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?

I commenced this course about a year after the start of the Covid pandemic. I had been unable to continue working at a boutique law firm I just started working in (after five years of being a full-time mum) and unfortunately had to resign as they had no measures for legal support staff to work from home.

What is it about being a Legal Secretary that interests you?

I have been working within the legal support field ever since I graduated in 2005. It has never been a dull day - from working within a small team of solicitors, to various law firms and then many in-house legal departments of media companies. There has always been a mirage of staff around to learn from and work that always provided positive challenges. Supporting a team and by helping it thrive and reach its targets has always been something I relish.

Why did you decide to do ILSPA's Legal Secretaries Diploma course? 

Whilst the Covid pandemic was still looming and the job market had subsequently been rather affected, I decided to undertake my Diploma to keep my mind engaged in the field that I love, learn about subjects I enjoy and become certified whilst waiting for the pandemic to subside. The Diploma was a dream to complete because I needed to complement all the years of work experience I had in this sector with an actual Diploma from a professional Institute.

What knowledge and skills did you gain through your studies?

The knowledge was never overwhelming, but substantial enough to make you feel you understood the unit perfectly. It was clear and engaging and throughout studying, I never felt like I didn’t understand anything and even if I did not, I knew I could always reach out to the ILSPA team for assistance, especially my course professor. The skills I learnt ranged from dissecting key information from the study text and applying that in the assessments and bearing that all in mind whilst completing my portfolio.

How did you find fitting your studies around your existing commitments?

I am a full-time mum of two young children and I was able to successfully balance and manage studying whilst taking care of them around the clock. Especially, whilst they were at school, the Diploma actually gave my life some purpose and I looked forward to working on each and every unit and my assessments until the very end. My children were very proud of mummy when I got my certificate!

What are your future career goals?

I am considering doing the advanced certificate from ILSPA so that I can continue learning and developing my career, not just for the prospect of employment, but equally important, for myself and for my children so that I can demonstrate to them that the learning journey never ends, no matter how old you get!

Did you find it easy to study the ILSPA course from abroad?

Being a British expat living abroad, I conducted my Legal Secretarial Diploma online from the United Arab Emirates. I never encountered any problems. The course material was always accessible and up-to date and the ILSPA team were always a phone call/email away whenever I had any queries. All documentation I needed to keep a record of was always posted in a safe, secure and timely manner.

My experience with the Institute was wholeheartedly fantastic and I would highly recommend anyone interested in this field to gain their Diploma and to embark upon it with sheer confidence. The entire team at ILSPA are welcoming and professional and helped me develop my career further which I am extremely grateful for. Thank you all once again.

ILSPA would like to thank Shama for taking the time to answer our questions. If you are interested in studying one of our courses including ILSPA’s Legal Secretaries Diploma or Legal Secretary Advanced Courses, please visit our website.