How to become a Legal Secretary in the England or Wales – Legal

I hope you find the following information on Legal Secretarial/PA jobs useful.THE ROLELegal secretaries assist in all aspects of running a law firm. The legal secretaries¡¦ jobs can include basic tasks such as word processing, audio-typing and dealing with general clerical work. Some legal secretary work can include meeting clients, arranging meeting and some even attend court or police cells.Legal Secretary jobs can incorporate all areas of law – from criminal and civil law to property, family, corporate, private client and banking.SKILLS and INTERESTSIf you are looking for a Legal Secretary job you should:Have an interest in lawHave excellent secretarial skillsBe PC literateBe accurate and methodicalBe discreet when dealing with confidential informationHave a good standard of English, spelling and grammarWork well under pressure and be good a meeting deadlinesOf course, a polite friendly manner helps!A mix of these skills would provide a solid foundation for anyone looking for jobs as a legal secretaryClick here for Legal Secretary jobsQUALIFICATIONSThere are no formal qualifications to becoming a Legal Secretary, athough a high standard of general education is required. To become a Legal Secretary office and administration experience is useful as is some existing knowledge of the law.Career DevelopmentEmployers often offer on the job training. There are different pathways that lead to legal secretarial qualifications:** The Institute of Legal Secretaries and PA¡¦sThe Institute of Legal Secretaries and PA¡¦s offer a diploma that¡¦s has been recognised as the most comprehensive qualification for Legal Secretaries. The diploma is extremely useful if you are looking for jobs as a Legal Secretary. The syllabus for the general diploma is divided into five main units:Outline of the English Legal SystemOutlines of the Law of Contract and the Law of TortConveyancing and an outline of Land LawCivil LitigationSuccession (Wills, Probate and Administration)The Institute of Legal Secretaries and PA¡¦s also offers courses for Legal Secretaries who would like to specialise in one are of law.The subjects covered are:- Civil Litigation- Company and Corporate Law- Conveyancing- Criminal Law and Practice- Matrimonial Law and Family Practice SuccessionClick here for Institute Of Legal Secretaries Website and further information: http://www.institutelegalsecretaries.com** ILEX Legal Secretaries Certificate & DiplomaILEX offer a Legal Secretaries Certificate (Level 2) and a Legal Secretaries Diploma (Level 3)The ILEX Paralegal Programmes (ILEXPP) for Legal Secretaries are now considered the benchmark for those aspiring to or working in a legal environment as secretaries or personal assistants. Reflecting the National Standards in Administration, the programmes offer: a flexible route,
no entry requirements (although a Grade C or above in English Language GCSE is desirable),
a choice of when and where to study, task based assignments which are all accompanied by up to date training manuals.”The ILEX Legal Secretaries Certificate covers the following areas:Legal Word ProcessingAdministration in the Legal EnvironmentCommunication Skills in the Legal EnvironmentInformation Processing in the Legal EnvironmentThe ILEX Legal Secretaries Diploma covers the following areas:Advanced Legal Word ProcessingAdvanced Administration in the Legal EnvironmentAdvanced Communication Skills in the Legal EnvironmentAdvanced Information Processing in the Legal EnvironmentClick here for ILEXPP Website and further information on the ILEX Tutorial (Training to be a Legal Secretary) Web pages** OCR (RSA) Legal Word ProcessingOCR(RSA)offers specialised qualifications in legal text and legal word processing. The course is for those with previous word processing experience who wish to specialise in legal work. This programme is ideal for those who are in employment or wish to gain employment in the legal sector. You will be taught about the production of a range of documents in a legal context. Legal styles and formats. Legal terminology and English grammar are also covered
Legal Text Processing is part of the OCR (Oxford, Cambridge and RSA) suite of qualifications in text processing which are widely recognised by employers as benchmark qualifications in text processing.Candidates who are successful in achieving accreditation will be able to extend their range of text processing skills at intermediate level and progress to different optional units within the suite of units at Level 2 or to progress to the OCR Text Processing Advanced (Level 3) qualification.Legal Secretaries work in all areas of law from solicitors offices, barristers chambers through to law courts, police stations and within in house legal teams. It is possible to start as a legal secretary and work towards becoming a legal executive, paralegal or a licensed conveyancer. You could even study for a law degree.

