An Interview with ILSPA graduate Alexander Nair
In this interview, the Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs interview one of their recent graduates to find out first-hand what it’s like to be a student on their fantastic Legal Secretaries Diploma course.
We would like to introduce you to an exceptional graduate, Alexander Nair. Alexander enrolled on our Legal Secretaries Diploma course at the beginning of May and qualified with a distinction within a month!
You would be forgiven for assuming that Alexander must come from a legal background to be able to achieve this, but – although he’s studied a couple of introductory legal courses – you could not be further from the truth. Despite always having an interest in law, Alexander is actually an actor. When he’s not acting, he works as a receptionist and office coordinator. He decided to take ILSPA’s course to advance his skills and move into the legal sector.
We spoke to Alexander about his success, why he decided to take our course and the future.
Can you tell us about your professional background?
"I’m actually an actor by profession – I had my first TV job last year and managed to get in a corporate training video for KPMG before the coronavirus took hold. Actors are always facing problems with clients making unreasonable demands and not paying invoices, both of which I’ve been the victim of, so I decided I’d better get an education about rights on paper. When I’m not acting, I’m a receptionist and office coordinator and usually work in financial services, so this truly is the first big leap into the deep end of the law."
Why did you choose to train with ILSPA?
"I’d always wanted to study Law, but I definitely didn’t want to commit to a graduate LLB or the GDL because of the money and time – but mainly because I’ve never wanted to be a solicitor or barrister, unless the BBC decide to bring back Silk! I did look at CILEx, but ILSPA provided so much more: a payment plan and an approachable attitude. The clincher was the fact the Institute was referred to by so many organisations – UCAS, Gov.uk, TotallyLegal – as being the qualification to undertake to become a Legal Secretary."
You submitted your portfolio of coursework within a month, which is very impressive. What enabled you to complete the course so quickly?
"Well, in a rather sad turn of events, the lockdown has proved to be quite a blessing for me. I had already given myself a running start – in April, before I started the course, I took a short course in Common Law with the University of London on Coursera and another on the Modern Judiciary with King’s College London on FutureLearn, so I had a firm grasp of the first unit by day one. I’m furloughed from work, so I’ve been able to relax, lock myself away in my study and just commit to the course. I spent about a day on each unit just processing the information and whenever an Act or Case Law was referred to, I quickly researched it on lawteacher.net. I gave myself breaks, of course, and took Sundays off, but to be honest I got through it so quickly because I was so enthralled by the material. (Except for Conveyancing – I was nearly in tears by the end of that module.)"
What are your career plans now you’ve completed the course?
"I’ve already hit the ground running and I’ve started on the Level 4 Paralegal Diploma at the NALP. It’s very detailed and the assignments are extensive, but I feel so prepared because of the Legal Secretaries Diploma. I think I’d like to specialise in Contract and Employment Law and, somewhere down the line, possibly provide a free law clinic for actors who have grievances. I’ve also spent time sprucing up my LinkedIn profile and CV and reaching out to a whole load of legal recruiters in anticipation of my return to work."
Would you recommend this course to others looking to train as Legal Secretaries?
"Totally! And for several reasons. The first being, it provides such a comprehensive education in the Law; secondly, since doing all this studying, I’ve realised how much of a visual learner I am, and the course material has been designed to be very accessible; and lastly, the student support I’ve received has been so helpful – DEDICATED is filled with really useful tips on CVs, interviews and changes in the legal profession."
Whether you are currently working as a Legal Secretary, are a Law Student or you come from a completely different profession like Alexander, ILSPA’s Legal Secretaries Diploma will help you gain excellent legal knowledge and skills. Find out more here.