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How Kelly’s work placement became her dream job

After a 14-year career break, Kelly Chapman has begun a new role as a legal secretary.

“I’m proud to have found work after taking this much time out,” said the 36-year-old who has joined Benussi & Co Limited in central Birmingham. “And I’ve done this straight after finishing my studies.”

Kelly completed Level 2 and 3 legal secretaries courses over two years. It was through the college that she was able to break into the industry.

“My lecturer contacted Benussi to see if they were willing to offer a work placement to a student,” she explained. “They looked at our CVs and interviewed some of us, including me. The work placement then led to a job offer which was completely unexpected but amazing all the same!

“I’m so grateful to the firm for giving me a chance.”

Kelly’s main role is audio typing and answering incoming telephone calls. The documents produced can range from meeting minutes to court proceedings.

“It’s not necessarily about speed, more about attention to detail,” she continued. “Being able to proofread documents is an important skill too.”

Despite her new qualifications and previous experience, Kelly was a little nervous about returning to the workplace and to a new office environment, especially as her former career was in finance.

“I’d had three different finance jobs over six years before starting a family. When I thought about coming back to work, I realised I wanted to explore something new,” said Kelly. “Becoming a legal secretary appealed to me. I felt it would be a stable profession.”

“Working at Benussi has been a real learning curve, although my colleagues are always supportive,” she added. “They appreciate that there are things I need to get used to, such as knowing what gets filed where or who needs copies of what information.

“I was a bit worried about saying the wrong thing to someone on the phone but I’m much more confident now.

“I’m enjoying the role. I like discovering new words and understanding what legal abbreviations mean. The terminology is something you can pick up as you’re going along – or you can turn to Google if you’re really stuck!”

“I find the law much more interesting than finance. I’m glad I took the opportunity to change career.”


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