2008

Effective Use of Time

Time ManagementWe are unlikely ever to have sufficient time to do all the things we want or need to do. Therefore, it’s vital to make the best use of the time we have available. And since time itself is not physically manageable, we have to learn to manage ourselves, our workloads, our priorities and our clutter. Here are top ten tips to help you do this:

What to do if you are Sued

Civil Litigation Procedure - Part 2What to do if you are sued

In our last article on Civil Litigation, we outlined some of the history of the current litigation rules and what should be considered before a legal claim is issued. In this article, we will consider some of the steps that a Defendant can take when responding to a claim.

Avoidance is the best policy

Checking Your Report

How to check a reportIn the last two issues we have looked at preparing and writing a report. The third and final stage of report writing is to check your report. Make sure you are methodical when checking, no matter how much you feel you know what you have written: start at the top of page one, and keep going until the last line of the last page!

Legal Secretaries Diploma in Guernsey

GTAThe nine Legal Secretaries pictured below were the first to pass the Legal Secretaries Diploma course run by advocates of the GTA University Centre in association with The Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs. The GTA worked closely with members of the local industry to deliver the course, which started in September 2007 and was tutored by Gavin Ferguson, Allan Skirrow and Philip Nicol-Gent, also pictured.

Tour of the Royal Courts of Justice

The tour we conduct takes Students around an area of London known as ‘The Temple’, where many barristers’ chambers are located, and the Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand, which contains 86 courts and 3.5 miles of corridors and houses the High Court in London and the Appeal Courts, both Civil and Criminal.

The Queen's English Society

Queens English societyGood English Matters!

Do you agree with this statement? Are you concerned, annoyed and fed up with the decline in standards in the use of our beautiful English language? If so, please read on.

The Queen’s English Society (QES) has been in existence for more than thirty-five years, but now more than ever it is important to work toward preserving the beauty and precision of the English language.

Salary Negotiations: Asking for a Pay Rise in the Current Economic Climate

Salary NegotiationIs it career suicide to ask for a pay rise in the current economic climate?

Imagine the scene – you’ve worked with the same company for a good few years and over the last two years you’ve had nothing by way of a pay increase, not even the cost of living. With margins being squeezed from all sides how do you ask for a pay rise? When it comes to asking for a pay rise, even the most confident people can suffer a crisis of confidence.

A Day in the Life of a Legal Secretary

dayinlife.png.460x277_q100.jpgI joined the firm Trowers & Hamlins in 1998 to assist a partner in setting up the Bahrain office. We started with two rented desks from Ernst & Young. This was my first time working with lawyers and it was a real eye-opener. I had been working for the management consulting arm of KPMG, so I was used to working on lengthy documents, but not so used to the exacting standards required in a law firm.

Citizen Trust Training Charity

Citizens TrustI was recently invited to attend a meeting to discuss training and employment opportunities with a private training charity called Citizen Trust. I was greeted there by a friendly and warm-hearted adviser named Jasmine, who told me about the services of Citizen Trust.

Writing a Report

In the last issue we looked at preparing to write a report. If you have been following all the tips in that issue, you are now ready to write your report! To write well, use plain English and adopt the ABC's of writing: be accurate, be brief and be clear. There is no point investing time and effort in your report only to have your readers lay it aside or ignore it because they find it full of jargon, difficult to read or badly laid out. So here are top ten tips for writing a report:

Backing Up Your Personal Files

Have you ever searched your Documents folder for hours, looking for that old copy of your CV, only to realise that it was one of the many files you lost when you took your laptop back to the Computer Mega Store to have it fixed? You may remember the embarrassment on the techy’s face when he explained how they managed to destroy the entire contents of your hard drive while they were replacing a missing key on your keyboard.

Coping Under Pressure

Coping under pressureThe phone is constantly engaged. The taxi ignores you. Your train is late. Why do minor hassles like these have the potential to make us uptight? Maybe it's because we're tightly wound already and can't find the pressure relief valve. We all live and work in a pressured world - pressure over money, commuting, technology, looking good, eating well.

ILSPA Members' Working Lives

workinglife.png.460x277_q100.jpgLegal Secretaries help with the smooth running of law firms and can work in barristers’ chambers, local authorities, law courts and with the police. They hold a wealth of professional skills and overall they must be excellent secretaries with an understanding of law and legal procedures, computer literate, have good communication and organisational skills, an eye for detail and professional acumen.

A Century Later

A Centuary LaterDNA Proves a Hanged Man Was Innocent

‘It is one of the most notorious cases in British legal history, the story of an apparently mild-mannered doctor who poisoned and dismembered his showgirl wife, then fled across the Atlantic with his young lover – only to be caught after a sharp-eyed captain recognized him from the newspaper,’ writes Martin Hodgson in The Guardian of 17th October 2007.

Hodgson tells the story thus:

Employment Law Update

Employment LawA Round Up of Recent Developments

With a new Employment Bill working it way through Parliament and expected to come into force in April 2009 we have focused on a few of the Bills main provisions. There have also been a number of recent developments in relation to protection from harassment at work.

The Employment Law Bill

Preparing to Write a Report

Everyone has to write a report at some stage in their career. A well written report canWriting a report further your career, since people see not only the content and well reasoned arguments or recommendations, but also the confidence and clarity with which it is written.

Chancel Repair Liability

A mediaeval law resurrected?Chancel

Chancel repair liabilities date back to mediaeval times, when wealthy land owners maintained churches. Until recently, chancel repair liabilities was a relatively low key and misunderstood area of conveyancing that troubled few conveyancers much less members of the public.

Creating an Agenda

creating an agendaIn order to use valuable time effectively during a meeting it is crucial that you have a well-prepared agenda. An agenda helps the chairperson to stick to time and lead the meeting successfully. It also helps participants to prepare as they can see when they will be involved. Finally, it is of great benefit to the minute taker as they can see what will be discussed, the aim of each item and the priority given to it.

A Legal Secretary - Half a Century Ago

old timesIn 1957, I left school at the age of 16 after achieving excellent results in the RSA examinations in Typewriting, Shorthand and Commerce. I was also awarded a prize for the best shorthand student of the year. I dreamt of being on stage or a TV scriptwriter (yes, we had TV in 1957!) - anything in show business - but in those days these kind of jobs were virtually impossible to get into.

The Members Forum

Just 15 years ago, before everyone in the world was permanently wired into the river of information we call the Internet, if you wanted to keep abreast of the latest developments in your field or hobbies, you would have to subscribe to an assortment of specialist magazines and papers. There were also libraries where people would go to get their hands on any kind of information they happened to need.

Assertiveness

Assertiveness is a life skill; useful both inside and outside work. However, the reactions and behaviours we employ now are the result of years of fine tuning. Being assertive doesn’t happen overnight, but the more practice you get, the more skilled you become. And while you may not always get what you want, you will always know you gave it your best. So here are the top ten tips for improving your assertive behaviour: