Building Legal Solutions
Stepping into the Legal World: A Guide to Being a Paralegal
- AuthorAmy Stoddart
This blog post is for those of you starting out on your legal journeys, and possibly even for those of you who are more experienced, to remind you of where you started many years ago.
Stepping into the legal world is no doubt a challenge, now exacerbated by the current times we find ourselves in. I started my legal career as a Paralegal here at Feldon Dunsmore, fortunate enough to be successful in getting a job during the COVID-19 pandemic. The legal profession can be very daunting to people like myself who are fresh from education – almost like being thrown into the deep end, not knowing if you’re going to sink or swim. I’ve put together a quick guide on being a Paralegal, to help you successfully kickstart your legal journey…
With any new job comes an information overload, let alone a job as a Paralegal! Whether it’s for general administrative tasks or heavy technical content, writing things down can be so useful in order for you to revisit the information and refresh your memory down the line. This aids your learning by enabling you to digest any new information that you receive, instead of feeling overwhelmed. Trust me - your notes will be your bible!
LOCATE A MENTOR
A little tip I once received is to always have someone to look up to – whether that be another Paralegal, or Solicitor or Partner within the firm. At the start of your legal journey, this encourages you to be ambitious and set yourself career goals early on, motivating you to keep climbing the career ladder.
Paralegals are responsible for a variety of different tasks, usually delegated from numerous fee earners. Managing your time is therefore essential to stay on top of your workload. Identifying the priority of each task also falls within this remit – it is useful to determine the importance of each piece of work you have been given by communicating with the relevant fee earner and establishing a priority order to your to-do list.
Being willing to listen to both positive and constructive feedback is also an important skill to have as a Paralegal. Actively listening to any feedback from your peers/managers and approaching future tasks with this advice in mind will be pivotal in your personal development – and will ultimately make you a better lawyer.
I know networking can feel a bit odd at first, and I’m sure I’m right in saying we’ve all been to a networking event at university for the free food and drinks! However, I encourage you to attend networking events when the opportunity arises. Networking at such an early stage in your career (and years to come) is invaluable as it builds a foundation of contacts, developing your image and presence in the legal world. Get yourself out there on LinkedIn and connect with like-minded people!
We are currently offering students and graduates the exciting opportunity to undertake a one-week work experience placement within our team of specialists, giving an insight into life as a Paralegal at the firm. If you would like to apply, please send your CV to email@example.com by 5pm TODAY.
Author: Amy Stoddart
30 April 2021