Gillian Roberts recently spoke with the Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs (ILSPA) about her new role as Legal Secretary and offered some advice to graduates looking to kickstart a career in law.
When Gillian Roberts enrolled for ILSPA’s Legal Secretary Diploma Course in 2018, it wasn’t her first foray into a legal education. She had previously completed an LLB Law Degree but had not continued into the sector after graduation.
It is very common for law graduates to study our Legal Secretaries Diploma as an alternative route into their chosen industry. We wanted to speak to Gillian about her decision to return to the legal profession, why she felt the Legal Secretaries Diploma Course was a good step to aid her return and what the future holds for her. She also provided us with some fantastic advice for recent graduates looking to start their job search.
What is your background and how did you become interested in working as a Legal Secretary?
I had a law degree from over twenty years ago which I had never used as I started a family soon after graduation. I have always been interested in property which pulled me into the idea of working in a conveyancing environment.
What made you decide that you wanted to study a Legal Secretary qualification and how did you find your studies with ILSPA?
I had experience of office work, I could type and use the Microsoft Office Suite: legal secretary work offered to utilise these skills. I found the course very practical and comprehensive. It was a bit more time consuming and difficult than I had expected but all of the coursework was very straightforward and easy to follow.
As a Student and Member of ILSPA you have access to our CV help and guidance to secure employment service. Can you tell us about your experience using the service? Would you recommend it?
The CV and help with the application process were brilliant. I can’t emphasise enough how important and helpful this was.
You have recently secured your first legal secretarial role. Can you tell us about your new position?
My new position is in the conveyancing department of a medium law sized firm. It is very interesting to see the materials from the course actually being utilised in everyday life in the office.
What advice would you give a Legal Secretary Student or graduate who is just starting their job search?
If I was to give any advice to a student of the course looking for a job I would probably suggest concentrating on one area of law that is of real interest and focusing most attention on that, so you can demonstrate evidence of that interest in the application process. Also, be prepared to do a bit of further training on the firm’s case management system when you start your new job.
If you are interested in studying to become a Legal Secretary like Gillian, please take a look at ILSPA’s course page. Students receive one year’s free Membership as part of their enrolment, which includes the use of ILSPA’s guidance to secure employment and CV help service. To find out more about their Membership Benefits and how they can help you with your career take a look at ILSPA’s Membership page.
The Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs (ILSPA) is a professional body who are dedicated to your career every step of the way. Whether you would like to become a Legal Secretary or you would like to advance your Legal Secretary career, they are there to support you through your journey. For more information visit www.institutelegalsecretaries.com
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