Many paralegals work in the offices of solicitors and barristers, where they are responsible for preparing and managing legal cases under the oversight of a fully qualified solicitor. Other paralegals work in private firms and companies, where they oversee the legal standings of that firm’s contracts, review the legalities of company pension plans, prepare and file annual reports and maintain the minute reports and financial records for the company.
There are some recognized courses of instruction for those wishing to find jobs in the legal profession as paralegal, but there is no specific educational requirement. A paralegal should have a thorough understanding of at least a specialized area of the law pertaining to the position they wish to pursue. Most firms that hire paralegals will have their own in-house or on-the-job training. You can increase your chances of landing a job as a paralegal by fitting appropriate continuing education courses into your schedule.
While there is currently no prescribed course for paralegal training, the Scottish Paralegal Association offers the following guidelines for training as a paralegal.
A paralegal should have instruction in professional ethics, legal research and analysis of legal materials. They should know how to draft legal documents, and understand the administrative process of filing pleadings with a court. They should have substantial knowledge of the law and understand the workings of major research tools for legal matters. In addition, they should have demonstrated a facility with written and oral communications.
There are many universities and training institutions that offer courses and certifications for one interested in a career in the legal profession. These include bachelors and postgraduate degrees with concentrations in legal studies, associates’ degrees in legal studies and a certificate for completion of a course in paralegal studies.
Upon completion of training can expect his/her salary to be in the range of £20,000 and £40,000 annually. The job schedule is generally regular office hours (Monday-Friday, 9 to 5).