SQE Prep for Paralegals

The work of a paralegal

The National Association of Licensed Paralegals (NALP) defines a paralegal as “a person qualified through education and training to perform substantive legal work that requires knowledge of the law and procedures and who is not a qualified solicitor or barrister or legal executive”.

Paralegals may work for, or be retained by solicitors within the legal profession, or they may work within a legal environment within commerce, industry, or the public sector.

Working in a law office, the paralegal often acts as a legal administrative assistant. They routinely draft documents, complete forms, interview clients, and prepare retainers. The type of work conducted often varies depending on the speciality of the law firm.

For instance, a conveyancing paralegal may routinely fill out documents pertaining to conveyancing of freehold and leasehold properties including sales and purchase, re-mortgages, and closing. A litigation paralegal, on the other hand, may conduct legal research for an upcoming court case.

Paralegals are expected to have good organisation and communication skills, be detail-oriented and passionate about the law, work well as part of a team as well as independently, work well under pressure, and have excellent research competency and analytical skills.

'Equivalent Means’ – the paralegal shortcut

In 2015, the SRA introduced a policy of ‘equivalent means’, which enables applicants to evidence that they have met the knowledge and skills outcomes of the various stages of the solicitor qualification, by alternative means i.e., not necessarily via a traditional law degree and LPC.

The ‘equivalent means’ allowed the SRA to recognise that the knowledge and skills outcomes (and the standard at which they must be acquired) may have been achieved by an individual through other assessed and work-based learning than the traditional ways.

Where this was proven to be the case, the SRA used to grant exemption from all or part of the academic or vocational stages.

The system, also known as ‘The Paralegal Shortcut’, enables paralegals who completed the LPC to qualify as solicitors without doing a training contract.

Take your legal career to the next level – qualify as a solicitor

While the numbers of equivalent means applications have been growing steadily, with the instruction of the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE), all aspiring solicitors, including paralegals and others who were seeking to qualify through ‘equivalent means’, must now pass the SQE to qualify as a solicitor. Your work as a paralegal may count towards the two-year requirement of the qualifying work experience of the SQE.

We offer three packages for each stage of the SQE assessments, with minimal interference to your work, benefiting yourself and the law firm you work for. Our materials have been used and tested by thousands of candidates who have prepared with us for the QLTS assessments.

Learn more how we can help you prepare for the SQE.

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