2019

Is Your Membership Up to Date?

Membership Level

ILSPA offers four levels of Membership dependent on your qualifications and experience. If you have recently qualified with ILSPA or you have been working as a Legal Secretary for a few years since you first applied for Membership, you can upgrade your Membership level.

How to Work With Different Management Styles

We don’t always get to choose who our boss/executive is, much less their leadership style, in fact, when you interviewed for the role, they might not have even be involved. So, you walk in on your first day with no clue what to expect, its potluck if both your styles of working are going to gel. Maybe that is not the most efficient way to recruit a PA or EA but is it often the case.

Whose File is it Anyway? Releasing a Client's Papers

On occasion, a solicitor’s firm may find itself in dispute with its own client. This can happen, say, in a case where there is a disagreement over the legal bill or when a client wishes to change advisors. In these types of situations, a firm may find a client demanding that “their” file be released but the firm is reluctant to do so immediately (particularly where a legal bill is in dispute).

Are You Being Paid the Right Amount?

TotallyLegal - the UK’s leading job board for legal professionals - has launched its annual salary survey and wants to hear the details of your daily working lives.

The results of the survey will detail the average salaries of Legal PAs and Secretaries across the UK, revealing whether you are adequately rewarded for your efforts or could be earning more elsewhere.

An Interview With Tracey Jenkins – One of ILSPA’s Top Students

We are often asked whether you can study ILSPA’s Legal Secretaries Diploma course with no Legal Secretary experience. The answer we always give is that the course is suitable for all levels of experience from beginners to experienced professionals. Tracey Jenkins, an ILSPA Student, decided to enrol on the course when she left her position in administration.

Study Methods – Audible Learners

Last month we looked at the best ways for visual learners to study and process information. We learnt that people who are visual learners often respond to things such as colours, pictures, diagrams and other visual information. This month we are going to be taking a closer look at the second type of learner, the audible learner.

What is a Legal Assistant?

Legal Assistants are essential and valuable people in the legal industry. They provide support to Lawyers and work alongside them by performing important administrative and clerical duties. They are required to have a strong knowledge of legal terms, procedures and documentation.

Legal Assistants may work with a single Lawyer, a specific practice or a group of Lawyers depending on the firm, or the size of an individual case.

Why Now is the Best Time of Year to Job Hunt

Do you know when the best time of year to job hunt is? With summer holidays having drawn to a close and schools back in session, the momentum in business begins to build back up as executives ready themselves for the final push before the years’ end. If you’re searching for the next step in your career, there’s a good chance you’re wondering when the best time of year to job hunt is.

An Interview with Paralegal Gemma Williams

We recently had an excellent opportunity to sit down and speak with Gemma Williams, Paralegal at the largest news publisher in the UK, Reach PLC. In this interview, Gemma shares some invaluable insights into her Paralegal career so far, as well as some expert advice for aspiring Paralegals.

Tell me about the education route you took to become a Paralegal and your legal work experience prior to working for Reach PLC.

Wills and Probate - Disputed Estates Back in the Limelight

The law in England and Wales dealing with wills dates back to Victorian times. The current rules are based on the Wills Act 1837, while the tests to see if someone has the capacity to make a will were set out in a case from 1870.

The Law Commission has been consulting on several proposals to reform the law on wills. It is expected to report soon on proposals to modernise the law, which include:

 

Study Methods - Visual Learners

People learn in different ways. So, if people learn in different ways, then it is only logical that they should study in different ways. When you are studying, you may prefer to read out loud, rewrite text or even act something out to commit it to memory. You may like lists, colours or Post-its around the house. Your preferred study method gives a good indication of what sort of learner you are.

Common Microsoft Excel Skills

There are a number of skills which you will need whilst using Microsoft Office Excel. Spread sheets are a useful tool and used regularly by office staff including Legal Secretaries. Spread sheets are especially helpful in tracking the progress of different processes and make the information readily available in one place, rather than having to check databases or paper files separately.

An Interview With Charlotte Moon - From ILSPA Student to Senior Caseworker

When Charlotte Moon enrolled for ILSPA’s Legal Secretaries Diploma course in 2011, she knew that she wanted a career in law but probably never imagined that one day she would be opening up her own department in a law firm. Charlotte in now a Senior Caseworker specialising in Family Law and has just completed her Level 6 Law and Practice Diploma.

