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Learning & Development update – PA training

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With the introduction of specialist document production hubs, the removal of more procedural administration and technological advances, the role of the PA is changing. Fee earners too are adapting to a changing landscape and competing demands on their time. They need support from PAs who can anticipate issues or opportunities, and provide the right support.

PAs should be an asset in a law firm, helping fee earners to access services, keeping abreast of client developments, and managing meetings and diaries. This, in turn, enables the fee earners to improve their service to clients.

In order to ensure that our PAs have the skills they need to operate effectively and meet the changing needs of the modern law firm, Intelligent Office is rolling out a comprehensive PA training programme.

Chief Executive Rachel McCorry says: “Training for law firm PAs tends to focus on technical skills like Word or PowerPoint proficiency. While these skills are essential, we expect more from Intelligent Office PAs.

“Our new PA training programme covers delegation, time management, diary management, arranging meetings and note taking, email etiquette, event management and travel management. It up-skills our PAs so they can be proactive, adding value to the fee earners they work with and to the firm as a whole.”

One PA attendee said: “The approach to PA training by Intelligent Office is focused and interactive. The training proved that no matter how experienced you are, you can learn something new. Everyone came away from each session having learned something new, ensuring that they perform to their maximum potential.”

In the Intelligent Office model for administrative and support services, the PA plays a critical role in coordinating other outsourced services, marshalling all the support at her disposal to deliver a great service to her fee earners.

PAs liaise with the First Impression team to prepare hospitality and IT/AV support for client meetings and events. They manage the relationship with the Document Production team – on site or via our onshore shared services centres in Scotland – Floor Support for local administrative tasks and filing, and Docucentre for bulk reprographics, bundling and bible creation.

Unencumbered by document production and general administrative tasks, our PAs handle a range of higher value tasks, including running events and seminars, supporting client relationships, project management, research, chargeable work and orchestrating other administrative services.

To find out more about how Intelligent Office can help your law firm, please contact:

Sam Nicholls, sam.nicholls@intelligentofficeuk.com or +44 (0)7984 252 150

Jo Styles, jo.styles@intelligentofficeuk.com or +44 (0)7753 497 940

Jessica Burston, jessica.burston@intelligentofficeuk.com or +44 (0)7753 497824

Also covered in this quarterly best practice update are:

Technology

If you want to help your fee earners work smarter and faster, then DocBuster could be just what you need. DocBuster is a smart and simple piece of software designed specifically for law firms to make bulk printing a piece of cake.

From its user-friendly review function to fast, automated printing, we take a close look at DocBuster’s ability to make fee earners’ lives that little bit easier.

Document Production

A law firm’s reputation rests on getting its legal documents right, both in terms of the advice given and the way that advice is presented. Microsystems’ DocXtools has been designed to fill functionality gaps in Microsoft Word and simplify the drafting process, helping law firms to achieve greater drafting efficiency and document quality.

We review DocXtools and its potential benefits for law firms.

About Intelligent Office

In addition to PA and secretarial services, Intelligent Office provides a range of administrative and support services to law firm clients across the UK. These include:

  • Document production (on site at clients’ premises and off site via two onshore shared services centres)
  • Docucentre – reprographics, mail, archives and records management
  • Floor Support
  • First Impression
  • Procurement

With more than 900 staff operating across 49 client sites and two onshore shared services centres, we are the leading provider of office administrative and secretarial services to the UK legal market.

We help firms change for the better, improving the quality of support delivered to partners and fee earners and helping firms save time and money. By taking charge of administrative and secretarial services, law firms are free to concentrate on growth and productivity.

The result: flexible, modern and professional support services; improved service for clients; increased profitability for the firm; and better opportunities for support staff.

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