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Law

Paralegal

Paralegals carry out research, prepare legal documents and give legal advice to clients.

Annual Salary

£20,000 to £40,000

Average UK salary in 2022 was £33,200
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 40 a week

You could work: evenings; occasionally

2.9%
Future employment

There will be 2.9% more Paralegal jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

As a paralegal you could:

  • research and draft legal documents
  • handle a caseload of clients and give them legal information
  • manage data and confidential client information
  • interview clients and witnesses
  • go to court

Working environment

You could work in an office, in a court or at a police station.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
University

You could study for a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in law, legal studies or paralegal practice.

It's competitive to get a place on a law degree, so you'll need to have good grades when you apply.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
For more information
College

You could do a college course before you look for paralegal work.

Courses include:

  • legal studies
  • law and practice
  • paralegal practice

For more information
Apprenticeship

You could take a Paralegal Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship.

This usually takes 2 years to complete as a mix of workplace learning and study.

For more information
Work

You might be able to find work with a legal practice as an admin assistant and do training on the job to qualify.

You can do training through the Institute of Paralegals or the National Association of Licensed Paralegals.

You'll be expected to have GCSEs or A levels and a good standard of English.

More information

Career tips

You'll find it helpful to get some experience in the area of law you want to work in, such as family, criminal or property law.

As well as opportunities with law firms, look out for placements in legal departments of businesses, charities, central and local government.

Further information

You can find out more about paralegal careers from the Institute of Paralegals.

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With further study, you could qualify as a legal executive or solicitor.

You could become self-employed or set up your own paralegal practice.

The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) Law School has details of training while working and earning a salary. It has information about the Trailblazer apprenticeships, which can qualify you as a paralegal, a legal executive or a solicitor.

You'll need a good understanding of the legal system, so experience working at a law firm could help you start your training. Qualifications in paralegal practice or a degree in law could also help you begin your career.

The Institute of Paralegals has more details about careers.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to read English
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • excellent written communication skills
  • administration skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • legal knowledge including court procedures and government regulations
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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