Akeela Bharuchi highlights ways for LPC paralegals to maximise their opportunities.

  1. Be aware of your billing: As a fee earner in a firm it is important to understand that your billing is what ultimately defines the value that you add to the firm. Ensure you understand how to make the most of the billable hours in your day.
  2. Keep a record of your skills: include everything you acquire, with examples. These will be useful when applying to other firms as well when negotiating pay increases or promotions at work.
  3. Keep up with legal developments: As a LPC Paralegal you are fresh from your years of studying the law. You are expected to be competent and knowledgeable about the law. Therefore, ensure you are up to date with the statutory and common law precedents in relation to the area in which you work.
  4. Look the part: Take pride in your appearance - to be recognised as a potential lawyer you need to look like a potential lawyer.
  5. Keep up to date with your work, admin, deadlines and files. Make it easy for others to work on your files in you absence. This will ensure you are always on top of your caseload and you will be recognised as a reliable and professional employee.
  6. Raise your profile at work: make your name in-house and with other firms by participating in the local JLD and other professional groups.
  7. Don’t just identify problems with processes in the firm; always present a possible solution when highlighting problem areas to your employer. It demonstrates a real interest in the welfare of the firm and in improving efficacy.
  8. Be aware of presentation: when writing letters to third parties, always ensure that the grammar and presentation is accurate. The way you are perceived by clients and outside the firm will eventually feed back to your employer. If it’s positive, your value as an employee will increase.
  9. Stay open to opportunities: if you’re interested in legal aid work keep an eye on the LSC website and Lawcareers.net for LSC training grants awarded to firms. For example in 2008 the LSC awarded 150 training grants to Legal Aid firms to cover the training costs for 150 trainee solicitors.
  10. Don’t lose sight of the end goal: Keep on top of applications for training contracts and opportunities that will get you closer to securing one. It is easy to become bogged down at work and put off making efforts to realise your goals. If you are serious about qualifying then keep the momentum going.