Looking out onto the Family Law Court on London’s High Holborn, up to 50 women and several men are beavering away at computers, headphones on their ears, concentrating hard in a mock-up of an office.
A team of experienced tutors waits calmly to provide assistance and guidance when needed by the students at what may well be the largest provider of legal secretarial training in the land.
Hundreds of people of all ages and levels of experience have successfully trained at the centre, mostly to diploma level and many using their new found skills to find well-paid, high status jobs in the legal profession.
So what accounts for the popularity of this particular learning establishment?
Student Lambroulla Pantelli claims: “The Pitman Training Legal Secretarial Diploma is the best known qualification in its field and as Pitman Training Centres in the UK are recognised by the Institute of Legal Executives (ILEX) as training providers for Continual Professional Development), it is the obvious choice.
But Principal Shilpa Wymer believes there is another element to it:
“There’s no doubt that taking a legal secretarial course with us gives you great credibility in the jobs market but I think our location also has a bearing on our popularity. We’re just a stone’s throw from Lincolns Inn Fields, Staple Inn, Grays Inn and Temple and I can see the gardens of the Royal Courts Of Justice from my office!”
“With all that history of law blended with the venerated Pitman Training name, you can almost feel the culture of the legal sector when you come into our training centre. It’s almost a tradition that legal secretaries will train here.”
The most sought after legal secretarial course at Pitman London is the widely respected diploma programme, which comprises 13 subjects including a number of law topics as well as the highest level of general secretarial skills, including typing and Microsoft Office.
The legal subjects themselves include wills & probate, family law, criminal law, civil litigation, company law and conveyancing.
Shilpa Wymer explains: “Our legal secretarial course modules focus on the administration side of the various areas of law rather than law itself, which is quite rare and another reason why Pitman Trained people are so much in demand.
They know exactly what to do from an administrative point of view right from the outset so they are a terrific support for busy solicitors and barristers.”
The organisation has expanded into London’s Notting Hill where there is a demand for legal secretaries in the property sector and they have also set up in Central Manchester in an attempt to replicate their success in London.
“Manchester also has a well-established legal sector,” claims Shilpa Wymer,”and we are already training people from some of the larger national law firms as well as a good number of students who have come to us under their own steam, looking to break into the sector.”
You can learn more about Pitman Training qualifications at www.holborntraining.co.uk or you can call them:
London High Holborn – 020 7025 4700
London Notting Hill – 020 7792 5214
Central Manchester – 0161 923 6814