How to Choose the Right Paralegal Course

With the paralegal profession emerging as the fastest growing in the legal sector, it’s so important to choose the right course – one that is bespoke, fit for purpose and robust.

There are many providers who see a potential market for offering courses, and it is becoming a bit of a minefield, so here are a few tips about what you should be aware of before you take the step to pay for any paralegal course:

Are the paralegal courses expressed to be specifically paralegal, or are they general legal courses?

This is important because if they are described to be “paralegal courses” in the marketing, but the name of the course does not have the term “paralegal” in it, then they probably have not been developed specifically for paralegal professionals. It’s most likely that they relate to other general legal studies or are geared towards another profession.

10 Tips for Starting a New Job Remotely

A number of firms are beginning to use virtual onboarding processes for new legal employees. We share our tips for making an impact when starting from home.

With new responsibilities, new people and new expectations, starting a new legal role can be an anxiety-inducing time even for the most seasoned professionals. But what if you’re starting your new job from your own home?

As a result of the health and safety measures designed to reduce the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, numerous employers are making use of virtual interview and onboarding processes. So, if you’re entering into a new role in the coming weeks or months, there’s a high possibility you will be doing so remotely.

Due to the particular challenges associated with virtual onboarding and the probability that members of the TotallyLegal community will experience such a situation, we have assembled this handy guide on how to start a new job remotely.

Find out about your onboarding process

LegalEx Virtual 2020

As announced last year, ILSPA has partnered up with LegalEx as it makes its much-anticipated return, this time in a virtual platform on 2-3 December 2020, hosting the most comprehensive and all-encompassing event dedicated to facilitating business growth and professional development for legal professionals and firms.

Your FREE ticket will give you access to 100 cutting-edge exhibitors and two days of CPD-accredited educational seminars from some of the world’s top legal experts, innovators and forward-thinking speakers.

Seminars will span the entire legal spectrum from technology to marketing and everything in between.

Legal Secretaries who attend will be able to learn more about programmes and software used within their day-to-day roles from virtual exhibitors such as Clio, Osprey and DPS Software.

Browse the virtual exhibition including ILSPA partners TotallyLegal and Simply Law Jobs, and network with fellow Legal Secretaries and representatives from many law firms throughout the country in the virtual networking area.

ILSPA’s Live Online Classes

The Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs are delighted to be offering new live online classes, which start on Wednesday 27 January 2021. Online classes have become a very popular form of learning due to the growth of virtual communication during the current pandemic.

To celebrate the announcement of our new study method, we are offering an early bird discount of £100 to all Students who enrol before 30 November 2020.

ILSPA's Legal Secretaries Diploma course is equivalent to a Level 3 qualification. You will learn about the day-to-day tasks of a Legal Secretary, various areas of law, the legal profession and how the court system operates. The course also covers legal terminology, legal document production, how to complete legal forms and how to type professional correspondence. ILSPA’s qualification is recognised by law firms and legal recruiters.

Being Positive in the Face of Job Rejections

In a world full of greater competition, highly qualified candidates and fewer opportunities, job rejections are inevitable. With the COVID-19 pandemic impacting the global economy, many people are finding it harder than ever to look for jobs. However, job rejection is not always the biggest ordeal; it is the aftermath of job rejections, which begins with doubting yourself and your abilities, suffering from imposter syndrome, and feeling demotivated in pursuing a career in your chosen field. Candidates often find job rejections extremely disheartening, and it takes a toll on their mental health and their perspectives. Being rejected, whether after submitting an application or after many rounds of interviews, is part of the job search process; it is therefore important to keep in mind that you have to keep on trying. It is essential to stay calm and remain positive even in the face of adversity and rejections. It is all part of the process, and you can choose to grow from it.

Next steps

If you feel lost after a job rejection and do not know where to begin again, this article might assist you.

Create a contingency plan

Legal Secretary Vacancies November 2020

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

Executive Assistant/Legal PA – Russell Cooke LLP

Location: Putney

Salary: Competitive

Russell Cooke LLP’s Private Client team in Putney is seeking a highly motivated, professional Executive Assistant who can demonstrate a breadth of skills and experience.

