Paralegals

For law graduates not going on to the LPC or BPTC, a career as a professional paralegal is a real alternative. Being a paralegal is not the same as being a lawyer, but as doctors are supported by skilled nurses, so too solicitors are supported by skilled paralegals. And as with nurses, nowadays paralegals are becoming a recognised professional group in their own right.

The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives

CILEx is the professional body representing around 20,000 trainee and qualified chartered legal executive lawyers. Changes in legislation mean that chartered legal executive lawyers are increasingly on a level playing field with solicitors or barristers, as they can now become judges, advocates and partners in law firms.

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What has happened in the legal profession in 2018 that I should know about?

“May you live in interesting times” is a blessing that Ancient Chinese people were said to reserve for those they didn’t like – “dull” periods of prosperity and stability being clearly preferable to scarcity and upheaval, even if the latter always seem to fascinate historians and filmmakers. Unfortunately, when barristers go on strike in large numbers, as they did earlier this year despite their profession’s inherently conservative character and affluent reputation, you can be sure that the times are interesting indeed.

Pro bono initiatives

Lawyers Without Borders

A transnational alliance network which seeks to bring lawyers and judges wishing to carry pro bono work together with rule of law and access to justice projects. There are opportunities for students both in London and internationally (the project is based in the United States). Internships are unpaid and require minimal commitment of two days per week or six continuous weeks.