Paralegal work is seen by many as an entry into better jobs within the law profession and this article gives information about the job itself and about how to get work.
What are paralegals?
What are paralegals?
Paralegals are people who act as a sort of 'legal assistant' to qualified lawyers. They often do much of the same work as lawyers do but they do not have the same rights of audience and advice giving 'powers' as qualified lawyers. You can find out which tasks are prohibited below. The role of paralegals is becoming more and more important in law firms as lawyers are taking on more and more cases. The responsibility attached to being a paralegal is also becoming more important. Paralegals are valuable and instrumental members of the law firm team. What are the typical tasks?
Typical paralegal tasks involve preparing case notes, carrying out legal research, helping lawyers organise their case load and timetables, drafting contracts, preparing advice letters (which a lawyer must verify), read case files, attend meetings and conferences, take notes, and many other important tasks. Which work is not allowed?
People who have paralegal jobs are not allowed to do any work which is considered to be within the practice of the law. This includes representing clients, giving advice, setting legal fees or attending court as a representative. How much do paralegals get paid?
The average legal assistant salary is around £23,000 per annum. However, it can be as much as £50,000 per annum in the top law firms. Salary usually depends on experience but can also be determined by the size of the firm and the nature of the workload. Paralegalling before becoming a lawyer
Many people go into paralegalling because they want to become lawyers. Becoming a qualified lawyer is getting more and more difficult and so,being able to secure a job as a paralegal first, ensures that more experience is gained before the big interviews at the law firms. One difficulty has arisen though, in that paralegalling is considered by some to be the option for failed lawyers. This makes it difficult for those who want to go into paralegalling as a paralegalling before becoming a lawyer separate profession.
Where you can get more information
More information can be gained from the Institute of Paralegals and from many job advice and career websites. Search online for entry level paralegal jobs and you will find many pages of information about how to apply. Recruitment firms are also a good source of information and they can help you to find the perfect legal assistant job.