Becoming a Paralegal: FAQs
Here, you can find an overview of all the main questions around what being a paralegal entails. For more in depth information, take a look at our What is a Paralegal page and our How to Become a Paralegal page.
What is a paralegal?
This is a legal role that requires an essential knowledge of law and legal matters, but is not a qualified lawyer, such as a solicitor, a barrister or a chartered legal executive.
What does a paralegal do?
They provide support to solicitors, barristers and chartered legal executives in a number of different tasks, from administrative to taking care of clients. Find out more.
What is the average paralegal salary?
Whilst these vary massively, a typical starting paralegal salary would most likely be between £14,000 to £25,000. This increases to around £40,000 with experience.
What are paralegal apprenticeships?
These are for school leavers with good academic records and strong A-Levels who wish to complete paralegal training within a law-firm rather than through a degree, LPC etc. Find out more about apprenticeships.
What qualifications do I need to become a paralegal?
A-Levels are a basic start, if you want to apply for an apprenticeship. Otherwise, a minimum of a 2:2 at degree level for most law firms and possibly even the completion of the LPC.
Do I need a degree to become a paralegal?
Not technically, although it may be beneficial considering the competitive nature of the career path. You can apply for apprenticeships in this role.
What’s the difference between a paralegal and a legal assistant?
Whilst both do basic legal research and are sometimes used interchangeably, there are a couple of differences – paralegals tend to have university degrees, more involvement with cases and higher salaries.
What skill-sets suit this career?
- Good organisation skills – this is the main attribute that will serve you well!
- Good communication skills
- A passion for law
- An eye for detail
- Teamwork – often you will be required to work in teams
- Research competency
- Analytical skills
- Ability to work effectively under pressure – you’ll often have tight deadlines
What areas can I specialise in?
There are many, but here are a few to get you started:
- Family Law
- Criminal Defence Law
- Real Estate Law
- Corporate Law
- Intellectual Property Law
- Estate Planning and Probate Law
Where can I get further help?
You can join our Facebook Help group here!
- Read our Case Study with Amy, who works as a paralegal for Farrer & Co
- Take our quiz to decide if an apprenticeship is the right route for you