2020

5 Critical Differences Between the Legal Systems in the USA and the UK

As the professional body for Legal Secretaries and PAs in the UK, ILSPA provides courses which are based on the English Legal System. However, one of the fascinating things about law and the legal sector in general is the variation between different legal systems and how they operate around the world. 

SecsintheCity Announces PA of the Year Awards 2020 Winners

On Thursday 12 November 2020, SecsintheCity, the UK’s only dedicated job site for business support professionals, hosted its annual PA of the Year Awards. Now in its ninth consecutive year, the Awards are an iconic celebration of the essential role that Personal Assistants, Executive Assistants and Office Managers provide to the companies and individuals they work for. 

Statements of Truth Update

As part of the regular updates made to the Civil Procedure Rules 1999 (CPR), there was recently a significant change made to the wording used for statements of truth. This month we will look at why statements of truth are important and explain what has changed. 

Why are statements of truth important? 

Legal Secretary Vacancies December 2020

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

Legal Secretary – Wills & Probate – Campbell Hooper & Co LLP

Location: Sunningdale, Berkshire

Salary: Competitive

An opportunity has arisen for an experienced legal secretary, with a background in wills and probate, to join a friendly and flexible firm on the Berkshire/Surrey borders.

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:

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.

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?

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.

How to Get Hired During COVID-19

With the coronavirus pandemic still ongoing, it can be easy to believe that job hunting at the moment is an exercise in futility. In reality, however, many employers continued to hire throughout lockdown, and as businesses around the country reopen, the organisations that had put their recruitment drives on hold have resumed efforts to source new talent.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Benefits of Mentoring

Many office support professionals in the early stages of their careers are actively seeking mentors to help them develop and advance in the world of work. However, these professional relationships are by no means one-sided, often offering a range of benefits to mentors and mentees alike.

What’s the Difference Between a Paralegal and a Legal Secretary?

Legal Secretaries and Paralegals are essential additions to any law firm. Both roles provide support for lawyers with preparing cases and general administrative work. But what’s the difference between a Paralegal and a Legal Secretary? This article will tackle that question and also provide you with insight into the similarities between a Legal Secretary and a Paralegal.

Calling All Superstar Legal PAs

SecsintheCity is looking for exceptional Legal PAs, EAs and Office Managers to be nominated for the PA of the Year Awards 2020. Could you be a winner?

Now in its ninth consecutive year, the PA of the Year Awards has become an iconic celebration of the essential support that Personal and Executive Assistants provide to the companies and individuals for whom they work.

Dealing with Change

Dealing with change is undoubtedly the most stressful thing for humans to have to endure. No, allow me to rephrase that. Stress isn’t caused by change – change becomes stressful when we don’t adapt or roll with the punches. There are times when life throws you a barrage of many small, new – or even just slightly different – situations, people, rules, restrictions and routines, such as moving house or changing jobs.

House Purchasing in 2020 – to View or Not to View

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected a lot of aspects of our lives, including buying houses. During the midst of the lockdown no viewings were taking place, causing stagnation in the housing market. As the rules have relaxed, people are now able to view properties they are interested in buying, but they must keep to the social distancing measures that have been put in place.

How to Motivate Yourself to Study after Lockdown

The past few months have been a time of unprecedented change and disruption for many of us in our normal day-to-day lives. While for some this has led to additional time at home to dedicate to things such as courses and self-care, for others it will have led to the opposite. With work, family and schoolwork all needing to be squeezed in at home, there is little time left for other responsibilities such as studying.

Plastic Pollution in the Thames

It has recently been reported that the River Thames has a higher level of microplastics than any other river in Europe. Larger items such as wet wipes are even accumulating on the shore and creating wet wipe reefs! Scientists are baffled as to why the problem is particularly bad in London and they are calling for stricter regulations on the labelling and disposal of products that contain plastic.

How to Save Energy at Home

Have you ever thought about how you can save energy at home? Not only will it save you some money, but it will also help the environment. We can go through our everyday lives not thinking properly about the amount of energy we waste however, with the ongoing lockdown, we have a good opportunity to take time to reflect on our habits. It’s amazing how a few small changes can benefit us and the planet!

Starting a New Job Remotely: An interview with EA Gina Haynes

Starting a new job can be a daunting experience for even the most experienced professionals, but starting a new job remotely presents even greater challenges still. We spoke with experienced Executive Assistant Gina Haynes who shared details about her recent experience of on-boarding remotely and her advice for starting a new job while working from home.

A Challenging Time to Make a Will

This month we are focusing on Wills, as sadly, this is an area where lawyers are finding their services very much in demand. There are challenges at the moment for Wills specialists as they struggle to ensure that the requirements of the Wills Act 1837 are properly met. It is not the first time there have been calls to reform the Wills Act, but it is unlikely that a quick solution will be found.

How Can We Protect the Planet and Ourselves?

The 50th anniversary of Earth Day took place last month. Earth Day was created in 1970 to help protect the planet, and, at the time, millions of people took to the streets to raise awareness of environmental issues. Earth Day is now the largest civic event in the world. Experts and scientists come together to discuss important issues and make positive changes.

Legal Secretary Vacancies May 2020

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

Personal Injury Legal Secretary – G2 Legal Limited

Location: Shrewsbury

Salary: £15,001-£20,000

A brilliant opportunity has arisen for a personal injury legal secretary to join this established law firm based in Shrewsbury on a full time, permanent basis.

