What Paralegals Do: While they may not be fully qualified solicitors, people in Paralegal jobs often are far more involved in the day to day details of legal cases. Their responsibilities can include preparing legal documents for solicitors and clients. Much of a Paralegal’s time will be spent carrying out research on cases which often includes interviewing clients and witnesses, as well as looking into similar legal cases.
Paralegals also spend a significant proportion of their time monitoring and attending court. As a right hand person to a solicitor they have the responsibility of helping them with the case and dealing with clients queries. The help and advice for clients can take place both in and outside court.
On top of these glamorous aspects of the job, Paralegals are often expected to carry out a wide range of and administrative and clerical responsibilities. Those who have the skills to combine the legal aspects of the job with a strong understanding of administration do really well as Paralegals.
What Skills Do Paralegals Need: Excellent written and spoken communication is vital if you want a Paralegal job. Like many other roles the ability to easily and clearly get your message a across over the phone, in person and via email is at a premium. Similarly the ability to deal with clients and colleagues patiently and with tact is valued highly.
As anyone who has dealt with legal cases will understand, anyone working in a legal job has to be able to take on board and understand complicated information. This is more difficult than it sounds though a systematic organized person should be okay.
Also the ability to work to tight deadlines and under pressure can often come in handy for any aspiring Paralegals.
What Qualifications Does a Paralegal Need: Anyone thinking of applying for a paralegal job will need some relevant law experience. Often Law Graduates apply for paralegal jobs after graduating from university. Similarly the job often appeals for those qualified with an HNC or HND in Law or Legal Studies. However a lack of an education in law needn’t prevent you from applying. If you have had some relevant law experience you maybe able to apply and study for a paralegal qualification from the Institute of Legal Executives (ILEX) Paralegal Programmes, or the National Association of Licensed Paralegals.