Paralegal roles - just LLB or also LPC?

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  • Hi,

    think about a single subject practice subject from CILEx's L6 suite- you can always add to it to qualify as a chartered legal exec at a later date.

    The problem with the LPC for some (not all) employers is that they believe LPC grads are always on the look out for a tc and therefore are likely to jump ship at the earliest opportunity. Moreover, if you're going to practice in one or two areas, the LPC is an expensive commitment when most of the course content will not be used by you/your employer.

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  • The answer to your question to a large extent depends on the type/location of law firm that you are applying to. Large 'city' law firms will rarely employ paralegals without an LPC or equivalent qualification, whereas smaller firms tend to be more flexible.

    The competition for any paralegal role is fierce, and with many people looking for employment in this market, firms are able to choose the candidates that best suit their needs. In previous years, having the LPC would be enough to secure, or at least have a strong chance in securing most paralegal roles. However, as there are many candidates in the market who have paralegalled for a number of years, some law firms now will require you to have paralegal experience to apply for jobs that in the past would not have required such experience.

    As such, by simply having the LPC to your name you are by no means guaranteeing yourself a paralegal job at the end, as in today's market it arguably does not hold as much weight without having experience to go with it.

    Doing a 3 year LLB shows a certain level of commitment to the legal profession, I'd advise you to compile a list of law firms that you would like to work for and approach them directly. You will have to be persistent and resilient, and may even need to do some work unpaid at the firm. However, this is one of the best ways to get your foot in the door, if you perform well the firm will be more inclined to offer you a paid role.

    It may be that if you perform really well and get on with the senior decision makers, that you could be a offered a training contract in the future with them (some firms will fund this and give you a maintenance grant). Even if you were not offered a training contract, you would have some paralegal experience on your CV which would certainly add value when applying to other firms.

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  • Just to add a real-worl illustration to Samuel's post above - one of my friends has just finished her LLB with a First Class classification from Cardiff Uni (very respected) and still has not secured any form of paralegal or similar work. Plus the majority of adverts for paralegals want either experience or the LPC (or both!). As you only want paralegal work to fund your LPC and use the experience to get a TC, its quite unlikely employers will want to take you on anyway as they want paralegals who will stay with their firm rather than leave as soon as they have either the c£5,000-10,000 fees or will be constantly looking for a TC. As cost is an issue to you but you seem prepared to work for your profession, your best option would probably be the CILEX route as outlined by Noel above.

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  • I am not sure if you are looking for TCs in commercial/city firms but, assuming that you are, I would suggest that you completely reconsider your decision to look for paralegal jobs.

    Every commercial/corporate firm demands that trainees have excellent commercial awareness and are able to understand their clients' needs etc etc. Law graduates are extremely attractive graduates in business and so I would recommend that you find a graduate role in a business instead of trying to secure a paralegal position. Not only will you learn about business but you will also have a better in-depth understanding of a particular industry than most LLB or LPC graduates. This sort of experience will be invaluable to commercial/city firms. You can do a lot more than just doing a paralegal job with an LLB.

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  • I can't tell you whether I am the norm or exception. However, I would like to add to the discussion that I got many paralegal offers from top City firms with "just" a GDL and a 2:1 science undergrad from a top 20 UK university.

    After I finished the GDL and started contacting recruitment agencies, it took about two months until I got the first offer. Since I started working, recruiters approach me for paralegal roles at other firms almost every week.

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  • ^ lol talk about bragging

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