View the full job description here:          

Remote work: Here to Stay?

The emergence of remote working has grown from a novel thought to an increasingly sought-after business perk within the legal profession. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic mandating that all types of lawyers at all types of seniority level work from home, is remote working here to stay for the considerable future?

Benchmark your salary with SecsintheCity’s Audience Insight Report

SecsintheCity – the UK’s number one job board for PAs, Secretaries and other office support professionals – has just published the findings of its 2019 Audience Insight Report.

In autumn 2019, 4,000 office support professionals responded to our annual salary survey, providing the details of their daily working lives for a report that allows you to benchmark your current earnings and find out more about the stories and statistics behind your profession.

Returning to Study After a Break

Returning to study after a period of time off can sometimes be a daunting task. People can be prevented from studying due to various reasons such as work commitments, health issues and looking after family. Whatever the reason, here is our advice to ease you into studying your course again with confidence:

Think ahead

Building Confidence in the Workplace

Confidence in the workplace is a combination of what you know, what you’re willing to learn, and your own internal belief. Focus on developing yourself in all three areas and you will be well on your way to feeling and acting as the confident and dependable professional you know you are. Do it correctly and it can lead to promotions, salary increases, access to new projects, and a better work/life balance.

Legal Secretary Vacancies March 2020

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

Team Secretary – Sherrards

Location: St Albans

Salary: Up to £28,000

Sherrards are looking for a full-time Property Team Secretary to join the team in their St Albans office.

This is an excellent opportunity to join a collaborative team, supporting Partners and Heads of Departments.

View the full job description here:          

Performing Legal Research

This month, we will consider how you can go about conducting your own legal research and the approach taken by some lawyers for this common legal task.

Where to research the law

There are two main categories of materials you can consider when researching a legal question:

1. Primary sources of the law

2. Secondary sources

Top Skills for PAs in 2020

Ten years ago, the role of a personal assistant was heavily centred around administrative skills – typing, minute taking, diary management and so on. Now, as we enter a new decade, it is safe to say that the role of the PA has evolved along with technology and a shift in working practices.

What Are Case Management Systems?

Legal case management systems (CMS) are software programs that are designed to help lawyers and law firms manage their cases. They provide the firm with one central location to store and track all client data. This includes things such as contact information, case notes and documents, appointment scheduling and history, client communications, and billing.

An Interview with Charlotte O’Brien – Family Legal Secretary at Birketts LLP

Charlotte O’Brien was an experienced PA working for a Director of multiple companies. When her PA role required her to get involved in a High Court case, she felt she needed a better understanding of law and decided to study ILSPA’s Legal Secretaries Diploma. From there, her interest in law grew and she decided to make the move into working as a Legal Secretary. 

Benchmark Your Salary with TotallyLegal’s 2019 Audience Insight Report

In Autumn 2019, over 2,800 legal professionals responded to TotallyLegal’s annual salary survey, sharing the details of their working lives from job title and practice area to PQE level and salary.

From the data provided by our audience, we crafted the 2019 Audience Insight Report – a free to download overview of the legal profession that also allows you to benchmark your current earnings.

Legal Secretary Vacancies February 2020

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

Corporate Commercial Legal Secretary – Blue Pelican

Location: Kent

Salary: £23,000 - £25,000

Blue Pelican are looking to recruit a Legal Secretary with experience in the corporate or commercial sectors. The firm are really striving to find someone who is forward thinking and who is a problem solver.

LegalEx 2020

As announced last year, ILSPA has partnered up with LegalEx as it makes its much-anticipated return to ExCeL London on 18-19 March 2020, hosting the most comprehensive and all-encompassing event dedicated to facilitating business growth and professional development for legal professionals a

Progressing from a Secretary to a Legal Secretary

The role of a Legal Secretary is much sought after among workers who want to pursue a career in law. It’s an ideal starting point at which to absorb knowledge of the industry before progressing through the ranks. There are many perks to working as a Legal Secretary – the salary is high compared to that of a standard Secretary and there is opportunity for generously paid overtime.

6 Things Successful People Do on Their First Day at Work

Whether you’re a new graduate or the CEO, starting a new job can be daunting even for the most confident person. As the saying goes, ‘you never get a second chance to make a first impression’ and your first day on the job can potentially have a huge bearing on how you are perceived by your colleagues from then on.

But there’s no need to panic! Here are 6 things you can do to maximise your chances of making a positive first impression:

Legal PA of the Year - Joanne Wilson, Legal PA at Hall Brown Family Law

Last November, Joanne Wilson was named Legal PA of the Year at SecsintheCity’s PA of the Year Awards 2019. Joanne is a Fellowship Member of the Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs.

After the ceremony, SecsintheCity caught up with Joanne to learn more about her career to date and her current role at Hall Brown Family Law, plus the advice she has for aspiring Legal PAs.

Legal Secretary Vacancies January 2020

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

Conveyancing Legal Secretary – G2 Legal Limited

Location: Nottingham

Salary: Competitive  

A highly-regarded, regional firm are looking for an experienced legal secretary to join their Conveyancing Team in West Bridgford.

View the full job description here:          

New Year, New Skills

The start of a new year is the perfect time to think about the skills you would like to acquire to advance your career. It provides you with a fresh start, which can give you clarity about what you want to achieve. Whether you are new to the profession or you have been working as a Legal Secretary for many years, there are always skills you can develop to improve the quality of your work.