Education does not lie outside society. One can learn from life experiences, whether you are learning physics, mathematics, music, art, the social sciences, law or any other subject. We live in a time when information is more accessible than ever before, and using this to your advantage is an important and useful study skill.
When it comes to law, current affairs, news and social trends can be an extremely useful source of learning about the subject. You can learn a lot about current trends in legal practice simply by keeping your finger on the pulse of society and following news stories via different media sources. This can not only be a useful learning tool, but will enhance your Legal Secretary career.
So, how can news stories help you in achieving more as a Student? Consider the case of social media. The use of social media has increased exponentially in the past few years. Social media has remained virtually outside the purview of the law, and not many legal precedents have been set in that area just yet.
However, simply reading about the biggest stories covered in the news over the past few months will show you various instances of how social media like Facebook and Twitter have featured extensively in certain recent legal battles. Emerging situations are throwing up interesting and pressing questions about social media with respect to free speech, regulation of social media and social media in the context of libel, slander, etc.
Keeping a tab on current affairs and on cultural and social trends can help you not only keep abreast of new advances in the legal framework, but also understand how the law evolves and the logic that is involved in this. Learning from an existing, set curriculum is no doubt necessary and immensely useful, but at the same time it is important to keep an eye on how the legal field is evolving, as this too can be immensely educational.
Reading about law outside your curriculum can be very useful in giving you an external and current perspective on things. It is a habit that can also help build additional qualities, such as research skills, and impart a good understanding of the social framework in which the law exists (as opposed to learning about it in isolation as a ‘subject’).
Of course, keeping up to date with relevant knowledge and information is useful not only for Students but for practising professionals too. Imagine a doctor or a lawyer whose knowledge was limited to what he or she learnt in medical or law school. As advances in these fields occur, it is important for professionals to be aware of them and to grow with the field.
Inculcating this habit while you are still a Student can therefore be useful on many levels. One, it can help you gain valuable current insights into advances in the field, before they are internalised into the formal education system. You can also obtain additional skills and a more rounded understanding of the law. Following interesting and relevant media (TV news stories, blogs, websites, journals) can help you achieve a better understanding of your profession, both as a Student and as a professional Legal Secretary.
Reading ILSPA’s Legal Secretary Journal will keep you up to date with certain changes in law and legal procedure and will educate you about legal issues, so it is very beneficial for you to log in and read the articles provided each month. ILSPA also has a legal news section in the Membership area of the website which provides a wealth of different resources you can learn from.