How to get Legal experience: From a Paralegal’s Perspective

Jess McDonnell – Paralegal in Wills and Probate at Blythe Liggins in Warwickshire

Studied: LLB Law at University of Gloucestershire and LPC at University of Law

Approaching a legal firm

If you are approaching a law firm around gaining work experience, it’s ideal to have a CV that portrays a genuine interest in the law, along with clear research into the firm applied for. Whilst academic skills are a big factor in an application, an applicant must be able to show that they can work well beside a team or independently. Therefore, some prior experience is almost vital. Even if you don’t have relevant work experience, work experience in itself has a wealth of transferable skills which will be recognised by a legal firm.

Skills

Skills, such as the ability to work well within a team, as well as having the initiative to work independently are key to success in gaining legal experience.

Jess says that “whilst my academic qualifications have provided me with a wealth of knowledge, working in the actual environment supersedes anything obtainable from a textbook.”

Adding that her skills have “developed in all areas, from gaining confidence in performing the job, to liaising with clients on complex estates daily.”

Top FIVE tips to securing legal work experience from a Paralegal in the profession:

  1. Have a strong CV to show off ALL skills
  2. Show legal firms you are interested in joining them, whether or not there are active vacancies listed
  3. Be confident!
  4. Be patient – it can take a lot of time
  5. Volunteer to work at the Citizen’s Advice Bureau
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