Are You a Paralegal?

Thousands of people are working as Paralegals without realising it. How do you find out if you are one of them – and what you should do?

Many people are working within a company performing certain tasks day in, day out, not realizing that what they are doing may class them as a “Paralegal”.

Why Law Firms Test Candidates: Tips on How to Prepare

Many fields of work are competitive, attracting far more candidates for every open position than some might believe. Law firms receive large quantities of applications for every role advertised. Narrowing the field by hand could be an almost insurmountable task. Reading every application takes time and can result in missing some of the best candidates.

What is the Progression Ladder?

Progression ladder.jpgLooking to take your career to the next level? Success is just around the corner: all it takes is dedication, determination and a desire to move forward in your professional journey. Of course, opportunities won’t fall from the sky: if you want to be considered for a promotion, the future is in your hands – it’s time to prove you’ve got what it takes to thrive in the next tier.

An Interview with Conveyancing Secretary Gillian Roberts

When Gillian Roberts enrolled for ILSPA’s Legal Secretaries Diploma Course in 2018, it wasn’t her first foray into a legal education. She had previously completed an LLB law degree but had not continued into the sector after graduation. It is very common for law graduates to study our Legal Secretaries Diploma as an alternative route into their chosen industry.

No-Fault Divorce Update

We last reported on the topic of no-fault divorce in October of last year following the sad case of Tini Owens. The case highlighted a longstanding problem with divorce law which forces parties to find blame if they want to guarantee that the court can give permission for a divorce.

A Guide to Practical Assessments

Course providers will often use different methods to assess a student’s understanding of the course they are studying. Some courses may have exams, whereas others will use coursework. Practical Assessments are a type of coursework, and this article aims to answer some of the most common questions about them.

PA of the Year Awards 2019

Nominations are now open for SecsintheCity’s 8th annual PA of the Year Awards

SecsintheCity – the UK’s only job board for PAs, EAs and Office Support Professionals – is looking for the most talented and dedicated PAs, EAs and Office Managers to be winners at their eighth annual PA of the Year Awards.

Becoming A Legal Virtual Assistant: Is It Right For You? 

A career as a virtual assistant is one that requires an entrepreneurial spirit, patience and expertise in a specific field. If you are thinking about becoming a legal virtual assistant, you must be prepared to handle a wide range of tasks from a remote location. With the right client, the work of a virtual assistant can be fulfilling, while providing great flexibility during the workday. 

What Is a Legal Virtual Assistant? 

The Benefits of ILSPA’s Social Media Platforms

In the past few years, social media has grown to be a huge part of our everyday lives. The majority of people will use at least one of the most popular platforms. However, it is not just individuals who are active on them – companies are too. Social media has moved beyond purely entertainment. It is now a vital tool for job seekers, students, employers and professionals.

The Importance of Legal Secretaries in the Digital Age

The role of legal secretaries has changed over the years, and with technological advances and increasing pressures on legal firms to cut costs, the role of the legal secretary is becoming more important than ever. Legal secretaries now have a much broader skillset, and are often key to streamlining processes and saving costs, making them an integral asset to any legal firm. 

How to Support a Self-Sufficient Boss

A self-sufficient boss or fee earner can be a blessing in disguise. They give minimal dictations, can manage their own diary efficiently and are usually quick to respond to emails.

But how can you assist such a boss if they just get on with it?

Whether you are a legal secretary, executive assistant or PA, it is highly likely that your role extends further than just dictations and diary management.

SecsintheCity’s Summer Networking Event 2019

Set to be held at a prestigious Central London location, SecsintheCity’s annual networking event returns on the evening of Wednesday 10th July 2019.

This exclusive event, described by attendees last year as “a fabulous evening”, provides PAs, EAs and Office Support Professionals with an excellent opportunity to network with colleagues and contemporaries over complimentary wine and canapés.

Cohabitation Agreements

Last autumn we considered the impact of a 2018 ruling by the Supreme Court about the state of relationships in Britain. Specifically we reviewed how the law on civil partnerships was to be changed to allow couples of the opposite sex who did not wish to get married to have some legal recognition. In the case, the Supreme Court made a declaration that the current law was not compatible with Human Rights legislation.

