucial aspects. These include the level and nature of any injuries sustained (i.e. the actus reus) and the offender’s intention to inflict these injuries in the first instance (i.e. the mens rea).

Security of Tenure: Refresh Your Knowledge

Any legal secretaries and PAs accustomed to working within this particular area of law will realise that it is essential to maintain an appreciation of the main types of security of tenure. It is imperative to stay on the ball if you are not dealing with this type of case on a regular basis, as this knowledge will soon become hazy and may even be forgotten.

A tenant’s security of tenure dictates the lengths to which a landlord will need to go in order to legally evict. Generally speaking, tenants who have local authorities as their landlord enjoy the most security and are often able to remain with their property even if they breach the terms of their tenancy agreement in any way. Private tenants are usually far less protected and it is often much easier for their landlord to evict them.

The Changing Face of Media Distribution

New forms of media distribution.On 17 April 2009, four men were sentenced to a year in prison and ordered to pay fines to the sum of $905,000 each for the crime of piracy on the stormy seas of the Internet. This group, of course, are the infamous collaborators behind The Pirate Bay, a website dedicated to indexing music, movies, television programs, software and books that are being shared by users of BitTorrent all over the world. The same men are also the founding members of the first political party dedicated to copyright reform, aptly titled The Pirate Party.

Realistic ‘To-Do’ Lists

Creating To Do ListsA ‘to-do’ list is a powerful way to organise yourself and to reduce stress.  Have you ever written one and never achieved what’s on it?  Or maybe you’ve written a to-do list but kept putting off the tasks to another day because something ‘more urgent’ cropped up?  If either of these sounds familiar, perhaps you need to consider whether you’re writing a to-do list or a ‘wish-to-do’ list.  Being realistic with what you put on a ‘to-do’ list is key to being able to achieve it.  The sense of achievement at the end of the day is motivating, so you’ll want to do it again the next day!  Here are the top ten tips to help you do that:

New Rules for HIPs: Introduced at the Worst Time!

HipsIt may be fair to say that Home Information Packs (HIPs) have not exactly been the most popular move of our Labour government in recent years. In fact, many estate agents, who have been questioned about these, have stipulated that HIPs are of no real benefit to buyers at the moment. Furthermore, they are an additional expense that people looking to sell their home can ill afford as the country enters an increasingly deepening recession.

New Powers for HMRC Inspectors

HM Revenue and CustomsAs of 1 April 2009, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) inspectors will have more powers to help them to deal with corporation and income tax evaders. In fact, inspectors will have the same right of entry to business premises or even home offices as is currently relevant in relation to VAT tax investigations.

Help Your Firm by Attending Court

Attending CourtThink what might happen if you were more proactive at work. If you show more willingness to advance your skills and take on increased responsibility, you will be able to make the most of your role. This will have a mutually beneficial effect, both for you and for the firm you work for.

Say, for example, you were able to take over some of the less involved work from a fee-earner and save them an average of an hour’s billable time per day, enabling them to cost that half hour out elsewhere; you could increase the firm’s gross profit. If a fee earner costs their time out to clients at, say, £200 per hour, this would mean that your firm would gain an additional gross profit of 5 x £200 per week, or £1000. This would amount to £52,000 per annum, minus time for holidays.

From Secretary to Judge

From Secretary to JudgeAchieving Your Full Potential

With the right training and attitude, you really can achieve anything. Consider the example of Britain’s longest serving judge - Lady Butler-Sloss. She took a secretarial course and then worked her way up to the top of the judiciary becoming the first woman justice of the Court of Appeal. This is not the usual path to legal eminence but shows what can be achieved if you are determined enough.

Lady Butler-Sloss was Britain’s longest serving judge at her retirement in 2005. When she was called to the bar in 1955, she was one of only 60 women among 2,000 barristers. Not only was she able to tackle the very male dominated legal profession of the 1960s, but she did this while raising her three children.

Developing Proactivity

Be ProactiveProactivity means not waiting to be asked, but having an ability to think ahead and anticipate needs, difficulties and different ways of achieving a necessary outcome.  Proactivity also means being able to identify and solve problems by making decisions.  To do all this requires knowledge, which needs constant updating plus a conscious effort to seek it out.  So here are the top ten tips to help you develop proactivity in your role:

1.    Seize the opportunity for training.  No matter that you think you’ve been doing your job for years - you can always pick up one new bit of knowledge and so turn it to your advantage.  Training is also an opportunity to network.  Sometimes it isn’t only about what you know, but who you know.

Steps to Being a Successful Legal Secretary

Wanted: Great Legal Secretary

‘A well-known law firm is looking to recruit a highly motivated and skilled legal secretary. Work 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. for a competitive salary and the opportunity to develop your own professional skills in a challenging and fast-paced environment.’

Does this advert look familiar? If you have been job hunting for any length of time, you will have seen dozens of adverts similar to the one above. You might get a few more details, like these:

  • A very high-caliber, polished candidate needed
  • Solid CV a must
  • Experience is an advantage

In the best adverts you might be lucky enough to be told such things as: