‘Should I work as a paralegal at the firm I’ve secured a training contract with?’

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I planned to fill the gap with legal work but the job market is flat so options are limited, writes one Legal Cheek reader

In the latest instalment in our Career Conundrums series, one law student is looking to secure legal work ahead of starting their training contact next year. But should they apply for a paralegal role at their future firm or look elsewhere once the job market recovers?

“Blessed enough to have a TC with a City firm due to start next year, and finishing the LPC this month. I was planning on filling some of this gap with paralegal work, but the job market is quite flat at the moment. My TC firm has paralegal positions available, but I wondered (1) how people felt/insight into feelings of paralegaling with your future TC firm? (2) Do people think the general jobs market/paralegal market will open up in the near future (I have a 2:1 law degree from Cambridge and a likely distinction in the LPC)?”

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Is it possible to paralegal for less than a year? I have a year off before I start the LPC, and I wanted to earn money and go travelling. Would I be able to work as a paralegal for half of the year and then travel for the other half? Would it cause problems if you quit after 6 months? This won’t be at the firm I have a TC with.


Old as the hills

I did it (about 20 years ago…). Spent a year as a paralegal in a city firm (in a dept I wanted to qualify into), 4 months of travelling round the world and then started my TC. Luckily I liked that area, so it gave me a heads start when I did a seat there and helped me get seats in complimentary areas. Definitely recommend it.

Would I have done it in the same firm I had a TC with – depends on what paralegal positions were available, whether they were in areas I was interested in doing / trying and the reputation of the firm in that area.

Best of luck.


Truth Serum

Paralegal role is a good idea, as you will learn how to work in a professional environment. However don’t work at your future TC firm. Best to make your mistakes elsewhere then come to the TC fresh.



Plus if you sleep with some the admin staff it won’t haunt you.



I was a paralegal in the firm I trained with for 6 months before the start of my TC. I sort of fell into it because I was looking for paralegal work to fill the gap and a friend of mine already at the firm who I went to law school with put my name forward.
I really enjoyed the experience, I was basically treated as a trainee, went to the same training sessions, so it was almost like a “fifth” seat. The pay was lower than I got as a trainee, but it was only for 6 months and still very good pay considering. It also got me used to the systems and made my face familiar around the firm. That was years ago, but I have zero regrets and look back at that “pre-trainee” time as a very special time in my career.


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