Rising Legal Costs – A Solution – Legal

1.0 BackgroundGlobalization has brought tremendous changes in the global business arena and the BPOs and later LPOs are the direct offshoot of it. LPOs have come into being in India and elsewhere in the world primarily to cater to the clients of US and other developed nations as far as the legal processes are concerned to not only provide quality service but also to reduce the legal costs. In the past decade or so, a good number of LPOs have opened their businesses in India and in the light of rising legal costs and in order to find a workable solution to it we need to examine the issue in detail.1.1 A Few IllustrationsCisco’s Systems Inc., is a company that sells networking products, routing and switching systems. The company has a total legal spending that amounts to a little over one-third of 1% of company revenue, with non-litigation expenses running at about 0.16%. Measured in terms of dollars, Cisco’s 170-member lawyer department spends $38 million internally and $80 million a year on outside counsel. The $32.8 billion company has 51,000 employees spanning across 80 countries. (Leslie A. Gordon in GC California Magazine Published in their website http://www.law.com.) Microsoft managed to reduce its legal costs for the last fiscal year but still the company is involved in lot more litigation matters in Europe (Todd Bishop in P-I reporter). It would be an interesting scenario to collect the info pertaining to each US Company’s annual spending on the legal costs. It will certainly not please those who manage the companies, not in the least the shareholders.2.0 Existing ArrangementsThere are certain existing arrangements in place to deal with the issue of legal costs. The arrangements include in-house counsel department for every company. The in-house counsel takes care of all the legal matters pertaining to the company he works for and he also depends on outside counsels for the same. It would be appropriate if we understand the roles played by the in-house counsels and outside counsels vis-à-vis the legal costs.2.1 In-house CounselsThe American Bar Association developed a model rule on foreign legal consultants (FLCs) in 1993. FLCs offer legal advice on international law and the law of the countries in which they are qualified to practice if they meet certain requirements. American Bar Association recently endorsed recommendations of its Commission based on Multijurisdictional Practice (“MJP Commission”) including revisions to the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct (“Model Rules”) regarding unauthorized practice, jurisdiction to discipline out-of-state lawyers, and choice of law rules governing multistate representation. These revisions are currently being examined and awaiting for the implementation. U.S.lawyers, seeking to increase their opportunities to offer their services overseas for liberalization of admission requirements under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) including both inbound and outbound of trade of U.S In August 2006, the Committee on Professional and Judicial Ethics of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York (“the Committee”) which published a Formal Opinion stating attorneys could ethically contract out legal support services abroad.American Conference Institute (ACI) announced to hold an LPO Summit at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York on January 16 and17, 2008 to develop global legal support strategies, identify negotiating outsourcing contracts, and to optimize ongoing relationship2.2 Problems and ChallengesBoth the risks and exposures an in-house counsel faces are pronouncedly greater in comparison with the other lawyers as the in-house counsels are concurrently encumbered with the task of providing valuable legal advice while ensuring compliance to the law. In-house counsels face this daunting task in a scenario where the activities of the company are inherently interconnected with the legal tasks at hand. To top it all, in-house attorneys were confronted with a myriad of potential exposures. These legal tangles include $307 of SOX; backdating stock options; new Rules of Federal Civil Procedures regarding electronically stored information; the McNulty Memorandum; Federal Rules of Evidence 502; liability to outside third parties; investigating boardroom leaks; and multi-jurisdictional practice and licensing.2.3 Outside CounselsSimilarly, in-house lawyers are increasingly asking the law firms on hire to submit estimated budgets so they can trim down the costs of legal work especially when defending themselves against lawsuits. Companies have long asked for budgets from their lawyers for business transactions and for more conventional types of legal work. But with pressure mounting on them to report higher earnings, the in-house lawyers must now monitor their legal expenditures and they want their outside counsel to follow the suit as well.The “2007 ACC/Serengeti managing outside counsel survey report” (www.serengetilaw.com) shows an average increase of 5.3% in the billing rates by outside counsel during the period from 2002 to 2007.Billing issues have always been a war zone between the in-house and outside counsels. The popular “hourly billing” method comes with its own disadvantages. It often impacts legal costs negatively as it lays more emphasis on the delivery of the work rather than on the qualitative aspect which can eventually have an adverse effect on client relationship.2.4 Some Key ChallengesThe Legal Service Act 2007 of UK, permits legal out sourcing, is a boon t. Indian law graduates who can easily cope with England Legal work. The WTO in July 1998 noted a combined net trade balance for the U.S. and the U.K., the two largest exporters of legal services.With associate lawyers in the US carrying a price tag of $225 per hour in their first year and $450 an hour in their eighth year. It was only a matter of time before law firms sought to outsource some of their countries like India, where the lawyers need to pay a price of 10 to 15% of that of US lawyers and a turnaround time of 24 hours for outsourced work. Legal Services Off shoring (LSO) which is an in-house legal departments or organizations offshore legal work from areas where it is costly to perform in United States or Europe is decreasing rapidly and on the other end in Indian services on high demand.Criminal defense specialist and former Assistant United States Attorney Jay Ethington assure that “There is no difference between Indian and American advocates. The quality of work is the same”.Outsourcing legal work to India is beneficial to western countries due to3.0 What ails legal costs?Despite taking all kinds of measures the ailment of over-expenditure continues in a company. Corporate entities, in-house counsels
