An Interview with ILSPA Student Vicky Cons

Vicky Cons was working as a full-time Team Manager at Tesco when she decided to take the plunge and begin her studies to become a Legal Secretary. Little did she know that soon after starting her studies the world would go into lockdown. Clearly not one to be deterred, Vicky continued to work full time as a key worker throughout the pandemic. She completed ILSPA’s Legal Secretaries Diploma with a distinction and secured her first Legal Secretary role while still waiting for her results.

Vicky kindly took the time to speak to ILSPA about how she found her studies and looking for work during the pandemic. She also provided some great advice for Students who plan to look for work before they have completed the course.

What were you doing before studying with ILSPA?

Before and during studying with ILSPA, I worked at Tesco as a Team Manager full time.

What was it about being a Legal Secretary that interested you, and why did you decide to study ILSPA’s Legal Secretaries Diploma?

Legal Secretary Vacancies March 2021

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

Legal Secretary – Brightstone Law LLP

Location: Elstree

Salary: £24,000 (Depending on experience)

A position has become available for a Legal Secretary to support fee earners across the firm, and in particular to the Wills and Probate department, to cover maternity leave for 6 months from the beginning of March 2021. The firm is based in Elstree, Hertfordshire.

View the full job description here:   

Legal Secretary – Latham & Co

Location: Loughborough

Salary: £17,000-£19,000

Latham & Co are looking for a Legal Secretary with a whole range of excellent secretarial skills to work in the property team based at our Loughborough Office.

Experience in Residential and Commercial Property is desirable but not essential as training can be provided. Knowledge of the use of online services such as the Land Registry and HMRC would again be desirable but not essential.

View the full job description here:           

Top 6 Legal Podcasts to Listen to in 2021

Podcasts are one of the most rapidly growing media forms of the 21st century. In 2020, an estimated 15.6 million listeners tuned in, with more than £33 million being spent on podcast advertising as businesses sought to capitalise on this boom.

For those with very little spare time on their hands – such as legal professionals – podcasts are an excellent way to digest information while going about everyday life. You can listen to a podcast while walking, running, commuting or cooking, and take in new and fascinating information in the process.

There is a plethora of excellent legal podcasts available in the UK, so it can be hard to know where to start. We’ve compiled a list of our top six legal podcasts to get you started.

UK Law Weekly

With episodes at just 10 minutes long, this legal podcast is served in perfect bite-sized chunks, allowing you to focus on and digest recent legal decisions and news. Hosted by Marcus Cleaver, a former university lecturer in law, the podcast concentrates on a different case each week, ranging from housing and immigration cases to international commercial patent controversies. If you’re curious about the particularities of cases, this legal podcast is for you.

More From Law with Harry Clark

Response to COVID-19 Prompts Relaunch of Simply Law Jobs

Our industry partner, Simply Law Jobs, has announced that the legal job site is undergoing the biggest transformation in its 18-year history.

Based on in-depth research into the industry, as well as extensive feedback and insights provided by Simply Law Jobs’ clients and jobseekers, the site will be relaunched with a brand-new look, new and exciting features, and old favourites that have been updated or revamped.

The job site has been optimised so jobseekers and recruiters can connect in the quickest and easiest way possible. This includes better search filters, enhanced candidate profiles, prompts to provide better job advert descriptions, and an improved candidate management system to manage job applications more efficiently. 

The relaunch also aims to eliminate common bugbears of jobseekers, such as excessive time spent applying for vacancies and not hearing back from employers after applying for jobs.

Microsoft Office Specialist Courses – 50% Discount

Prodigy Learning has recently announced that it has added even more Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) courses to its website. As ILSPA Members receive an exclusive 50% discount on these courses, we want to take a moment to explain what is available, how these courses work and why now is a great time to improve your Microsoft Office skills.  

ILSPA Members can now buy self-paced courses to become an MOS in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook or Access for Office 2013, Office 2016 or the latest Office 365/2019 version. Additionally, for certain Office 365/2019 courses, you can choose whether to study at the Associate or Expert level. With this wide range of courses, there are now more options than ever to learn desirable Microsoft skills.