The successful candidate will work in a supportive collegiate team that is widely recognised for its expertise in this area.

View the full job description here:     

Senior Legal Secretary – Horne Engall & Freeman T/A Rigby Golding

Location: Sunbury On Thames

Salary: £25,000 - £35,000 P.A Depending on Experience

Long established Surrey Law firm mainly dealing in Conveyancing and Probate.

The position available is for a Senior Legal Secretary with a minimum of 5 years experience in Conveyancing Legal Secretary work.

View the full job description here:             

We Need 1.6 Planets to Sustain Us

Every year, the Global Footprint Network (GFN) calculates Earth Overshoot Day. This is the day when our consumption exceeds the regeneration of nature on our planet. Last year this happened in July – however, due to the coronavirus, it was recorded on 22 August this year. As human activity has been limited, the earth has had a little bit of a chance to recover.

Interestingly, Earth Overshoot Day happens on different days for other countries. Some of the biggest consumers of the world’s resources are Qatar, whose Earth Overshoot Day is in February, and United Arab Emirates and America, where it is recorded in March. Countries such as Cuba, Iraq and Indonesia seem to consume the least, with the day being set in December.

Earth Overshoot Day was first recorded in 1970, and there has been a significant downward trend since then:

1980 – 4 November

1990 – 11 October

2000 – 23 September

2010 – 7 August

2019 – 29 July

Since the 1970s, not only have our lifestyles changed but the earth’s population has almost doubled. This has led to the consumption of more of its resources. The GFN has stated that humanity needs 1.6 planets to sustain itself at our current rate.

Virtual Witnesses and Changes to Probate

Since lockdown, the social distancing rules have thrown up many issues for lawyers. Wills and probate lawyers warned the government at the start of the crisis that clients were finding it more difficult to make Wills. Worse still, this was happening at the very time when Wills were most needed. Many solicitors were able to find ways to still get the work done while maintaining social distancing, but this was not always possible. One of the most difficult problems was satisfying the requirement that a Will be properly witnessed.

In a welcome move, the government has made a temporary change to the witnessing rules allowing Wills to be witnessed by video link. The Ministry of Justice announcement represents a significant change to the 183-year-old rules which dictate how Wills (and codicils) are made in England and Wales.

Under the current rules, to be valid, a Will must be signed in the presence of two independent adult witnesses. This means physical presence. Under the new rules, virtual presence via video link has been permitted provided strict guidelines are followed.

Video Interview Like a Pro

COVID-19 is having all kinds of far-reaching effects on everyone’s lives. And in recruitment, one of the biggest impacts is an inevitable switch to video interviewing.

But video interviewing has become far more common over recent years anyway. So, sharpening your video interview skills now won’t just be useful during this extraordinary period, but for your future career too.

Here are a selection of insider tips on video interviewing like a pro from everyone at Ambition.

Plan in advance

A video interview is no different from any other interview in terms of content. Don’t expect the questions to be any easier or the interviewer to be any more lenient.

If anything, the more impersonal nature of the video interview can cause interviewers to ask more searching questions, as they don’t directly feel your discomfort in answering.

So, do your research on the company and the role in just the same way you would for a “regular” interview.

Dress for an interview

Dress as if you are going in for your first day. A casual shirt and jeans may make you feel more at home, but it could make the interviewer feel like you aren’t taking the opportunity seriously – even if only subconsciously.

The Habit of Procrastination

You’ve unpacked the dishwasher, reloaded the dishwasher, descaled the kettle, updated your Facebook status to say how shocked you are at the amount of limescale in the kettle, made a frothy coffee, posted a photo of the coffee on Instagram and liked every article in your LinkedIn feed. You tell yourself it’s because cleanliness is next to godliness, you need the caffeine and you should engage with your connections. But the real reason is you don’t want to reformat the tables in the 300-page prospectus. Sound familiar?

Here’s another scenario: I took three days to write this article because I had to allow the ideas to develop in my mind before I put pen to paper. Was I delaying or was I procrastinating?