All things paralegal
Paralegals are a permanent part of the legal profession, providing a range of services to clients and law firms working part-time, freelance, or permanently as career paralegals. Career paralegals tend to be quite specialised working in specialist firms. Either way, most, if not all the work undertaken by paralegals will count as QWE.
Considering a role as a paralegal?
If you are thinking about applying for a paralegal position on the site, there are definitely a few things worth considering to ensure a smooth and successful application process.
Here's our list of a few things you should think about
What are the role requirements?
Make sure you have a clear understanding of the requirements for the position you're interested in. This may include specific qualifications, skills, or experience, research the job description thoroughly. If they are asking for a qualified paralegal, then make sure you have the requisite qualification.
Have they asked for a cover letter and CV?
You need to do a decent cover letter and ensure your CV highlights your relevant experience. This is your chance to make a good first impression on potential employers, so take care to highlight your relevant skills and experience, and you must tailor your application to the specific role and organisation.
Exploit networking opportunities
Networking is a useful thing to actively do when you are applying for positions. Attend law events and follow legal professionals on social media to keep up to date with the latest legal news, and trends, and to connect with potential employers.
Seek learning and development
Keep in mind the legal sector is always changing, so it's important to keep up to date with the latest developments in the profession. Try and be open to any learning and development opportunities to increase your knowledge and give you that extra edge over other candidates.
What is a paralegal and does the work count as QWE?
A paralegal supports lawyers and solicitors in their work. They often need to have a deep understanding of the particular area of law, as well as the legal system and procedures.Most, if not all work experience gained as a paralegal will count as QWE.
What do paralegals do?
Carrying out legal research
Drafting legal documents
Handling administrative tasks on legal matters
Employed paralegals can become PSRAS or gain immigration accreditation and represent clients in interviews.
Which areas of law employ paralegals?
These are the top areas that regularly recruit for paralegals
Almost every company needs legal support to help them navigate a complex world of regulations and legal requirements. Corporate law paralegals often assist with contracts, mergers and acquisitions, securities and compliance, and other corporate legal matters.
Litigation is another area of law that employs a significant number of paralegals. Legal disputes can arise in many different contexts and therefore litigation lawyers often need the support of several paralegals to review documents, analyse evidence and prepare legal arguments.
Family law is an area in which paralegals are always needed and the work can be rewarding. Whether working on divorce proceedings or assisting with child custody cases, paralegals in family law have a chance to make a real difference in the lives of their clients.
Criminal law firms are always recruiting criminal paralegals. If you are keen, then firms will often support candidates to go through PSRAS which gives candidates a qualification they can use independently to do police station work on a freelance/employed basis too.
They provide legal support to immigration solicitors. Again, the firm will often support its good paralegals in obtaining immigration accreditation. As immigration continues to be a hot-button issue in England and Wales, the demand for immigration paralegals is expected to rise so now is a good time to get involved if you are interested in this type of work.
Personal Injury and Intellectual Property and both areas of law where firms are generally looking for qualified paralegals. So if you are NALP qualified paralegal, these may be the roles for you. They also involve specialist areas of work.