Prodigy Learning’s MOS courses come in the form of a Self-Start eKit. These eKits normally retail at £215, but ILSPA Members can purchase them for just £86 with an exclusive discount code. Having the courses in the form of eKits is both convenient and efficient. They can be studied remotely and at your own pace. Once a course is purchased, a link and activation code are provided via email.

Each MOS Self-Start eKit includes the following:

How to Fix Mistakes and Learn from Failures as The Innovative Admin™

Admins are often expected to do their jobs perfectly, and with good cause – a single mistake can be costly to your company, your boss and your career. Yet The Innovative Admin knows that failure is a necessary and integral part of the innovation process. You don’t create and implement new ideas without things going wrong along the way.

The problem is we often confuse mistakes with failures when they are not exactly the same thing.

Mistakes are inaccuracies or errors that should have been caught. Typos in a document or misquoting information are mistakes. Mistakes can also be errors in judgement, poor decision-making, or misunderstanding a request or assignment. Missing a deadline or sending information to the wrong person also fall into the mistake category.

Failure is typically defined as a lack of success or may be related to underperforming. You didn’t accomplish something you set out to do. Author Seth Godin wrote, “A failure is a project that doesn’t work, an initiative that teaches you something. [Yet] at the same time the outcome [of your failure] doesn’t move you directly closer to your goal.” And it’s only when failures are repeated that they become mistakes.

Everything You Need to Know About Working in a Temp Role

Working as a temp is a brilliant way to explore different industry sectors and positions, and to gain valuable skills and experience. Many of our candidates end up securing a permanent position through their temporary placements, rather than going through the normal interview process, so a temp position can be a great introduction. Temping offers flexibility to fit around other commitments or to fill a gap in between permanent employment while you are job hunting. Read on to explore how temping works and what the opportunities are for turning a temp job into a permanent position.

What is a temp role?

A temporary role is a short-term assignment where you are employed through a recruitment agency. How long a temp job will last depends on the needs of the company requiring temporary staff. Roles vary and can be fixed term, full time or part time. There are various reasons why a client might require temporary employees, which we explore below.

– To cover a leave of absence

Developing Skills for Success

We would like to highlight five key skills you can develop to ensure success in your career. Some of these skills are not exclusive to law, and you may already possess strengths in these areas. If you identify a skill that you need to work on, consider following some of the tips as a starting point for creating your own personal development plan.


Working in a team

Being able to work as part of a team is essential to any job. Within a team, basic skills of respect and empathy are essential. You will need to have the ability to listen and take on board the opinions and advice of others. If your colleagues are able to work well with you, you create a positive and trustworthy reputation for yourself. This can enable you to progress in your career not only through the confidence you gain but also in how you are viewed by your employer.

While many professionals are working from home at the moment, it is still possible for you to make a positive contribution to your team remotely. Every interaction you have with your colleagues, whether it is via email, telephone or Zoom, can lead to a stronger relationship with them.

Developing initiative

Legal Secretary Vacancies February 2021

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

Assistant Company Secretary – Thomas Thor Associates

Location: Harwell

Salary: £40,000 - £55,000

Are you an experienced and qualified Company Secretary with experience of working with busy and demanding Boards and their Committees?

Radioactive Waste Management Limited (RWM) is looking to appoint a dedicated Assistant Company Secretary, reporting to the Head of Legal and Company Secretary, to be responsible for providing corporate governance advice and company secretarial support to the Board of Directors and each of its four Committees.

View the full job description here:   

Executive Assistant – In House Legal – Lawson Clark Limited

Location: London

Salary: £45,000

In house at the top of a major business information group, this is a rare opportunity for someone with Legal PA/EA experience to take on an Executive Assistant role, working with their General Counsel. In a role where you can really exercise your EA abilities.

Why LinkedIn Is an Essential Tool for Legal Secretaries

Remote working, video meetings, online systems and digital appointments are now standard parts of the daily working lives of legal professionals. Due to the pandemic, people have had to turn to online and digital alternatives for many aspects of their work. This is also true for other areas of our professional lives. Networking, professional development and career progression are still required, even though conventional face-to-face events, interviews and conferences are on hold. One of the best online resources available in this respect is LinkedIn.

While we are working from home, it is beneficial and motivating to be part of a community. In this article, ILSPA will outline why LinkedIn is an essential tool for Legal Secretaries (and other legal professionals) in the current climate.