Paralegal jobs and careers in the council

Paralegal jobs in the council take on different forms depending on your law specialism.

Firstly though, let us take a look at the term 'paralegal'.  It is a broad definition for people who work closely with, and do more or less the same work as a solicitor. You will be expected to generate income for the council or company you work for.  This is what is commonly known as a 'fee earner'.

You will find a number of opportunities as legal assistants and executives in the local authority.  Other job titles you might come across are litigation assistant, conveyancer and commercial associate.

When applying for this type of role, you do not necessarily require a qualification, but it is recommended as good practice. For a more comprehensive account of the nature, scope and career pathways into this area, make sure you log on to nationalparalegals.com.

The Institute of Legal Executives is the first port of call regarding basic qualifications for legal assistants.  They can advise and also offer higher level training if you wish to become a qualified solicitor.

The majority of councils require only 4 GCSE's (grades A*-C) to hire you as a paralegal.  You will be expected to have some knowledge and interest in UK law.  The range of work can include:

  • advising other council departments on legal issues
  • collating papers
  • attending court
  • general administrative duties such as filing.

The skills and qualities specific to this role are:

  • having an understanding (or experience) of UK law
  • communicating effectively through writing and speaking
  • being a team worker
  • having good organisational skills
  • good research skills
  • a good level of computer literacy.

According to lgcareers.com, the average salary is approximately £20,000 - £24,000.  If you are leaving school at 16, it is a good way to begin your legal career.  Many graduates also take this route into the profession.

Job agencies specifically dedicated to the legal sector can aid you in a local authority placement.  However you can apply directly to councils.  Make sure you update your CV and write a covering letter before visiting your chosen council website.

Localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk has a number of openings for paralegal jobs in the public sector, including children's services in London, the West Midlands and Yorkshire.

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