Jul 07, 2022

Written By Natasha Jones

Are paralegal jobs in demand?

Jul 07, 2022

Written By Natasha Jones

A career as a paralegal is a great alternative for those who are interested in law but don’t fancy becoming a solicitor. However, an increasing number of aspiring solicitors are also obtaining paralegal positions as a first step into the legal field before securing a training contract. In this article, we break down the function of a paralegal and discuss why paralegal jobs are becoming increasingly attractive to aspiring solicitors.

What does a paralegal do?

A paralegal is not a lawyer, but someone who provides vital support to solicitors. Directed and supervised by solicitors, paralegals can be employed in private practice, or by in-house solicitors, government agencies or other entities.

More and more law firms are seeking to fill paralegal roles so that partners and associates can delegate work, freeing up their time for work that can be billed at higher rates. Paralegals play a key role in improving firms’ profitability.

How to become a paralegal?

Paralegals undertake fundamental legal work that would be performed by a solicitor were the assistance of a paralegal unavailable.

The work of a paralegal therefore requires a certain standard of legal knowledge that may be attained through legal education, training or working in the legal field.

What’s the attraction?

Working as a paralegal can give you first-hand experience of tasks you would be expected to do as a trainee solicitor, such as legal research, drafting documents, attending court and potentially having responsibility for a caseload of clients.

Not only does paralegalling help you hone the skills you would need as a future trainee, but it’s also a way of confirming that a career in law really is for you.

Before the introduction of the Solicitor’s Qualifying Examination (SQE), under the old route, law firms were entitled to recognise previous work-based experience as satisfying up to six months of a training contract. Meaning that trainees with significant paralegal experience could even complete just three seats instead of the standard four as part of their training contract. It’s no wonder that, for years, aspiring solicitors have sought out paralegal roles before applying for a training contract.


Now that the route to qualifying as a solicitor has changed, with Qualifying Work Experience (QWE) replacing the need to obtain a training contract, more people will be able to qualify as a solicitor with only paralegal experience.

QWE is one of the requirements to qualify as a solicitor under the new SQE route. QWE can be any experience providing legal services that would help a candidate to develop some or all of the competences set out in the SRA’s ‘statement of solicitor competence’, as long as it is signed off by a solicitor or compliance officer for legal practice. This includes working as a paralegal.



QWE must last for a minimum of two years full time or equivalent and can be gained in up to four different organisations.

For more information about the SQE, the new route to qualification, visit our SQE course page.


Paralegal Work