Articles From the Team

How do I become a Paralegal?

As I specialise in the recruitment of paralegals, I regularly receive calls from candidates who have recently graduated and are seeking a role but aren’t sure what they need to do to secure one. This can be particularly daunting for the majority of paralegals who are looking for a role.

So what do you need to do?

There is no hard and fast answer as it massively depends on the exact position, but typically firms tend to recruit based on the following specification:

• Dependant on the position and firm the client will request at least 6 months of file handling experience, although they will consider candidates who currently assist fee earners and are keen to manage their own caseload; • A solid understanding of the CPR and the litigation process is essential! Ideally you can demonstrate sound knowledge and understanding of the various sections of the CPR; • The candidate, who will usually secure the highest paid paralegal roles with the best firms, will have a 2:1 or 1st at degree level; • Often the client will specify that completion of the LPC is an essential, although this is not always the case; • Salaries can vary a great deal depending the size of the firm and the area of law; typically they range between £17,000 to £22,000.

The best advice I can give to paralegals is to think about the long term plan. Yes, you have completed a 3-5 year academic journey, but the real hard work starts now!

• What are your career objectives and what did you hope to qualify into? • How flexible are you with regards to the area of law? You may not get your first choice given how strong the competition is, so have you thought about your back up options? • Be as flexible as possible, it is essential for you at this stage to get your foot in the door and get valuable experience on your CV! • Be realistic with your salary expectations, we all have to start somewhere, as it stand you are a relatively unproven entity. • You must be up for a challenge, like I said, this is the start of your employment journey so be ready to put the work in. • Lose any previously held conceptions or rumours you have heard of certain firms, the reality is everyone and their dog has something to say about any given firm, make up your mind!

If you’re unsure, speak to a market expert, someone who specialises in this area and regularly receives feedback from others in similar positions to you. Get in touch with BCL Legal or call 0845 241 0933.

BCL Legal specialise in the recruitment of paralegals into personal injury and insurance law positions for top tier ranked practices in the Midlands, Bristol and London. If you would like to discuss to your situation, please feel free to contact BCL Legal for an informal conversation.

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