Professional Development

Is Your Membership Up to Date?

Membership Level

ILSPA offers four levels of Membership dependent on your qualifications and experience. If you have recently qualified with ILSPA or you have been working as a Legal Secretary for a few years since you first applied for Membership, you can upgrade your Membership level.

Those who have passed the Legal Secretaries Diploma course are eligible for Affiliate Membership, which shows employers that you are a qualified Legal Secretary. Keep this in mind when renewing your Membership with us. Once renewed, you will receive an attractive Affiliate Membership certificate, which you can show to employers or put in a frame on the wall.

If you are currently looking for work and have registered on our Legal Secretary Jobs Board, make sure that you update your Membership level within your profile so that recruiters can see what stage you are at in your career. Recruiters will be looking for newly qualified as well as experienced Legal Secretaries.

How to be a successful PA in 2019

An efficient, effective PA is the beating heart of any successful team and the key to the success of a senior executive.

Due to developments in technology, working practices and working environments, the PA role has changed dramatically over the years.

During my 15+ years’ experience of recruiting PAs, I’ve seen the role constantly evolve – allocations have increased, agile working has come into play for many firms and today's PAs need to keep up with these changes to continue to add value. It’s no longer enough to be a super minute taker or a speedy typist; firms within Professional Services are looking for much more.

What employers want from their PAs

We constantly hear from employers that they want PAs so take on more responsibility, to ‘bring more to the table’ and to be more commercially aware; this can take many forms including:

Managing projects:

We’ve seen firms wanting PAs to take on small projects and really own these – projects such as firm moves, employer branding, employee engagement, reviewing business support structures, designing and implementing business support processes, coordinating large events (including managing budgets) – basically to take these projects away from their execs to free their time up for more strategic matters.

The Benefits of ILSPA’s Social Media Platforms

In the past few years, social media has grown to be a huge part of our everyday lives. The majority of people will use at least one of the most popular platforms. However, it is not just individuals who are active on them – companies are too. Social media has moved beyond purely entertainment. It is now a vital tool for job seekers, students, employers and professionals. We wanted to take a moment to explain the uses and benefits of each of the main social media platforms that you can follow ILSPA on. 

Facebook   

ILSPA has a large Facebook community and our posts are tailored specifically for our Students and Members. Every day we post articles, links and resources that are interesting and helpful to those studying our courses or working as a Legal Secretary or PA. You will see our latest jobs, news and career tips all in one place.  

You can contact us easily and quickly through Facebook with any questions you might have. You can also connect with other people you may have studied or worked with. We have some great reviews and would be very grateful if you could take the time to leave a review yourself. We love to hear about our Students’ and Members’ experiences. 

Twitter   

What is the Progression Ladder?

Progression ladder.jpgLooking to take your career to the next level? Success is just around the corner: all it takes is dedication, determination and a desire to move forward in your professional journey. Of course, opportunities won’t fall from the sky: if you want to be considered for a promotion, the future is in your hands – it’s time to prove you’ve got what it takes to thrive in the next tier.

No matter the industry you work in, or the size of the organisation, your progression through the ranks will depend upon your ability to build on your skillset and handle increasing responsibilities. If you’re up to the challenge, your path to success should look something like this:

Stage 1: Developing talent

Fresh from graduation, you enter the workplace with textbooks worth of stored knowledge about your particular discipline. However, applying this in a business context isn’t always straight-forward. Navigating a new landscape and putting theory into practice will take some getting used to; it will be a few months before you’ve got to grips with the responsibilities of your role.

How to Answer “What Can You Bring to This Role?”

A common question that you should always be prepared to answer at a job interview is: “What can you bring to this role?” Interviewers like this question because it gives them an insight into what you know about the role, what skills you feel are important in the role and also what skills you have that make you a good fit for it.

“What can you bring to this role?” is actually a really positive question to be asked as an interviewee. It sets you up perfectly to boast your relevant skills, experience and how they will help you in the job you are interviewing for. It’s also a good opportunity to explain what you have to offer, that other applicants can’t. Despite this it can be a question that some candidates dread and are unsure about answering.

We spoke to our Trusted Partner, Simply Law Jobs and asked for their advice on how to answer this particular question. Here’s what they said:   

This is a common interview question that you will be expected to answer well. Taking time to prepare so you are able to deliver a great answer could be the key to your dream job.

You should have an idea of your unique skill set and how the role would benefit from your knowledge and expertise.

