To Paralegal or not to ?? Watch

jinxie08
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#1
Report Thread starter 10 years ago
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Hello everyone, I'm relatively new on the site, though it has helped me out when I was applying in other areas, for tax things at Deloitte etc. However this is a law question.

I am awaiting my final results for my LLB, could be anything, but most likely will be a 2:2, even if a good one. I did ok my first year, then uniformly badly 2nd year, though not for lack of trying. The assessment for my degree is 100% exams and basically all my hard work came down to 3 hours in June.
I know I have the ability but have just about given up the hope of ever getting a training contract in the type of firm I want.

I plan to do the LPC next year anyway, after working for a year. I've been trying to get some paralegal work and haven't been successful as they either ask for experience or an LPC. I would like any tips on how I can go about landing something, anything in a law firm. Even a legal secretarial position. I can't afford to work for free but I'll do just about anything else.

Thanks for your help!
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David Healy is God
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Report 10 years ago
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It could well be a good idea.

I graduated with 2.1 from University of Ulster in 2007. I was unsuccessful in obtaining a place at the Institute of Professional Legal Studies (our system in NI is different from your LPC) so decided I would take a paralegal position for a year. I've been there for just over a year now, I have managed to get into the Institute this year and the firm have offered me a solicitor's training contract to commence in September.

It worked well for me but everyone is different.

Good luck with whatever you do.
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FCDjorkaeff
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If we're talking purely about paralegal work then he thing to remember is that paralegal positions can be just as competitive as training contracts as it is a profession in its own right. There is a strong possibility that you will face competition from candidates who either have more experience than you (either completing/completed the LPC or previous paralegal work) and/or have a 2:1, so it is a difficult process. When I was looking at paralegal work I had two unsuccessful interviews at top firms in Manchester in which I hope I was unsuccessful due to my lack of experience (I am a uni graduate with no previous paralegal work) rather than anything else. In one of the interviews I was asked whether I had any civil litigation experience to which I simply had to reply no.

But I was of course offered interviews in the instance so the LPC/previous experience is obviously not a pre-requisite for paralegal work, so if they wanted me enough they would have offered me the job. I do have a 2:1 though.

The only thing I can advise from my experience is just too look everywhere you can. Register with as many recruitment companies as possible and check firm’s websites every day as there are new opportunities all the time. For paralegal positions, as opposed to training contracts, firms are expecting you to be able to do the job from the beginning, so in your application (e.g. covering letter), you have to demonstrate that this is the case. You have to show evidence of important paralegal skills in the past (e.g. team work, organisational, deadline meeting and analytical skills), so you would introduce examples from previous employment etc.

Just keep searching and you’ll bound to be offered interview at the least, just realise it’s no easy process.

Good luck.
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jinxie08
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Thanks for the advice. I've been applying but there seems to be for most agencies anyway, an LPC requirement. I was advised to apply directly to firms, one person told me 'they will engage us (the agency) to find an LPC grad, but a law grad they can find themselves. Haven't tried that route yet though.

I can't even get a legal secretary job as one told me they recruit people out of secretarial college and train them up. That seems to just take the p*** as I started uni 5 years ago, and when I was 17, was working as a secretary/receptionist and doing all the accounting duties for an office singlehandedly. But I'm not good enough to answer phones for a lawyer? Puh-lease!
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emmings
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Have you looked at going in-house? I'm working full time at the moment as a legal admin for a large software company before I start my LPC in September, after which I'm going part time. To be completely honest my job requires no legal skills whatsoever but working in a legal environment is all good for the CV.
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