Amanda Hamilton discusses with how qualifying as a paralegal is a great alternative route to a legal career.
Qualifying as a solicitor or barrister is not only time consuming but also extremely costly. As a result, fewer and fewer students are able to take this route – even if they are passionate about a legal career. Not only do they have to pay £27k for the privilege of gaining a law degree, graduates then have to find another £15k to complete the professional examinations, whether it’s the Legal Practice course (LPC) for solicitors or Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) for barristers.
Even then, their career may well come to a full stop. Why? Because the next stage is to gain a training contract or a pupillage – and these are in very short supply.
Statistics show that there are around 9,000 graduates competing for around 5,000 pupillage each year, and about 1000 competing for about 500 training contracts. Year on year, these figures are compounded. It can be a thankless task applying each year in vain. There are just not enough training contracts and pupillages to go around.
Many graduates are therefore finding work as paralegals and some are choosing this as a viable permanent career pathway option.
Encouraging school leavers or law graduates to qualify as a paralegal from day one can save a lot of time, heartache and money!