How to Support a Self-Sufficient Boss

A self-sufficient boss or fee earner can be a blessing in disguise. They give minimal dictations, can manage their own diary efficiently and are usually quick to respond to emails.

But how can you assist such a boss if they just get on with it?

Whether you are a legal secretary, executive assistant or PA, it is highly likely that your role extends further than just dictations and diary management.

But still, how can you add value to your employer if it seems like, for most things, they don’t really need your help?

Become the ‘go to’ person for clients

If your fee earner is quick to reply directly to a client by email then use some of your time to get to know the client’s PA. If you know everything about your fee earner then assume it is vice versa with your client and their PA!

Research, research, research!

This is an area where you can really help your boss. If your fee earner is trying to convert a new prospect for example, then carrying out some research in advance could really give them an advantage.

Read literature that is pertinent to the client, whether it be City AM, Financial Times or industry magazines. Set up a google alert for the prospect’s name and keep your fee earner abreast of anything that’s in the media.

A Simple Guide to Networking

Personal relations and the connections that you make can define your career: they can help you secure roles in particular firms; effect who you end up working alongside; they can even help you win or lose your firm clients. Whether you enjoy it or not, law demands that you network.

Networking is really a skill in itself, and it is one that those wishing to enter the legal profession at any level would do well to master. It is normal to be worried about what to talk about in front of other professionals at first, but it’s easy to become a networking pro with a little bit of preparation and practice. Simply Law Jobs have set out this simple guide to help you ease into networking and fine tune these essential skills. 

1. What’s it all about?

Firstly, networking is not just about making social media connections. It can come in many different forms and can be organic, natural or formal. Basically, it’s about getting to know people, building relationships and gaining knowledge in a professional work capacity. Connecting and chatting with people over social media is fine, but nothing beats a face-to-face meeting to establish relationships and build trust for potential business or job opportunities.

2. What’s the best way to start?

How to Turn your Workday Around

No matter how proactive, organised or positive you are, anyone can have a bad day. Whether it’s a change in schedule for an important piece of work, a busy period in the year or even office politics, sometimes your workday can seem insurmountable.

When you have those days, it is easy to feel completely overwhelmed, but there are some steps you can take to make things more manageable. This article provides some solutions to help you get your day back on track.

Take a step back

It may seem like such a simple thing, but by taking the time to gather yourself and take a deep breath, you will allow yourself to find clarity in a situation. By gathering your thoughts and looking at everything objectively, rather than being caught up in the eye of the storm, you will be able to move on to the next step.

Identify the source of the problem

It may be that a deadline has been brought forward. Perhaps your in-tray is overflowing, your phone won’t stop ringing and you can’t see how you will ever get on top of the mountain of work you face. Perhaps there are disagreements in the office or a member of staff is having a bad day. By identifying the source of the problem, it will be easier to find an appropriate solution.

Staff

Attending Law Fairs as an Aspiring Legal Secretary

If you want to work in the legal sector but aren’t sure exactly what kind of firm you want to work for, a law fair is a great opportunity to hone your interests. You’ll be able to meet firm representatives face-to-face and ask them any burning questions you have about life at their firm.

What is a law fair?

If you’ve ever been to a careers fair—a conference-style event with different employers representing a range of companies—a law fair isn’t far off that experience. The difference being, of course, that every company there will be law-related. Law firms, barristers’ chambers and other companies with a legal focus or department will be on hand to talk about their organisation, provide you with brochures and guides, and answer all of your questions.

At a lot of law fairs, the day is broken up by talks, workshops and seminars on particular matters related to law careers: CV development or interview skills, for example.

Progress over Perfection: Career Progression Tips for Every Assistant

Does that glass ceiling look familiar? For many within a support role whether you are a Personal Assistant in banking or the right hand man/woman to a celebrity, career progression within the support industry can be a difficult path to tread. However, it is not impossible.

Being an Assistant can be the greatest role in the world, preparing you for bigger things should you wish to take the leap. Unsure how to start when your to-do list is already long enough or your inbox is bursting with 1000 emails? It’s easier than you think!

Actions speak louder than words

Some of the most successful Personal and Executive Assistants we speak to, credit their career progression to simply putting their hand up and jumping into the deep end when it comes to new experiences in the office. It might be a scary thought but don’t confuse that emotion with the idea that as an Assistant, you are not entitled to be involved in the bigger picture. By default, you should always be involved in the bigger picture, with your Exec by your side.