Legal Secretary Vacancies April 2019

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

 

Legal Secretary – Benson Mazure  

Location: London

Salary: £25,000 - £30,000

A well established, small, friendly and busy practice in the heart of the West end are looking to recruit a Legal Secretary.

You will be required to assist the Partners in the practice and work as part of a team.

An Interview with Award Winning Assistant - Craig Harris MEPAA

Craig Harris is a multi-award winning Executive Assistant, who currently works for Shelter UK. Some of his recent awards include our trusted partner SecsintheCity’s Social Media PA of the Year 2018 and Pitman’s Super Achiever PA of the Year 2017. Having forged an impressive and successful career as an Assistant, Craig is now working to promote inclusion and diversity within the profession.

A Guide to a Successful Covering Letter

As part of your job search and to ensure you secure interviews, you should get into the habit of submitting a covering letter alongside your CV, even if is not a requirement. A covering letter is a great opportunity to showcase your relevant skills and attributes in more detail. Today we will share with you our step by step guide on a successful covering letter.

Email Etiquette

In this age of text-speak and abbreviations, it is quite common for emails to drift into an informal format. When messaging your friends or family, this is completely acceptable; however, it can easily lead to a lazy style of emailing when contacting organisations. This can infer that you don’t care, or be taken as rudeness, and you certainly do not want those connotations within your professional life.

A Simple Guide to Networking

Personal relations and the connections that you make can define your career: they can help you secure roles in particular firms; effect who you end up working alongside; they can even help you win or lose your firm clients. Whether you enjoy it or not, law demands that you network.

The Law Firm of Tomorrow

As new developments in artificial intelligence and automation continue to influence modern life, one thing is for certain: no industry will be immune to change – not even the legal profession, a sector historically known for its reluctance to move in line with the times.

Changes to Rules for Solicitors

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) was established in 2007 as an independent body responsible for regulating the 180,000 Solicitors in England and Wales. The SRA’s purpose is to protect the public by ensuring that Solicitors and those working for them meet very high standards. The key way that the SRA does this is by publishing and enforcing Principles for the profession and a Code of Conduct contained in the SRA Handbook.

Asking for Help at Work

Asking for help at work can sometimes seem daunting. You may question whether you should already have the answer, or worry that you may appear incapable. This article aims to help you embrace the concept of asking for help, explain how to go about it properly, and also show that it is a benefit rather than a hindrance to the success of your career.

Why should I ask for help?

Civil Litigation – Proportionality

Ever since the concept of proportionality was introduced to legal costs as part of the Woolf reforms in 1999, the courts and legal practitioners have wrestled with what this actually means. As part of Lord Justice Jackson’s package of reforms in 2007 the test was set out in the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) Part 44. This part of the CPR provided that only costs which were considered proportionate to a case would be allowed.

The UK VA Conference at The PA Show 2019

The PA Show 2019 (formerly Office* Show) will once again play host to the UK VA Conference. The show will take place at the Olympia exhibition centre in London on ‘VA Day’, 27th February 2019.

The UK VA Conference 2019 has compiled an agenda that will appeal to a whole range of Virtual Assistants and their skill levels – from start-up newcomers to established and successful Virtual Assistants.

Make 2019 Work for You

Make 2019 work for you.jpgThe new year is traditionally a time for reflection and resolutions. Many of us will be looking back at the previous year and thinking about which areas of our personal and professional lives we would like to improve in the coming one. And why not? The new year can be a fantastic excuse to revaluate our goals and consider how we would like to work on our skillset.

Conveyancing – The Process is Going to be Easier

Conveyancing Update.jpgThis month we are considering a further push by the government to make the conveyancing process quicker and cheaper. Currently the home buying process takes, on average, between three and four months from the date an offer is accepted until the transaction is completed. Part of the reason it takes this amount of time is because buyers and sellers can struggle to communicate basic initial information.

Loving Your Idiot Zone

It is common in January for people to start thinking about what skills they would like to learn in the coming year, or what areas they would like to improve in. So this month ILSPA wanted to consider not only how best to set and achieve your chosen 2019 goals but also the best mind-set to allow yourself to succeed and progress too.