Being a paralegal: the best bits

In our health check survey looking at the state of the job, we asked paralegals what their best experience of their job had been. Here are some of their responses.

The work

“Attending a closing meeting where I worked opposite 2 year pq lawyer who treated me as an equal and even asked for my opinion/advice.”

“We work very well as a team of paralegals, I have a lot of client contact and I enjoy helping my clients get compensation.”

“Drafting evidence which resulted in a successful outcome of proceedings.”

“My first ever mediation which I had to attend alone and resulted in the other side completely dropping their claim.”

“I went to Nigeria, interviewing clients directly and contributing to an incredible case.”

“Pitching to a potential client.”

“I have managed a team of ten junior paralegals over the past six months. This has been a brilliant opportunity and the firm (particularly my department) recognise the value which can be brought by staff at all levels.”

“Playing an active role in client meetings.”

“Running a deal.”

“Recently working on a big M&A deal – it made a change from the usual dull photocopying and scanning.”

“Attending court, being given repsonsibility to manage a team.”

“Seeing my work actually count towards helping a client or progressing a case.”

“Attending court hearings and client meetings, attending an ADR, the responsibility I have to carry out research and write letters on behalf of clients. Genuine legal work.”

“Negotiating settlements of cases worth thousands of pounds.”

“Doing NQ – 2 year PQE level work.”

“I did an Application Notice hearing in front of a Master by myself.”

“Being trusted with my own case load of lower value claims, attending inquests with counsel and attending conferences with counsel, medical experts and claimants. I have been extremely fortunate to work for a partner who is trusting and always willing to push me to learn new things and take more responsibility.”

“Having good responsibility and access to interesting files and clients, learning from impressive solicitors.”

“Helping to secure the return of children to a parent.”

“Being involved in a case before the House of Lords that we won.”

“A lot of hand-on legal work. Meeting clients and forming relationships, which in turn mean direct instructions from clients.”

“Writing the first draft of a response letter to be sent to the other side’s solicitors in relation to a defamation claim.”

“Being given responsibility for matters and trusted to undertake real legal work. Also, seeing how large transactions really operate.”

“Working on high profile deals with partners.”

“Working on one of the largest financial cases in progress.”

“Doing trainee level of work most of the time.”

“Taking a client meeting.”

“Working on a large pro bono case.”

“Attending court with counsel at the Royal Courts of Justice.”

“Exposure to, and trust to deal with, a good standard of work. This has happened at multiple firms, but too rarely.”

“Moving into a level 2 paralegal position and being key contact for a number of clients.”

“Working for a Council before my current role. I undertook my own files and conveyances and was treated fairly.”

“High levels of responsibility.”

“Been able to travel to Russia for work.”

“Writing articles and posts and being published in my own name.”

Developing skills

“It’s the day to day contact, knowing the ins and outs, getting insight into what lies ahead in my future career, developing skills acquired at university such as research, learning how to get things done over the phone as quickly and smoothly as possible, learning how to write and speak by simply listening to or working with highly experienced solicitors, learning much more through my role as a paralegal rather than at university.”

“Developing soft skills (e.g. communication skills, time management, dealing with competing deadlines, how to work efficiently and how to deal with different people).”

“Learning on the job and gaining more practical knowledge than other routes.”

“Learning new areas of law.”

“Gaining experience in a commercial law firm has been beneficial and made me more business aware.”

“Developing the skills required to become a trainee solicitor.”

“The learning process. Everyone is out to help you learn but they won’t spoonfeed you. You learn but with a sense of independence.”

“Being trained in an area of law that I enjoy, to a standard equivalent to an NQ and having the opportunity to undertake the same work as qualified solicitors of a 1-5yr qualified level.”

“The support I have received from the department in my firm.”

The colleagues

“Working in a great team”

“The people I work with and the friends made.”

“Having people who actually listen to your opinion.”

“Great team, excellent exposure and trust in work I have been completing. My team have always pushed me to want to excel at my job and progress in my career.”

“Large, collegiate paralegal pool of a relatively similar age range.”

“The people I work with are very supportive and I like the level of work I do.”

Lawyer 2B’s paralegal healthcheck


“Assisting with an off-site client interview; I took a very detailed note, for which I was highly praised.”

“Being treated like an adult human. Being asked my personal opinion on legal matters.”

“Being told that my work is of the standard expected of a 3 year PQE lawyer.”

“Praise and acknowledgment from both colleagues and clients.”

“Being given the respect for doing work qualified lawyers do.”

“Being with a firm that has treated me equally to other employees.”

“Being promoted to senior paralegal and delivering training to other paralegals and receiving recognition from the company.”

“Being recognised as a valuable part of the legal team. Also, I feel very lucky to have been given this opportunity. I had begun my CILEx studies by self-funding, but I am now being supported financially and with study leave.”

“Being made to feel part of the team and being taken to all events that a lawyer would be taken to (offsite retreat, closing dinners etc). I was involved in cases from beginning to end.”

“Feeling like a valuable member of my team and department as a whole and being trusted.”

“Attending a high profile inquest with a client and counsel, and achieving a positive outcome for the client. Receiving positive feedback from a client saying that I helped her ‘when she often felt she was drowning.’ Attending a court of appeal hearing with my supervisor and leading counsel in a case which changed the law.”

“Feeling a valuable part of the team and being told senior execs had noticed.”

“Being given a bottle of wine as reward for 140 hours over two weeks, some of which was associate level work.”

“The team that I work with relies very heavily on paralegals. Because trainees are constantly rotating, the majority of the work that spills over from associate level gets given straight to the paralegals. This means that I have been exposed to a variety of experience at a magic circle law firm that I would not have gained elsewhere. The positives have reinforced my desire to qualify as a lawyer – I truly enjoy my job.”

“Being thanked for going beyond what is usually expected.”

“Being told by the associate I work with that, in his opinion, I could quite easily do his job.”

“Being told by the associate that I assist that I am easily capable of doing his job.”

“Being recognised for my hard work and being given work that would normally go to qualified lawyers.”

“The responsibility and trust from colleagues and clients.”

“High responsibility and knowing that I’m appreciated.”

You can also read Being a paralegal: the worst bits.