Career Experiences

An Interview with Ellie Braddick – ILSPA Graduate, Legal PA and Law Student

This month, ILSPA had the pleasure of speaking to former Student, Ellie Braddick. Ellie studied with ILSPA a couple of years ago and it was wonderful to speak to her about how her career has progressed since completing her Legal Secretaries Diploma. Now a Legal PA in Central London, Ellie balances her busy job supporting 6 fee-earners with studying for a Law Degree.

Find out how Ellie juggles work and studying, why she thinks ILSPA gave her a behind-the-scenes insight into her role and what her plans are for when she graduates. 

Can you tell us a bit about your background and your current role?

An Interview with a Legal PA - Jamie Ricks, Senior Legal PA at Baker McKenzie

This year’s PA of the Year Awards is fast approaching. Achieving a PA of the Year Award is the ultimate recognition of your hard work, dedication, and accomplishments as a business support professional. With a special category for Legal PAs, the awards champion both PAs, EAs, and Office Managers, alongside those working in the legal niche.

In this article, SecsintheCity interviewed Jamie Ricks - 2022 finalist at the esteemed PA of the Year awards. Within this interview, Jamie discusses his development as a Legal PA, his role at Baker McKenzie, and his advice for those entering the PA of the Year awards.

How did you become a Legal PA?

An Interview with Dan Self – Legal PA at Baker McKenzie

When you work as a Legal Secretary or PA, it can feel like a rather female oriented profession. This is not necessarily the case though. It was great to speak with Dan Self, a successful Legal PA working in employment law who feels that being a man is a real bonus in this role.

Can you tell us about your background and how you came to be a Legal PA?

I was working in hospitality and was undecided on what I wanted to do in life. I attended a local college day and chatted with the tutor about the likelihood of being successful as a Legal Secretary as a man. They assured me that being a male Legal Secretary would only be a bonus. I then joined the college on a full-time basis for two years in my late twenties. The rest, as they say, is history.

An Interview with Megan Probert – Legal Assistant

People expect to find Legal Secretaries, PAs and Assistants in Law Firms but there are so many other businesses that also need legal teams. Speaking to Megan about her role at Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company was incredibly interesting; it was fantastic to hear about her career progression and how she has applied her legal skills in such a well-known company. 

How did you first enter the legal profession?

An Interview with ILSPA Graduate and Solicitor Apprentice - Melinda Toth

The opportunities available to Legal Secretaries are ever-increasing. We spoke to Melinda Toth who secured a Solicitor Apprenticeship with her firm while working as a Legal Secretary in their Pensions, Incentives and Corporate Tax team.

Regular readers of ILSPA’s Legal Secretary Journal may remember Melinda from a previous article where she talked about her first role as a Legal Secretary after completing the Legal Secretaries Diploma Course with us in 2018. It is wonderful to hear how her career has progressed and see how far she has come since we were last in touch.   

Can you remind us about how you originally entered the legal profession?

An Interview with Sinead Owen – From ILSPA Graduate to Budding Paralegal

A legal career had always been on the cards for Sinead Owen, but when life took her on a different path during the second year of working towards her Law degree, it became clear that it might not be as set in stone. A few years down the line, the pandemic and a furlough gave Sinead the opportunity to look at how to re-enter the legal profession. Sinead used a difficult and insecure time to take the leap back into her dream legal role, and she has continued to take steps to progress ever since.

Can you tell us how you originally entered the legal profession?

An Interview with ILSPA Graduate and Trainee Paralegal Elizabeth Forbes

With over 20 years of experience in the legal sector, Elizabeth Forbes has had a very successful and interesting career. From starting out as a Legal Secretary Temp in a local firm at age 19, she progressed all the way to become a Secretarial Co-ordinator for a large Southeast based firm. Her goal had always been to become a Paralegal. So, when a vacancy for a Trainee Paralegal became available in her department 18 months ago, she knew it would be perfect for her.

We caught up with Elizabeth to hear all about her current role as a Trainee Paralegal and the steps she took to get there. She explained why she chose to do further qualifications with ILSPA to help reach her goal and gave some excellent advice for Legal Secretaries at the start of their career.

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?

Q&A with Shama Ali - ILSPA Graduate from Dubai

Our Legal Secretaries Diploma Course is suitable for a wide variety of individuals, whatever their experience, whatever their schedule and wherever they live in the world.

We were pleased to be able to communicate with Shama Ali, who recently completed our Legal Secretaries Diploma course from Dubai. An experienced Legal Secretary, Shama took a five-year career break to have two children, returning to the legal sector during the pandemic. We asked her what led her to take a qualification at this stage in her career, as well as how she found studying overseas with a busy family.   

What were you doing before you joined ILSPA?

What it is like to be a Legal Assistant at TLT LLP

Introducing, Dr Avi Bhangal

I am a legal assistant working at TLT LLP, a UK law firm headquartered in Bristol which was named Law Firm of the Year at The Lawyer Awards 2021. Prior to this role I had completed my LLB/LPC/LLM/PhD at the University of Huddersfield, in West Yorkshire.

Whilst studying I had the opportunity to take part in many legal roles including a mini pupillage. 

Working at TLT LLP

In September I started work with TLT LLP working in the Financial Service Disputes and Investigations department. As this was during Covid-19, I was remote working but treated it as a normal working day with normal working hours. 

My day overview