and outside counsels, all seem to be caught in an escalating web of legal budget.Budgets are the chief pointers to know whether in-house and outside counsels are thrashing out strategic issues and activity levels in a fruitful manner before litigation starts. They also act as parameters against which progress of the team and the expenses while handling complex legal questions and issues faced by it can be gauzed.In a study conducted by Inside Counsel in its 17th Annual Survey of General Counsel (Published in the July 2006 issue of InsideCounsel), some 407 in-house counsels and 131 law firms felt that most of the friction between law firms and their in-house counsels can be attributed to the costs. Undeniably, when it comes to fiscal matters, the perceptions of the two groups could hardly be more divergent. 52% of in-house counsels identified ‘reduction of costs’ as the most significant thing law firms could do to develop their rapport with in-house counsel.3.1 An interesting studyA study carried out by ACCA (now renamed ACC) has shown that despite taking measures, cost controls are failing to cut overall legal spending. The ACC survey shows that in-house counsel relies heavily on outside counsel in key areas such as litigation (69%), intellectual property (45%) and employment (45%). And as salaries for junior law firm associates continue to spiral upward, along with hourly billing rates for associates and partners alike, general counsel must manage with increasing legal fees.The Way Out!The only viable and durable solution on the horizon appears to be legal outsourcing which is more beneficial to the US and other western companies not only in the short run but also over a period of time.4.0 A Few Issues!Certain issues came up after the legal process outsourcing has begun in India and elsewhere in the world. Certain myths are also doing the rounds and it would be a mistake to attribute them to unbiased minds alone. In the light of newer issues let’s examine them as objectively as we can.4.1 Outsourcing to India affects US employmenthere is no valid data to prove that legal outsourcing to India will affect the employment in the US. According to a study by Forrester Research, the current annual value of legal outsourcing to India is at about US$80 million, but this can rise to US$4 billion, and would provide 79,000 jobs by 2015. This makes the present job absorption in this sphere-which is a mere 12,000-appear minuscule (http://www.blogsource.org/2005/11/india_could_abs.html). A study conducted earlier this year by Robert Half Legal (www.roberthalflegal.com) points that more stress is put on legal expertise in areas of compliance, regulatory issues, litigation, intellectual property and real estate. This increased demand will considerably outpace the rate of the entire legal outsourcing market.These are mere forecasts. Even if such forecasts are completely believed, the amount of legal work that is off-shored will still remain 2% of that projected total and that too a major chunk of that constitute low-end work. Moreover it is widely reported that the population of the US is aging. At current productivity levels, it will need 5 percent or to put it simply, 15.6 million more workers by 2015 to maintain both its current ratio of workers to the total population and to sustain its present living standards. By 2015, despite current fears about job losses as a result of off-shoring, the US economy will certainly need more workers. Off-shoring is surely one way to meet that need. So all those doubting Johns who hold a pessimistic view on outsourcing legal services will be better off remembering that even after a substantial amount of work is outsourced from the US there is no threat to its economy.4.2 Competence of Indian lawyersThe competence of the Indian lawyers can be judged not from the fact that quite a number of advocates are being produced annually but from the fact that they are the pillars, strong pillars at that, for the gigantic judicial system prevailing in India matched only by the US in its magnitude and dimensions. There is not a single legislation in the US that is not made in India barring a few that is not subject to intricate and in-depth interpretations by the lawyers and the judges. Many landmark judgments in India were and are possible due to the presence of the highly agile and competent lawyer force. The ease with which they can tackle any legal issue pertaining to any country where common law is prevailing is predictable and natural. The fact that the BPOs in India which are a runaway success are gradually paving way for the LPOs or at least LPOs are increasingly occupying the centre-stage in the outsourcing business in India with growing number of clients from the US and other countries speaks volumes about the ability and competence of the Indian lawyers.4.3 Quality outputApart from economical costs another important factor for the US or other western country to outsource their legal work is the quality output they are assured of in India. It is an admitted fact that in most cases quality takes precedence over many other factors like cost-effective services, abundant workforce etc.4.4 Safety and ConfidentialityNowhere else does the issue of safety and confidentiality come up so constantly as in the field of law. And, when it comes to the LPOs the task of providing quality services to their global clientele should be matched by stringent safety and confidentially measures in order to earn their confidence and goodwill. There are of course competent and professionally run LPOs in India that adhere to the safety and confidentiality norms.5.0 Separating the wheat from the chaff!There are a good number of LPOs in India now and a report says 1800 lawyers are presently engaged in various LPOs catering to the global clientele providing quality services. It becomes quite a task to choose the best from among them. However, with stringent objective criteria the task becomes easier and then it will not be a Herculean task to select the best LPO to whom any legal service can be entrusted in confidence. The parameters can be-Quality output
Security and confidentiality
Cost-effectiveness
Easy accessibility
Hassle-free and client-friendly billingIts website (www.acumenlpo.com) can be scanned for further details.

