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Paralegal legal assistant, property assistant, contracts assistant

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

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £14,000 to £40,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 37 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set entry requirements. GCSEs or A levels may help you get an apprenticeship or on-the-job legal training.

Apprenticeships are available at all levels.

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 (IoP) and the National Association of Licenced Paralegals (NALP) have more details about careers.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • excellent administration, IT and research skills
  • the ability to read and analyse lots of complex information
  • a high level of accuracy and attention to detail
  • the ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines

3. What you'll do

You could work for many kinds of employer, including law firms, private companies, the not-for-profit-sector, local or central government, the police and the courts. You’ll usually specialise in one area of legal work.

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • researching and preparing legal documents
  • handling confidential information
  • interviewing clients and witnesses
  • giving clients legal information
  • going to court
  • handling a caseload of clients
  • following instructions
  • general office tasks

4. Salary

Starter: £14,000 to £25,000

Experienced: £30,000 to £40,000

Highly Experienced: £40,000 or more

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll usually work Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, in an office. At busy times you may need to work longer. You may travel to meet clients or go to court.

6. Career path and progression

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

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Last updated: 02 April 2018