Rebecca Bouhsine is a successful Legal Secretary and current Student here at the Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs. Having previously completed ILSPA’s Legal Secretaries Diploma and our Civil Litigation Advanced Diploma, Rebecca is currently working towards her Criminal Law Advanced Diploma with us. Rebecca kindly took time out of her busy schedule to talk to us about her role, her studies and what advice she would give to others who want to enter the profession.
What does your role involve at Voisin Law?
My role at Voisin Law can vary from day to day, and no day is the same. I am currently based within the litigation department and work for three fee earners whose roles are very different from each other. My role can involve assisting the criminal advocate by attending Court or the prison and helping take client notes. This is my favourite part of the role, as I get to interact with the client and have a better sense of the case. My role also consists of audio typing, preparing end-of-month bills, opening and closing of matters, and e-filing emails, as well as preparing Court bundles and documents. I also assist on reception when cover is needed.
What is the best part of your role?
The best part of my role is that it can be very diverse, which means I am constantly learning. Some areas can be more challenging than others, but once the task is completed, I get a sense of achievement.
How did you come to work in the legal profession?
I had given up my nail business and was looking to go back to an office job as I had some office skills and had just completed my Pitman Secretarial Diploma, so I sent my CV to a job agency and was given the opportunity to interview for the role of office junior at Voisin Law, and that was the start of my office career at Voisin Law.
How did you find your studies with ILSPA?
I have found studying with ILSPA very useful, and it has definitely given me a better understanding of my job. I feel that studying with ILSPA has given me more confidence in understanding my role as a secretary. I also like the fact that studying with ILSPA has been achievable, especially when trying to find work–life balance.
In your experience, what skills are highly valued in a Legal Secretary?
Since becoming a secretary, I believe the skills that are highly valued are being able to multitask and prioritise, especially when your colleagues are on holiday and you need to cover the workload. You may have to stop one task to be able to do another. I also believe that it’s important to not let the pressure of stressed fee earners or advocates get to you, especially when you’re being used as a virtual punchbag. You just need to remember that it is not you and tomorrow is a new day.
If there was one piece of advice you would give someone who has just entered the profession, what would it be?
That being a secretary isn’t just about typing. It is very much a diverse job and because of that, it may seem overwhelming to begin with. But you should never be afraid to ask questions as that is the only way you’re going to learn. Better to ask than get it wrong! I also believe that showing your initiative where you can is also a great start and is definitely recognised.
We would like to thank Rebecca for taking the time to speak with us. She is a great inspiration for ILSPA’s Students and Members. We wish her the very best with her qualification and future career.
If you would like to train to become a Legal Secretary or are interested in expanding your knowledge in a particular area like Rebecca, please take a look at the course information page on our website.