How much can paralegals earn?

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Tictac3
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#1
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I’m interested in becoming a paralegal (mainly interested in immigration/personal injury). I was wondering if anyone can tell me how much paralegals can earn after a few years of experience and possibly further legal qualifications i.e SQE/LPC. I don’t feel like I would be cut out for being a solicitor, especially in contentious areas, but like the idea of becoming a senior paralegal. Any guidance would be much appreciated
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AGW1983
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The best way to try and figure out how much you could earn in a role is to look at Glassdoor. I've taken a look and experienced paralegals seem to be earning around £26k on average. Those in corporate law seem to earn a bit more (£30k seems common on Glassdoor. I did once see a paralegal role in corporate law for £50k but this did require the candidate to hold a law degree or GDL and have many years of experience).

Also, I understand the area of law will be quite influential on salary. Immigration and personal injury don't tend to be particularly well paid areas of law. A quick scan on Indeed in my local area suggests an experienced personal injury solicitor could expect somewhere in the region of £45-55k. One immigration role is paying slightly more with up to £65k but I'm not sure what area of immigration law you want to work in. This role would be the kind securing visas for the foreign national hires of big corporates. You'll need to scale down those salaries a fair bit to get an idea of a paralegal salary.

I'm not entirely sure why you want to be a paralegal rather than a solicitor though and I wonder whether you just need to build confidence or have a gradual entry into the profession? Have you maybe considered the CILEX range of qualifications? They would allow you to begin as a paralegal and their early qualifications are designed for paralegals. Over time, you could eventually work your way up to their level 6 qualification and in your areas of law you could probably find yourself at a similar level to a solicitor. You could also take the SQE at the end and become a solicitor.

If you chose the CILEX route I'd also suggest not going to university and amassing student debt as it would be completely unnecessary. A CILEX apprenticeship would be far more sensible. If on the other hand you are determined to go then I would say study law to maximise your exemptions (obviously if you are already at university then what's done is done!)
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Blayze
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#3
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Larger more corporate firms are probably around £30k or so (and may or may not pay overtime on top of that). Otherwise, it's a real range: I saw some for £19k (even in London). I paralegalled for a year on £24k in a boutique London firm, and that's probably towards the higher end for that kind of firm.
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AGW1983
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One other thing I should have said before is that even if you do see the odd job advertised for a paralegal outside the normal range of £20-30k, remember it's probably an outlier. Just because the odd few roles pay more than that doesn't mean it's the norm or that you are ever likely to achieve that.

That's why I think CILEX might be good for you both for the areas of law you want to work in and the rate of progression. With CILEX you will be more in control of the pace at which you go from new entrant to a fellow of CILEX (and maybe SQE and solicitor after that) because your qualification won't involve a strict 2 year training contract (which I understand will still be the norm post-SQE at least for the larger firms).
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Tictac3
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#5
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(Original post by AGW1983)
One other thing I should have said before is that even if you do see the odd job advertised for a paralegal outside the normal range of £20-30k, remember it's probably an outlier. Just because the odd few roles pay more than that doesn't mean it's the norm or that you are ever likely to achieve that.

That's why I think CILEX might be good for you both for the areas of law you want to work in and the rate of progression. With CILEX you will be more in control of the pace at which you go from new entrant to a fellow of CILEX (and maybe SQE and solicitor after that) because your qualification won't involve a strict 2 year training contract (which I understand will still be the norm post-SQE at least for the larger firms).
Thank you so much for your thorough reply! 😊 I have already got a first in law from a Russell group. Do you still think CILEX would be a good route for me to take?

Ideally I would like to move to Birmingham/Manchester to become a paralegal so I would have to pay rent, so am I right in thinking that going the CILEX route would be more affordable as I would probably still be able to work full time while studying?
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17Student17
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You have a first in law already. If I were you I would take a student loan masters loan and do the LPC full time from September ( to avoid SQE exams/the new system). Once you have the LPC you will have more chance of a better paralegal job and/or a training contract.
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Augustino D
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#7
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(Original post by Tictac3)
I’m interested in becoming a paralegal (mainly interested in immigration/personal injury). I was wondering if anyone can tell me how much paralegals can earn after a few years of experience and possibly further legal qualifications i.e SQE/LPC. I don’t feel like I would be cut out for being a solicitor, especially in contentious areas, but like the idea of becoming a senior paralegal. Any guidance would be much appreciated
It sounds like you're selling yourself short for no reason - have a few shots at applying for TCs while paralegalling before resigning yourself to that path.

I've seen paralegal jobs that went as low as minimum wage and I've seen paralegal jobs that start at £60,000 base plus bonus. There is no market standard, it depends on the law firm and the area of practice.
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BPP Students
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#8
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#8
Hi Tictac3,
As you have a 1st in LLB already, as a recent LLB grad who is pursuing LPC, I will totally recommend LPC for you as it is tailored from day 1 with seminar activities (on which we will later be assessed in exams) that a trainee/paralegals do one day to day basis. Having completed my LLB recently, I can totally see how LLB had been academic and failed to prepare me for my future life as a trainee/paralegal. Please feel free to contact me should you have any queries.
Best wishes
Farzana
BPP LPC LLM ambassador
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sabana
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#9
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#9
I think it depends on the size of the firm/location...I know someone who earns just 18k as a paralegal but this is at a small firm
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