Business Category Business: career motivation and tips to move ahead

How to Become a Paralegal in England

According to the Institute of Paralegals, a paralegal is "Someone who is not a lawyer who does legal work that would previously have been done by a solicitor or a barrister". Although there are no mandatory qualifications in order to become a paralegal, the standards of education are high due to the growing demand of the profession. More firms are relying on the skills of a paralegal, and placing more significance on paralegal training and accreditation as an associate, certified, or qualified paralegal.

Find employment experience similar to that of a paralegal. Paralegals assist solicitors in many aspects of their job, including interpreting and advising on the law, filing, and retrieving law documents. Dealing with customers, attention to detail, and high-pressure situations are qualities to look for to help you understand the nuances of the paralegal profession.

Enrol in a college, university, or certificate program to help you get basic skills in organisation, writing and interpreting. Programs that assist with this can include a Bachelor or Master's in Arts, a UK Law Degree, or a Diploma or Certificate in a law course from an endorsed institution.

Obtain a degree or certificate in a paralegal program. The Institute of Paralegals provides low-cost certification programs which will educate you on the legal system and principles necessary to become a paralegal. The Institute provides several different accreditation for paralegals: an affiliate certificate is based on grades and open to all students; an associate is a student engaged in an apprenticeship or training program; a certified paralegal is given to those with proven work experience; and a qualified paralegal accreditation goes to paralegals with a balance of proven work experience and education.

Create a resume highlighting your education, skills, and strengths.

Contact firms, recruitment agencies and the Institute of Paralegals when applying for positions.

About the Author

Krista Martin has been writing professionally since 2005. She has written for magazines, newspapers and websites including Live Listings, "Homes & Living" magazine and the "Metro Newspaper." Martin holds an honors Bachelor of Arts in English from Memorial University of Newfoundland and a Master of Journalism from the University of Westminster.

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