On November 7th, the UK’s most talented PAs, EAs and Office Managers gathered at London’s Ivy restaurant for the PA of the Year Awards 2019.
Event host SecsintheCity caught up with Legal PA of the Year finalist Eleanor Lawson to find out more about her role at DWF Law LLP, her experience of the Awards and her advice to aspiring Legal PAs.
How did you become a Legal PA?
After finishing my A-levels, I decided I didn't want to go to university, so I applied for a job as an Apprentice Business Administrator at DWF Law LLP. After completing my apprenticeship, a vacancy for a Personal Assistant became available in my team – Corporate – and I was offered the role and promoted.
What do you love about being a Legal PA?
I've always loved being organised, so I really enjoy that aspect of the role. I enjoy the social side of where I work and being able to work in the City where it’s busy and there is lots going on. I find the role rewarding, if sometimes challenging, as I am helping to make people's lives that little bit easier.
What’s great about your job at DWF Law?
The best thing about where I work is the people. I have made so many friends and that makes coming to work so much more enjoyable. I know that I can always ask for help if I need it and have people around me who are there for support and guidance, whether that be personal or professional.
You’re still very early on in your career – what’s the biggest challenge you have faced thus far?
There are a few challenging personalities that I need to deal with in my job, and some that I haven't had to deal with before. I find that aspect of the job quite difficult sometimes, as I'm only at the beginning of my career and don’t know the answer to everything!
How did you find the interview process for the PA of the Year Awards?
I thought the interview process for PA of the Year was very enjoyable. It didn't even feel like I was going for an interview! Susanna and Sarah made me feel so comfortable and it was so nice to be able to just sit and talk informally rather than feel under pressure.
Tell us about the night itself.
The PA of the Year Awards night was just wonderful. It was one of those evenings I would love to do again and feel so lucky to have been invited. The venue was lovely, and so much nicer than some venues that are used for awards ceremonies. I was made to feel really special and I thought the whole evening was so well organised and thought out.
How did your colleagues react to the news you’d been shortlisted?
My colleagues were really happy and proud that I was shortlisted and couldn't wait to hear how I did on the night! It was nice to be recognised especially when I am so early on in my career.
What’s your secret to being organised and juggling multiple priorities?
Trying to stay calm and remember that I am only one person! As much as I am doing many jobs for lots of people, I think it's important not to put too much pressure on myself. I will always make sure I'm doing my best to be there for everyone but reminding myself that that isn't always possible definitely helps.
What advice would you give others looking to start a career as a Legal PA?
Make sure you ask questions if you're ever unsure. The only silly question is a question not asked!