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A Paralegal's survival guide

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What is a Paralegal? This is a question that I am often asked and one that until recently, I found quite difficult to answer. In short, a Paralegal is what I would describe as a cross between a Legal Secretary and a Trainee Solicitor. Being a Paralegal at Gepp Solicitors has enabled me to work alongside Solicitors to gain an insight into how a Law Firm actually works and assist with a wide variety of tasks. 

 

Last week I was invited back to my old sixth form to give an ‘honest’ talk about my transition from studying for my ‘A’ Levels, through to my Law degree and now working as a Paralegal. I say ‘honest’ because I can’t lie and say the journey was easy and encourage everyone to do the same. To study and do well in Law, you have to be really resilient and be prepared to put in the extra work in order to succeed. With that being said, I thought I would take the time to sit down and summarise my top tips for student success.

 

Organise the chaos

Whether this be as simple as tidying your desk to trying to work out a daily action plan, organisation is absolutely key.

 

Work hard whilst still maintaining a work-life balance

It is really important to recognise when enough is enough and you need to give yourself a break and not feel guilty about it. The chances are that you will feel more refreshed afterwards and ultimately be more productive.

 

Work experience

Apply for as much work experience as you can. Legal work experience is important but I appreciate it can be very hard to get. Therefore, don’t underestimate other part time work such as working in a shop or a restaurant. The skills gained can be transferred into any career.

 

Stand out from the crowd

I’m sure my teachers will love me for this one but do the extra reading. It shows that you are proactive and are willing to read around a topic to deepen your understanding. It also means that if you engage with it in your work, it is not only more interesting to read but will achieve higher marks. Do anything that sets you apart from others but don’t be afraid to ask for help.

 

Finally, enjoy it!

Make sure you enjoy whatever you do and don't compare yourself to others. Otherwise, you will not be motivated enough to put in the hard work and see it through to the end.

 

I would like to say thank you to The Sixth Form College Colchester for inviting me back. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or visit the careers section of our website.

 

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