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How to become a paralegal

Paralegals are individuals who are qualified to undertake legal work which requires substantial knowledge of the law and procedures, but are not qualified solicitors or barristers. A career as a paralegal is extremely rewarding and rates high in terms of job satisfaction. Furthermore, the average salaries are excellent. Learn how to become a paralegal in this article.

Working as a paralegal

The majority of paralegals work for solicitors under what is commonly known as ‘fee earning un-admitted staff’, which means that they directly produce income for the firm, and therefore have their own clients and case loads. The workload of a paralegal is very similar to that of a solicitor, and includes civil litigation, personal injury, medical negligence, and criminal work. In-depth knowledge of these subjects is an essential requirement in order to be a paralegal, and these are not the only subjects where paralegals can obtain work.

Skills required

To compliment legal knowledge, which will be obtained through the training, a paralegal will also require strong interpersonal skills and be able to communicate clearly and concisely with other people. Other skills which are required include: - Writing reports and/or statements, which is required for a variety of tasks related to the role of a paralegal including drafting correspondence, and writing complex documentation in an articulate manner. - General Information Technology skills. - Research skills: the ability to find out information for solicitors and analyse large quantities of data.

How to qualify as a paralegal

Training
In order to qualify as a paralegal, there are a variety of routes into the profession depending upon your circumstances. Training is offered by various training providers, and there are specific stages that you need to complete in order to become fully qualified. The first is to obtain your basic training and paralegal education, which can be obtained through a specialist training provider. Degree Once this has been completed, you will be able to obtain a paralegal certification. After the paralegal certification, you will need to undertake a degree and then study advancement. Overall, the training is particularly intense and requires a significant commitment in order to become fully qualified. Once fully qualified, you can also apply to become a licensed paralegal, which shows prospective or current employers your commitment to the profession.

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