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: