Career Experiences

From PA to VA: My Journey

Having originally worked as a PA and Office Manager, I’ve been a freelance Virtual Assistant (VA) for just over three years now and I absolutely love it. Whether you are a PA in the legal sector or elsewhere, there are huge opportunities if you’re thinking of going freelance.

I’ve met tons of PAs, Secretaries and others recently who are thinking of going “virtual”, or are just interested in how the transition from PA to Virtual Assistant works – so here’s my story!

A Legal PA Achieves Job Satisfaction

I began my career as a Legal Secretary after finishing college, where I studied a two-year Business Administration and Secretarial course. After working for two different solicitor’s firms over the course of three years, I left the profession to work as an Administrator organising events at a local university. I had enjoyed working as a Legal Secretary, but I made the decision to change career due to the increase in salary, and I also liked the idea of gaining experience in events management. 

A Day in the Life with Vicki Lister, Secretarial Manager, Reed Smith

Vicki Lister is the Secretarial, Catering and Reception Services Manager for Reed Smith, a global law firm based in London.

Vicki has worked her way up to her current management position after initially starting her career as a nanny. She then made the change to law and took on a secretarial role at a Magic Circle firm and has since progressed through promotion to her current role.

Vicki joins us to share her experience and what a typical day is like for her…

My Career as a Legal Secretary

If you’d have told me 20 years ago that I would now be working as a Legal Secretary, I would have laughed.

I always wanted to be a Medical Secretary, as I had always been interested in that sort of environment. So after college, my dream came true and I started to work at my local hospital as a relief Medical Secretary. I loved my job and looked forward to every working day.

A Lawyer’s Interesting and Embarrassing Experiences – Part 4

This is the final part of the series and I thought that I would end it with the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to me in my legal career.  Before I do this, however, I just want to mention two incidents that are highlighted in my memory.

For a period in my career, when I and my family had moved down from London to Devon, in the West Country, I ran my own conveyancing practice, which became very successful – so successful that I incorporated into it a high street estate agency so that I could provide the two services under one roof: negotiate the sale and/or purchase of clients’ properties and do the conveyancing for them, all for one composite fee.

A Lawyer’s Interesting and Embarrassing Experiences – Part 3

A question a lawyer is often asked is, “How can you defend a client when you know he or she is guilty?” The answer to that, of course, is that you can only know if a client is guilty if he admits it, and if he does admit it, then, of course, you cannot run a ‘not guilty’ plea – you can plead in mitigation, bringing to the attention of the court any circumstances that you think will help the court in determining the sentence to pass, but you cannot put forward a defence to

A Legal Secretary’s Tale

A Legal Secretary's TaleOne of my hobbies is going to folk clubs. I do comic songs, and once I made up some doggerel about things which can go awry in a legal office – for instance, an inexperienced casual receptionist telling a client point-blank that the legal eagle is too busy to talk to him or her, rather than ‘talking round the subject’, explaining the fee-earner is presently occupied and taking a message.

A Lawyer’s Interesting and Embarrassing Experiences – Part 2

Last month, I promised to tell you about my ‘run-in’ with His Honour Judge Claude Duveen of Slough County Court. This happened in the mid-1970s whilst I was with Campbell Hooper & Austin Wright at their Sunningdale/Ascot branch office – a very upmarket firm with some famous clients, such as Diana Dors, England’s answer to Marilyn Monroe. In fact, Ms. Dors was the English equivalent of all the blonde bombshells of Hollywood.