About London Paralegal Jobs
The saying “behind every successful lawyer is an exhausted paralegal” is right for a reason. Paralegals are valuable assets to lawyers as they help them with their legal research and get them more prepared for court cases. When it comes to paralegal jobs, London has a high demand since they play vital roles in law firms. That said, let’s go over the basics of what it takes to pursue a law career.
What Does a Paralegal Do?
The most straightforward description of a paralegal job would be that a paralegal is someone who performs all sorts of legal tasks under a lawyer’s supervision. However, being a paralegal in London is much more than that.
In general, paralegal work involves working in law firms or government agencies to organise and maintain files and conduct legal research. This is considered vital as it plays a big part in any legal team.
Paralegal Job Description
Being a paralegal entails a series of duties. Let’s go over some typical responsibilities.
Conducting client interviews and maintaining contact with clients
Some of the key paralegal roles are maintaining and nurturing the relationship between a client and a firm. By conducting client interviews, the firm can understand the client’s future plans and give legal advice. Being a paralegal in London also means providing the client with regular updates on the case and returning phone calls promptly.
Conducting legal research
What all paralegal jobs require from a paralegal is to know how to interpret the facts of a specific case and perform legal analyses. Conducting legal research can help understand what legal methods to apply and what circumstances are bound to impact a judge’s decision.
Drafting legal documents and pleadings
Having a paralegal job in London includes tasks such as drafting legal documents and pleadings. Poorly drafted pleadings can jeopardise the case, which is why a paralegal has to double-check each pleading thoroughly before going to court.
Helping lawyers during trials
Graduate paralegal jobs in London often involve accompanying lawyers when prepping for trial and going to court.
Summarising depositions, interrogations, and testimonies
Their work consists of planning and arranging the witness testimonies. Besides that, they also prepare trial exhibits and draft opening statements and closing arguments.
Assisting in drafting contracts
Suppose you are looking for junior paralegal jobs in London. In that case, you need to be skilled at drafting contracts as one of the precursors to career advancement.
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Types of Paralegal Jobs in London
This involves working in corporate law. Besides other duties, corporate paralegal jobs in London entails reviewing and monitoring legislation, assisting in implementing changes to contracts, and drafting legal and other documents.
Estate Planning and Probate Paralegal
This is one of the most delicate types of paralegal jobs London has to offer, mainly because you have to work with grieving people or those preparing for their own passing. Estate planning and probate paralegals have many administrative responsibilities, such as preparing estate tax returns and drafts of wills, trusts, and similar documents.
Family Law Paralegal
A family paralegal in London mostly helps lawyers represent clients in custody disputes. Furthermore, they’re always in contact with clients, and their job usually involves matters such as child custody, adoption, child support, and the like.
The difference between other paralegals and this paralegal career is that a government paralegal works in government law offices instead of private law firms. A government paralegal deals with legal matters under the supervision of licenced attorneys. They assist government lawyers such as deputy public defenders and deputy city attorneys.
Immigration paralegals work with immigration lawyers to help clients prepare documents for deportation proceedings or citizenship processes. If you want this type of paralegal jobs London has to offer, speaking more than one language can come in handy when working with people from other countries.
When compared to other jobs in the field, a litigation paralegal spends most of the time in court. Therefore, if you are looking for paralegal jobs in the UK that entail more court time, a litigation paralegal is the right choice. Main responsibilities include conducting a pre-claim investigation, legal research, and initial case assessments, drafting pleadings, and doing administrative work.
Real Estate Paralegal
A real estate paralegal works under the supervision of a real estate lawyer and deals with real estate matters. In this paralegal role, you have to review documents, conduct title searches, work with properties for lease, rent, or sale, schedule appointments, and the like.
Intellectual Property Paralegal
An intellectual property paralegal, also known as IP paralegal, is just one of many paralegal jobs in London. Their main area of expertise is property law, such as trademark, copyright, and patent law.
Paralegals usually work in an office environment. However, sometimes they may need to travel to gather information or accompany lawyers when they go to depositions or trials. That said, even trainee paralegal jobs in London can sometimes be stressful and may require a lot of multitasking.
Injuries and Illnesses
This job usually doesn’t result in any serious injuries and illnesses. However, many paralegals spend a lot of time sitting. As a result, this sedentary lifestyle can lead to high blood pressure, weight gain, back pain, and similar. In general, paralegal jobs can be stressful depending on the workload and cases.
A paralegal plays a vital role in a law firm. Although they typically work eight hours a day or 40 hours a week, sometimes they need to work more. If there’s a client emergency or trial, they can work between 60 and 80 hours a week.
