As a graduate of Law it’s always really daunting the prospect of that next step in your legal career and choosing the best path to qualification. For many years it has always been the very traditional route of LLB, LPC then through to a training contract. Over recent years training contract applications have become more fierce and competitive with fewer contracts offered.
Since the recession things have fluctuated rebounding from a low of 4,874 traineeships in 2009-10. The number of training contracts commencing in England and Wales during 2010-11 rose to 5,441, an 11.6% increase. Although positive, this figure still falls short of the 5,809 traineeships recorded before the financial crisis. http://allaboutlaw.co.uk/
The Associate of Graduate Recruiters’ (AGR) Summer 2012 report states that an average of 44.5 students applied for each training contract vacancy in 2011-12.
However over recent months more and more paralegals have been choosing alternative routes to qualification to try and bypass this process.
This article gives the story of a paralegal who has applied to the Solicitors Regulation Authority for qualification and provided the evidence to show he had achieved the same standards as someone qualifying through the traditional training period. His qualification today comes after four and a half years as a paralegal and he is the first new entrant to the solicitors profession as part of the SRA’s Training for Tomorrow programme. One of the aims of the scheme, a key element of the education and training reforms brought in last year, is to inject more flexibility into the routes to qualification as a solicitor.
So if you are a paralegal looking at your options do make sure you think outside the box and look into other alternative routes to that long awaited qualified certificate.