“Fancy joining the Paras?” asks a Quality Solicitor franchise firm in Dudley, applying gloss to some fairly mundane social welfare and family law tasks.
What youngster hasn’t fantasised about joining the elite Parachute Regiment of the British army — bravely tumbling behind enemy lines and slitting the throats of bad guys in the name of Queen and country.
Now a branch of umbrella brand Quality Solicitors — Talbots in Dudley — is trying to extend that excitement to the growing cadre of paralegals.
“Fancy joining the Paras?” screamed a recent job advert from this powerhouse West Midlands firm. But instead of togging up in camouflage kit and reaching for the rip cord, Talbot paras will be schlepping around in M&S suits attacking the intricacies of social welfare and housing law.
That doesn’t prevent the bright spark copy-writer from persisting with a “Boys’ Own” tone. After asking “Are you fit for service?”, the advert goes on to say:
“If you choose to accept this challenge, you’ll be stationed in Dudley [which Legal Cheek understands has all the appeal of a garrison town], expected to be on duty, Monday to Friday, between the hours of 9 o’clock sharp, until Oh-seventeen-hundred-hours-plus-a-quarter (5:15 in other words!); you’ll be asked to undertake special missions — and work an occasional Saturday morning (9 until 12), which will be paid with extra rations, or overtime, as we call it!”
Talbots insists on quite a high bar for its paras — asking candidates to have either a law degree or to be doing a part-time legal practice course. In addition, they must “have knowledge of housing and family law and also show a keen interest in dispute resolution”.
Candidates should also have “excellent organisational skills”, while a “time management ability to work under pressure will shine through, together with your ability to work to tight deadlines… regularly”.
And if that’s not more exhausting than jumping out of an aeroplane, then prospective Talbots paras will need “a knowledge of legal case management systems,” and be prepared to “assist with advocacy appointments, without supervision”.
There is no indication of remuneration for the paralegal jobs at Talbots. But perhaps Parachute Regiment wages are a guide — reservists bag £43.54 a day, but then they don’t enjoy the glamour of hanging about at Dudley County Court for hours on end.
Since we were alerted to the advert last week, the firm has removed it from its website — presumably as the rush for a whiff of parachute silk was overwhelming — but it remains in the Google cache and is captured in the screenshot above for the posterity of the nation’s military history.