Become a Legal Eagle; Sue Kelbrick on a Legal Role Which Requires Tact, Accuracy and Excellent Communication Skills
What does a career as a paralegal involve? Paralegals carry out a range of legal work and though they aren't fully qualified solicitors, they undertake a lot of work solicitors do. As a junior paralegal, duties would typically involve preparing legal documents, research, typing, filing and other general clerical tasks, while more experienced paralegals would undertake other tasks including interviewing clients and witnesses, giving clients legal information, going to court, handling a caseload of clients and presenting applications to district judges.
What skills are needed? To become a paralegal, you will need to have excellent spoken and written communication skills, patience and tact, to be able to work with all kinds of clients, the ability to absorb large amounts of complex information and a high level of accuracy.
What training do you need? Employers may ask for qualifications such as a paralegal studies qualification from the Institute of Legal Executives (ILEX), the National Association of Licensed Paralegals, or the Institute of Paralegals, or a legal secretary qualification at level 2 or level 3 from the Institute of Legal Executives.
Alternatively, a BTEC HNC/ HND or foundation degree in law or legal studies, a law degree or ILEX level 6 qualification would also be ideal.
Relevant work experience in a legal setting will also help you when looking for work. …