An Interview with Hannah Chave – ILSPA Graduate

For our first interview of 2023, we had the pleasure of speaking to Hannah Chave who has recently graduated with us. As someone who had decided against going to university but had a passion and desire to work in law, Hannah began studying our Legal Secretaries Diploma Course to help her stand out from the crowd. Hannah talks about her experience of securing a Legal Secretary job during her studies and how the Diploma course was a great benefit to both her and her employers.     

What were you doing before you joined ILSPA?

Before beginning the ILSPA course, I worked for a NHS pharmacy. Due to the COVID lockdowns, I had taken the opportunity to work somewhere that wouldn’t be closed and staff wouldn’t be furloughed. However, in 2021 I had to take 3 months off work to have an operation. During my recovery period, I decided to begin the ILSPA Diploma in order to make my time off work as productive as possible and to gain more experience in the legal sector.

What is it about being a Legal Secretary that interests you?

I knew I did not want to go to university and so I began researching how I could work my way up the ladder within a law firm. I knew that beginning as a legal secretary would give me exposure to the legal world and hopefully help me to get my foot in the door and lead me to other training opportunities.

Why did you decide to do ILSPA's Legal Secretaries Diploma course?

I knew I wanted to pursue law since I was 13 - admittedly ‘Legally Blonde’ isn’t the most accurate representation of the legal industry! However, I knew I would need my CV to stand out from the crowd, especially if I did not have a degree, let alone a law degree. Therefore, I decided that I would make myself as employable as possible, taking as many courses as I could to show my enthusiasm and commitment to my career. ILSPA seemed to cover most areas of law which I knew would help me decide which was my favourite. Plus, it’s one of the only, if not the only, qualifications that employers recognise.

You secured your current role in a firm before completing your studies. Do you think being an ILSPA Student made you a more desirable candidate? 

Absolutely! In my initial interview I was asked a lot of questions regarding the Diploma and the Partners who interviewed me were very intrigued to know what the course had included. They seemed amazed by the content and said it even sounded like Paralegal work. I think taking this course showed a lot of commitment, even though I had not yet completed it.

How are you able to use the knowledge and skills you have gained in your role?

I was lucky even to secure my role before finishing the Diploma, however, the knowledge I had from the course helped me massively in settling in and finding confidence in my new role. I especially found the practical assessments, such as drafting Instructions to Counsel, or drafting Claim Forms helpful, as I understood the layout of the documents and the reasoning behind the tasks.

What are your future career goals?

I have always had the long-term goal of qualifying as a Solicitor and since I did not attend university, I have had my heart set on completing the CILEX courses to reach my goal. I’m extremely happy to say, that as of this month, I begin the CILEX CPQ Foundation course which, when completed, will make me a qualified Paralegal. I currently work in Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence - I absolutely love it and hope to stay in this area even after I qualify.

You can find more information about ILSPA’s Legal Secretaries Diploma Course on the course page of our website.