Alternative titles for this job include Legal assistant, property assistant, contracts assistant

Paralegals carry out research, prepare legal documents and give legal advice to clients.

Average salary (a year)

£20,000 Starter


£40,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 40 a week

You could work

evenings occasionally

Meet Halimah

Halimah is a paralegal apprentice from Birmingham.

A woman sitting next to a table in a bright office.
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She spoke to a careers adviser at school where she discovered legal apprenticeships.

Watch Halimah’s story on BBC Bitesize Careers

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become 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.

It's competitive to get a place on a law degree, so you'll need to have good grades when you apply.

Entry requirements

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

More Information


You could do a college course before you look for paralegal work.

Courses include:

  • legal studies
  • law and practice
  • paralegal practice

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for these courses vary.

More Information


You could take a Paralegal Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship.

This usually takes 2 years to complete as a mix of workplace learning and study.

Entry requirements

Employers will set their own entry requirements.

More Information


You might be able to find work with a legal practice as an admin assistant and do training on the job to qualify. 

You can do training through the Institute of Paralegals or the National Association of Licensed Paralegals.

You'll be expected to have GCSEs or A levels and a good standard of English.

More Information

Career tips

You'll find it helpful to get some experience in the area of law you want to work in, such as 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.

Further information

You can find out more about paralegal careers from the Institute of Paralegals.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to read English
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • excellent written communication skills
  • administration skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • legal knowledge including court procedures and government regulations
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As a paralegal you could:

  • research and draft legal documents
  • handle a caseload of clients and give them legal information
  • manage data and confidential client information
  • interview clients and witnesses
  • go to court

Working environment

You could work in an office, in a court or at a police station.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With further study, you could qualify as a legal executive or solicitor.

You could become self-employed or set up your own paralegal practice.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Legal Assistant/Paralegal Apprenticeship

  • Wage: £11,648 a year Annually

Governance and Legal Assistant Apprentice (Paralegal)

  • Wage: £12,348 a year Annually
  • Location: Arlington Way, Spennymoor, Durham

Courses In England

NALP Paralegal Practice Certificate (Online and On Campus)

  • Start date: 02 October 2024
  • Location: Paignton

L3 - Certificate in Paralegal Practice - Yr 1 of 1 (NALP)

  • Start date: 10 September 2024
  • Location: Kingston on Thames

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