Karen is a highly accomplished Legal Secretary/PA with over 32 years’ experience in the legal profession. She has been a Member of the Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs since 2009 and was awarded the status of Lifelong Fellow of the Institute in 2016.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of women gaining the vote in the UK. A year after this was granted, the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act was passed, and women could become qualified lawyers for the first time. To celebrate the progress made in women’s rights, we’ll be taking a look at five inspirational women who have made their mark in the legal industry over the past century.
Rebecca Bouhsine is a successful Legal Secretary and current Student here at the Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs.
With the PA of the Year Award nominations now open, we caught up with previous Legal PA of the Year Rachel Newman to discuss the PA of the Year Awards, talk about her career as a Legal PA and garner some top tips for other Legal employees in the industry.
Tell us about your experience of the 2014 PA of the Year Awards.
Kathleen Riordan won Legal PA of the Year at SecsintheCity’s PA of the Year Awards 2017. The judges praised Kathleen, as one of her nominations said: she’s “the embodiment of team first, self second, Kathleen works conscientiously and tirelessly, often without recognition, to get the job done.” In this interview, we’ll find out how Kathleen became a Legal PA and what drives her to succeed in the role.
For your interest, inspiration that anything is achievable and also, I hope, enjoyment, I set out below in summary how I progressed my career from secretary to qualified lawyer and subsequently programme leader for over ten years at The Law School at The University of Westminster.
At SecsintheCity’s PA of the Year Awards 2017, there were two Legal PA winners. Meet Lyn Lennox, Legal PA at The Law Society and winner of the Outstanding Achievement Award.
How did you become a PA?
I studied a PA Diploma and A levels at college, after which I became a Legal Secretary at a major London law firm. After this role, I was lucky enough to be recruited as a PA to a Chairman of a London surveyors.
Hot in the news recently has been the topic of the inequality of men and women in regards to pay. It has come to light that a gender pay gap still exists in some professions in our country, and this is an issue we need to resolve.
Even though we have a little way to go, we must remember how far we’ve come as women. Just a few decades ago, women were denied basic rights that we take for granted now, such as being allowed to vote, owning property or working in certain professions.
Michelle Gager from Career Legal had the opportunity to gain valuable insight into the world of job sharing at global law firm Allen & Overy. She interviewed Jane Templeman and Joanne Mackay, who started their careers as Legal PAs and now job share as Group Managers in Litigation & Tax. Jane and Joanne are a great inspiration to ILSPA’s Students and Members.
We at ILSPA believe that, with the right initiative, our students have the potential to reach any goal that they aspire to. This belief has been supported recently in the case of Jacqueline McGuigan, former Legal Secretary, now Lawyer, who rose to media fame due to a significant employment law case.