Although not permitted to give advice to clients, paralegals play a vital part in legal offices through supporting lawyers. Often an ideal job to hold whilst training for law qualifications, paralegals can specialise in a particular area of law or work in general roles. The tasks of a paralegal can vary widely and may include taking statements from witnesses, helping lawyers prepare court cases, researching detailed legal information and administrative tasks such as filing and drafting letters. To be a paralegal, you will need excellent attention to detail, high professionalism and strong organisational skills. Let’s take a look at insights directly from graduates working as paralegals…
1. Daily Tasks
‘A typical day involves drafting legal documents, assisting in the investigation of title to properties, completing post completion requirements (SDLT and Land Registry applications), liaising with the Land Registry and corresponding with clients. There are also regular team/office meetings and training sessions.’
Paralegal, Real Estate at Shoosmiths
‘The quality of work is generally of a high standard. On a day-to-day basis, whilst it is necessary to do more mundane tasks like document review and proof-reading, I will also often be involved in drafting agreements, completing research memorandums, and liaising with external counsel. There is not a great deal of client interaction, but I am in regular contact with other solicitors and partners each day.’
Trainee Solicitor, at Sidley Austin LLP
‘Rotation scheme, with last rotation being in the business law department. Typical day would involve reviewing draft agreements, drafting corporate documents (eg: minutes, loan note instruments, companies house filings etc), sitting in on client calls and research re particular point of law. Some direct interaction with clients. A great deal of interaction with senior team members (partners).’
Trainee Solicitor, at Edwards Wildman Palmer UK LLP
2. Best and Worst Things About Your Job
‘Very international work. You learn a great deal about how major businesses work, across a great many sectors. Working with world class lawyers. Good salary. Hours can be grueling at times. Work quality ranges from the phenomenal to the mundane, depending on who you work with.’
Trainee Solicitor, at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
‘It’s a great place to work. A very supportive work culture that encourages staff to progress and do well. The staff are friendly, understanding and approachable and this is mirrored in the way they treat clients.’
Paralegal, Access Legal at Shoosmiths
‘The people I work with and the learning environment they create. The workflow can in some departments can be unpredictable.’
Trainee Solicitor, Professional Indemnity at DWF LLP
3. Average Working Hours
9am – 7pm
4. Average Salary
£33,000 – £35,000
5. Interview Tips
Application Advice: Re-check the application form as many times as possible
Interview Advice: Research the firm thoroughly
Paralegal, Finance at Reed Smith
Application Advice: Make sure you research the firm itself and avoid making your application generic, as that will come across.
Interview Advice: Review your application so that you are prepared to answer questions arising from it. Don’t be afraid to let your personality come through at the interview.
Trainee Solicitor, Banking and Finance at Taylor Wessing LLP
Application Advice: Experience is just as important as qualifications, if not more important.
Interview Advice: Keep your legal knowledge up to date, there will be questions about it as well as your abilities.
Paralegal, Legal services at Peninsula Business Services
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