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Why You Shouldn't Be Looking to Hire 'Career Paralegals'


We are often approached by clients looking to hire ‘career paralegals’ and we understand why. Paralegals are a key part of a successful law firm and without them, it’s hard to provide high quality legal advice and professional services. It makes sense that you might want to hire a talented paralegal, and then have them in the role for the foreseeable future. Not only does this guarantee that you will always have an experienced paralegal to rely on, but it reduces the amount of time spent on recruitment when they progress to another role.

But, what if we were to tell you that there is no such thing as a career paralegal. In fact, it’s not fair to ask someone to remain working as a paralegal, instead of progressing and moving up the career ladder, developing their knowledge and improving their earning potential. This is why it’s important to see a paralegal as someone who can progress in your firm, from a trainee to a qualified solicitor.

There’s No Such Thing as a Career Paralegal

We advise our clients to avoid hiring a paralegal in the hope that they remain in that position for the entirety of their career, as it’s just not a viable option for a lot of professionals. If you ask us, you shouldn’t ask junior staff to remain in a paralegal job, a role that doesn’t usually have much progression, if they have big dreams of achieving more. People primarily start work as a paralegal as a stepping stone to becoming a solicitor, and this is something that you should be encouraging. When you hire a paralegal, you should do so in the hope that they become one of your best solicitors, bringing more value and experience to your team.

The Role of a Paralegal

A paralegal is someone who works in a law firm, but they aren’t qualified as a solicitor. Paralegals are there to support the business, but they are more than simple support staff, and they do much more than just assist solicitors with basic tasks. In fact, a lot of paralegal responsibilities are similar to those of a solicitor. Working as a paralegal is a good way to get into the industry, and it’s a way to build knowledge, legal understanding and gain experience. This is why a lot of people start off as a paralegal, before progressing and becoming a solicitor.

Many paralegals eventually take steps to qualify as a solicitor, a progression that’s helped by the knowledge and skills gained throughout their time working as a paralegal. Some paralegals gain experience and then apply for a training contract at the same law firm, which boosts employee retention, and makes them even more of an asset to your team. As long as a paralegal can show the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) that they have gained the same knowledge as they would have on a training contract, they can apply to quality. Instead of hiring career paralegals, focus on hiring individuals who can grow as part of your legal team, working for you on a long-term basis.

Partner with LR Legal to grow highly skilled teams with ambitious paralegals.

Posted by: LR Legal Recruitment