Legal Help For Single Mothers – Legal

It is quite important for single moms to know where they can get legal help with regard do different issues affecting their children. Legal help for single mothers is essential and it has assisted a lot of single moms get relief by being supported by their husbands. In most of the cases the mother undergoes a lot of problems where the husband leaves her without even thinking of how she is going to bring up the children. Legal help will ensure that the single moms rights are well articulated and respected. The situation becomes even worse where the mom does not have a job and therefore, she doesn’t have a means of supporting the kids. This is the reason why it becomes quite imperative for her to seek legal help for single mothers. They should know that they are entitled to child support from the other party. The biological father of the child must support the mother in bringing up the children.The legal help for single mothers is also quite important in deciding who should have the custody of the children. The mother in most cases will be granted right to have custody of the child provided she is in a position to bring up the child. The mother will be better placed to bring up the child in many circumstances. If the father wants to have the custody of the kids legal help will require him to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that the mother is not in a position to bring up the child. The level of proof is that of beyond any shadow of doubt. When the custody is granted to the mother then the father will be required to support the mother financially. In many situations however, the legal help for single mothers is important since she will be advised to seek a court order requiring the husband to be paying the support fund without failing.Legal help has been there for quite sometime after a lot of single mothers were denied what was legally theirs by the father of their children. The legal help has as a result assisted many mothers and has remained quite determined in ensuring that whenever a single mother requires any service she can provoke their assistance anytime. Depending with the level of the relationship the mother may as well be entitled to a portion of the family property. The legal help will ensure that the mothers have legal understanding of what they should do to ensure that they get a share of the matrimonial property.Legal help for single mothers will also ensure that the mother can be in a position to claim to be provided with housing. This is very important since many single mothers were simply housewives and depended wholly on their husbands. The legal help will give mothers an insight on how they should provoke court action with regard to claiming to be provided with housing. The single mother is therefore, playing a very important role in ensuring that single mothers know their rights and are able to fight for them.

Outsourcing Legal Transcription Services – Legal

Legal transcription is one of the most outsourced jobs after medical transcription and business transcription and is proving to be highly helpful for law firms, business firms, non-profit organizations and attorneys. Most of the firms which offer legal-transcription have their services offered in a highly competitive and time-bound manner for their clients, mainly in the United States and the UK. Legal transcription involves creating legal documents from recorded files of court proceedings and trials. Some of the legal transcription services being made available in these transcription facilities include verbatim transcription, legal letter transcription, wire tap transcription, correspondence transcription, and court transcriptions.The need for these legal transcription services arises from the fact that lawyers handling civil and criminal cases require hard copies of proceedings at their offices. These can be pleadings, judgments, or interrogatories. To address the need for effective transcription of all these proceedings, most legal transcription service providers are offering their quality services for a wide range of clients which include:o Attorneys
o Legal departments
o Non-governmental organizations
o Public prosecutors
o Financial/banking firms
o Insurance companies
o State/Federal agencies and moreIn legal transcription, hard copies are generated from either audio or video tapes which contain recorded legal proceedings. The need for quality and accuracy in transcription is important and to ensure accuracy levels of up to 99% in the transcribed documents, legal-transcription providers have employed mostly law graduates and to guarantee quality, most firms also have in-house quality checks for errors and misspells. Most of these firms are also imparting high levels of training for their employees and often take care to update their knowledge levels regarding legal terms.Security of legal documents is critical and to ensure high levels of security, most of these legal transcription providers are using internet security encryptions such as SSL for all online transfers of audio, video and processed legal documents. Since all legal documents are digitized and securely stored by outsourcing firms, retrieval of documents is easy, saving considerable time and effort.Apart from legal transcription services, most of these firms also undertake a lot of other related services such as legal coding, legal research, litigation support, legal scoping, and court reporting. To serve clients better, all legal transcription firms are offering their services on a 24×7 basis. These firms have sufficient staffs and equipments to address all client requirements. The competitive, efficient and affordable services being provided by these legal-transcription providers always ensure that law firms and attorneys have more time to concentrate on important matters, thereby serving their clients better.