What do Paralegals do?
Paralegals support other legal professionals, working in a variety of law firms and private, public sector and not-for-profit organisations. Paralegal duties would typically involve preparing legal documents, research, admin, providing quotes to clients, interviewing clients and witnesses, giving clients legal information, going to court and handling a caseload of clients.
It is an extremely varied role where you’ll dip your toes into all aspects of the legal industry. This position is an important one within a legal team and is sometimes used as preparation for qualifying as a solicitor, as the work often mirrors that of a trainee or recently qualified solicitor.
What are the different Paralegals' practice areas?
You could specialise in conveyancing, dispute resolution, crime, employment, family, litigation, personal injury or wills for example. Becoming a paralegal is a varied role with a variety of specialisations.
The 24 different practice areas of law are varied and require different attributes and skills.
If you want a career in law, but don’t want to be a paralegal, you may want to consider becoming a solicitor or barrister.
What qualifications do you need to be a Paralegal?
You will be expected to have a good standard of general education, a good understanding of the law and legal system, and good administration skills.
- The LLB Law is equivalent to a BA or BSc and is a Qualifying Law Degree and one of the recommended paralegal course paths towards becoming a paralegal.
- Specialist Paralegal Qualifications, awarded by The University of Law, are offered by CLT Scotland in both English and Scots Law. These flexible, distance learning qualifications are recommended for those currently working as paralegals/legal secretaries or as an entry route for those without traditional qualifications.
What do you need to be a Paralegal?
- A flexible and adaptable approach to your work
- The desire to develop your understanding of law
- Commercial awareness, business acumen and an understanding of a clients’ needs
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Good attention to detail is needed to carefully analyse files and data
- The ability to multitask and manage tasks and caseloads
- Legal research skills
- The ability to work well under pressure and meet tight deadlines
- Strong organisational skills
- Team working and interpersonal skills when working with different departments to ensure tasks are completed
- An understanding of legal database certifications may be useful.
What do you have to do to become a Paralegal?
Although there are no hard rules on how to become a Paralegal, a prospective employer will value education. To become a paralegal, first complete your studies.
To complete the study stage of your journey to becoming a paralegal, you can take the following paths to gain paralegal qualifications.
- Specialist paralegal qualification
- a Law Degree
- An award in legal studies
- Legal secretary certificate or diploma
- National Association of Licensed Paralegals (NALP) paralegal practice award, certificate, diploma
What do Paralegals do on a daily basis?
A paralegal’s day-to-day responsibilities can be varied and changes from firm to firm and case to case. Daily tasks can include general preparing of cases, liaising with other legal professionals, close support with lawyers and researching in detail.
What is a Paralegal salary in the uk?
As a non-graduate entry level paralegal, yearly salaries range from £14,000 to £22,000. At graduate level, salaries range from £18,000 to £25,000. A paralegal with five years' experience can expect a salary in the region of £30,000 to £40,000. Those based in London and bigger cities will often earn more too.
What experience do you need to be a Paralegal in the UK?
Employers are looking for candidates that have at least six months of work experience in the law sector. You can gain this experience by completing an internship, work placement, or volunteering in pro bono cases. Part-time paralegal positions are available to law students, helping them to gain legal experience. Our employability services can help you to achieve the work experience you need to become a paralegal.
Can a Paralegal work part-time?
Some law firms look for part-time Paralegals, working three days per week. Ideally, you would be able to work in the role for at least 12 months.
What else can you do with a Paralegal degree?
With a Paralegal qualification, you can work as:
- Litigation Paralegal
- Senior Paralegal
- Legal Assistant
- Law Clerk
- Office Manager
- Legal Secretary
What does Paralegal work involve?
For more information on the role of a paralegal and joining the legal industry, please see resources listed below:
- Our ULaw jobsite (current students) will list vacancies relevant to you
- Match your skills and personality to the right career with Prospects
- Learn about The Crown Prosecution Service
- Government Legal Profession, previously called Government Legal Service, will help to understand the role the civil service plays in the law
- Law Society Gazette allows you to browse positions by legal practice area
- LawCareers.Net is a great resource for planning your career
- The Lawyer has its own careers site.