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Paralegal Courses

An ultimate guide to paralegal courses

Paralegals are essential to the delivery legal services and the role plays an integral part supporting lawyers at all levels. While the profession has remained largely unregulated with no official qualification requirements, there are, however, a number of courses available for those wishing to pursue a career as a paralegal.  Today we will be looking at the available courses amongst others, entry requirements, the cost implication and providers of these courses.

1. Paralegal courses options
There a handful of courses provided by different providers and available for school leavers to degree graduates and support staff in law that are looking to transition their career into a fee earner. The main courses are:

  1. CILEx Level 2 Certificate in Legal Studies (This is lower level course)
  2. CILEx Level 3 Certificates in Law and Practice (This is an entry-level course)
  3. Level 3 Paralegal Practice (This is an entry-level course)
  4. Level 4 Diploma  (This is an intermediate level course)
  5. CILEx Level 6 Single Subject Certificate (This is an advanced level course)
  6. Level 7 Post Grad Diploma (This is advanced level course)

2. Courses entry requirements
The entry requirements vary and are depending on the level of course pursued. For instance, for lower level courses there no entry requirement and is suitable for those with no formal academic qualifications. Whereas for level 7 Diploma you will need to be either a law graduate or completed GDL. For more details on entry requirements be sure you check with course providers, which will discuss in the next section.

3. Who are the providers of these courses
Although there a number of course providers, the main ones are the National Association of Licensed Paralegals,  CILEx Law School, and  Central Law Training

4. How much does a paralegal course cost?
The fees for these courses will vary from level to level, however for the entry-level courses you could be paying anything from £465 and for more advanced courses around £1660. The NALP offer interest-free installments. 

5. What is the studying method?
The courses provided by CILEx and NALP are distance learning, so you can study in your own time and manage it around your other commitments. 

6. How long are the courses?
The time it takes to finish a course it depends on the level undertaken.  However, you can expect it to last between four up to twelve months. 

7. Are paralegal courses officially recognized?
The courses provided by NALP are recognized by Ofequal the government body who regulates qualifications, exam, and assessments in England. 

8. Can I become a paralegal without a paralegal course?
As noted above the profession is largely unregulated,  as such anyone can pursue a career as a paralegal. These courses are not compulsory and certainly not a requirement from prospective law firms. However, we would note that these courses could be useful for those with no background in law. Ultimately whether or not these courses will be of use to you and add value to your CV will depend very much on your background and experience. If you are interested in a career as a paralegal you could always look to apply for entry-level roles for which typically the entry requirements are quite minimal.  Be sure to check the article on how Linkedin can help you secure a paralegal role.

We hope you find this article informative and insightful. As always feel free to comment or share this article.


Joe Simmons

Legal recruiter and blogger @purelegaljobs

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