How to become a paralegal
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
You could study for a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in law, legal studies or paralegal practice.
There's a lot of competition for places on law degrees, so you'll need good grades in your entry qualifications.
You'll usually need:
- 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
You could take a college course before you look for work. Courses include:
- Level 2 Diploma in Legal Studies
- CILEx Level 3 Certificate in Law and Practice
- NALP Level 3 Diploma in Paralegal Practice
You may need:
- 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
You could take a paralegal advanced apprenticeship.
This typically takes 24 months to complete as a mix of workplace learning and study.
Employers will set their own entry requirements.
Getting some experience in the particular area of law you want to work in is helpful, for example, family, criminal or property law.
As well as opportunities with law firms, look out for placements in legal departments of businesses, charities, central and local government.