Paralegal Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Paralegal, or Legal assistant, performs critical legal work in an office, court or police station. They may undertake research work for a case, prepare legal documents and in some cases may provide legal advice to clients.

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Paralegal duties and responsibilities

A Paralegal is involved in a lot of critical work in a law firm or legal department. They should be responsible and efficient. Their duties include: 

  • Researching for legal cases
  • Preparing legal documents 
  • Handling confidential client or case information
  • Creating reports for Solicitors based on case specifications
  • Conducting interviews with clients and providing them with legal information
  • Monitoring changes to government guidelines or regulations and submitting reports on pertinent changes
  • Contacting courts to obtain evidence and transcripts
  • Going to court when necessary
  • Organising legal files
  • Undertaking general office work

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What does a Paralegal do? 

A Paralegal may be hired to perform legal work to assist a Barrister in a law firm or a company’s legal department. Such legal work may include doing research for a case, preparing legal documents and conducting interviews. A Paralegal may also be organising legal files and doing general office duties. Since a Paralegal may also provide legal consultation, they are expected to have good communication skills and maintain good relations with clients. They also help the business maintain its clientele and generate regular income.

Paralegal skills and qualifications

A successful Paralegal candidate should possess various prerequisite skills and qualifications needed to fulfill their duties these include:

  • Good verbal and written communication skills
  • Proficiency in using legal database software
  • Strong research skills
  • Ability to work independently in a fast-paced environment
  • Ability to exercise good judgment and discretion
  • Organisation skills

Paralegal experience requirements

The ideal Paralegal candidate should have at least three years of work experience. This may include previous work with a law firm, government office or another type of institution. It’s also important for the candidate to to demonstrate how their previous experience is relevant to the position they are applying for. A Paralegal may also be able to gain appropriate experience through an apprenticeship.

Paralegal education and training requirements

Paralegals are required to have a formal education and training before being doing professional work. An entry-level Paralegal must secure a Level 2 Diploma in Legal Studies, a Level 3 Legal Secretaries Diploma and a CILEx Level 3 Certificate in Law and Practice. The candidate may also present a higher National Diploma, Foundation Degree or Law Degree. In addition, Paralegal candidates must also have at least two General Certificates of Secondary Education (GCSEs) at grades 9 to 3 for a level 2 course and at least four GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 for a level 3 course, or a Higher National Certificate (HNC ) Law.

Paralegal salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Paralegal is £23,041 per year. However, the starting salary for a Paralegal may vary depending on the candidate’s work experience, the location of the job and the company.

Job description samples for similar positions

If a Paralegal is not quite who you want to recruit for your business, you may also consider other related job positions. These would include: 

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Paralegal job description FAQs

What qualities make a good Paralegal?

One of the most important qualities that a Paralegal candidate must have is excellent attention to detail. When researching for a case, they should be able to identify crucial, accurate details that the legal team requires. They should also possess good multitasking skills, as they are required to work on several cases at that the same time. Good computer skills, would also benefit a Paralegal since much of the research may be conducted online.

What should you look for in a Paralegal CV?

For this position, it’s important to pay attention to the candidate’s educational and training accomplishments. They must possess the diploma and certification that you require for the job. Their CV must also detail the relevant work experience. This may include a previous job with another firm or a completed apprenticeship.

What makes a good Paralegal job description?

A good Paralegal job description provides all the necessary information about the position. This includes a complete list of the job requirements, duties and responsibilities, giving the candidate an overview of what can be expected on the job.

How can you make your Paralegal job description stand out?

Paralegal job candidates may be more inclined to apply to a job listing with a clearly detailed job description. This allows a candidate to get a better idea of the scope of work to be expected. Its also helpful to provide an overview of the compensation package for the position. This can include any possible work bonus and other company incentives.

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