How to Become a Paralegal
To acquire one of many graduate paralegal jobs, you need to possess a particular set of skills and have specific degrees, licenses, and certifications. For certifications, you may want to get one from ABA-approved schools and education programs.
Also, keep in mind that if you want to advance in any law firm, first you will have to look for one of the entry-level paralegal jobs in London.
Excellent writing skills
Since paralegals usually prepare reports and documents for court cases, great writing skills and impeccable grammar are necessary.
Since the main role of a paralegal is to organise and prepare cases for lawyers, excellent organisational skills are essential. Paralegals need to be organised to manage all the information for each case and not feel pressure along the way.
Ability to multitask
If you are applying for any of the paralegal roles in London, make sure you know how to multitask. Paralegals write reports and documents and track deadlines and court dates, sometimes all at the same time.
Both lawyers and law firms want their paralegals to have specific computer skills so that they can get the job done faster and more efficiently. There are no paralegal jobs in London that require no experience when it comes to tech. Therefore, before sending your resume, make sure you know your way around a computer.
Having excellent communication skills can make a difference between a decent paralegal and a great one. Therefore, a paralegal should have exceptional communication skills because they communicate with clients and go to court with lawyers.
A high level of professionalism
Similarly to every other profession in London, if you want to succeed as a paralegal, you have to be a professional. That said, paralegals first take one of the entry-level paralegal jobs and then climb the ladder. Dedication, diligence, and perseverance are some of the qualities that help them advance their career.
Ability to work under pressure
Even working in part-time paralegal jobs can be very stressful. That’s because paralegals are always under pressure to meet deadlines. Besides that, they need to make sure that every document is in order before accompanying lawyers to court.
If you want to land one of the many paralegal jobs in London in 2021, you must first obtain an associate degree and then a bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies. Those who already have a bachelor’s degree in another field should earn a paralegal certificate if they want to be paralegals.
License, Certificates, and Registrations
To acquire one of the many paralegal positions, you need to have a degree or certificate in paralegal practice. Second, you need to have a legal secretary certificate or diploma. Finally, you have to have an award in legal studies or a law degree.
Advancing your paralegal career mostly depends on diligence, work experience, and education. If you want to climb the ladder, consider online networking, joining national and paralegal organisations, volunteering, reading the CLE materials, and finding a good mentor.
Paralegal UK Salary
A paralegal’s salary mostly depends on work experience. That said, the average paralegal salary in the UK for a junior paralegal is between £14,000 and £22,000, while paralegals with three to five years of work experience earn between £30,000 and £40,000. However, more experienced paralegals can earn up to £70,000.
Paralegal Job Outlook
Paralegals’ and legal assistants’ employment rate is growing much faster than any other occupation in the UK. Furthermore, a 10% rise in paralegal graduate jobs is expected by 2029.
Paralegal Job Prospects
Experience is the key to becoming a successful paralegal. That said, as you’re establishing your career, you can choose what kind of paralegal you want to be. If you have strong computer and data management skills, make sure to apply for a paralegal internship because they are currently in high demand.
Frequently Asked Questions
A paralegal is someone who offers legal services and assists lawyers. Although they mostly work in law firms, they can also work in corporations and government agencies. Some of their main responsibilities include conducting legal research, drafting legal documents and pleadings, and helping lawyers during trials. However, they can’t offer legal advice and must always be under the supervision of an attorney.
A paralegal’s salary mostly depends on work experience. Another factor is the location because paralegals in big cities make more money than those working in smaller cities or towns. That said, the average paralegal salary in London for a person with three to five years of work experience is £30,000 to £40,000. Although more experienced paralegals can earn up to £70,000, junior paralegals at entry-level positions make between £14,000 and £22,000.
To get a chance to become a paralegal, you first have to obtain an associate degree and then a bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies. Those who already have a bachelor’s degree in another field should earn a certificate if they want to be paralegals. However, if you plan on becoming a London paralegal, you need to have certain qualities and skills such as computer skills, communication skills, and ability to work under pressure and multitask.
Paralegals are always in high demand because they can work in law firms, corporations, and federal agencies. However, experience is the key to becoming a successful paralegal. That said, as you’re building a career, you can choose your field of expertise. Internships are also an excellent opportunity for progress if you’re inexperienced.
BigLaw is the term used for the world’s biggest and most successful law firms. Usually, these law firms have more than 1,000 lawyers. That said, being a paralegal in one of the BigLaw firms certainly pays off. US law firms pay their paralegals more, but you can expect a salary of more than £50,000 for the top-paying paralegal jobs London has to offer.