Day in the Life of a Paralegal

In this article, we shine the spotlight on one of our Paralegals Oliver Pegg

Oliver joined the firm in 2023 and works as a Paralegal in the Litigation department. 
Oliver graduated from Cardiff University in 2022 and will soon be a Trainee Solicitor. 

What a Typical Day Might Look Like for Oliver

Arriving at the Office

08:45am – I usually like to arrive just before 9:00am to grab a coffee, check any new emails, and sort my schedule for the day. If something needs to be dealt with urgently, I will action this first or bring to the attention of my Head of Department to discuss.

Morning

9:00am – 1:00pm - Having recently been on annual leave I have been working through some items of work which have come in whilst I was away. This morning, I have been finalising a settlement agreement after some recent success, drafting correspondence on some new instructions, and contacting the court to request an update on a case. Before my time off, I had some court hearings to prepare for which kept me busy.

Lunch

1:00pm - During lunch, I usually walk into town and grab a coffee. As an SQE candidate, I sometimes need to get some studying done during my lunch break to stay on top of my work outside of work.

Afternoon

2:00pm – 5:00pm – This afternoon, my schedule includes sending some important emails to clients with updates on their matters, sending out correspondence to the other side, setting up some new files with the necessary compliance, and preparing this piece for the website.

End of the working day

5:00pm – As the end of the day approaches, I review the work undertaken that day and ensure my time recording is accurate and up to date.

On a Friday afternoon, I reflect on the work completed throughout the week and add anything noteworthy to my training record for the purpose of evidencing my skills, knowledge, and competence in preparation for my qualification as a Solicitor.

I tend to leave the office between 5:00 and 5:30pm. I usually go to the gym straight after work and head home around 7:00pm. I will then have something to eat and crack on with some more studying before winding down with some Playstation or TV.

 

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Three top tips:

  1. Be prepared: A career in law will be challenging and stressful at times, especially when everything is new and unfamiliar. Be prepared to work hard and it won’t always feel like hard work. Embrace the challenge.
  2. Apply yourself: Have confidence in your ability and give things a go. I find that learning on the job is the best way to learn. Remember though – if you’re really not sure, make sure you ask someone for help or check your work.
  3. Take your time: Whether it’s figuring out a new task, or just pursuing a career as a Solicitor in general, it’s important to make sure you understand the work you’re doing and recognise the importance of your position, even when you are a more junior member of a firm. You’ll be a qualified Solicitor far longer than you’ll be a Paralegal or Trainee, so don’t rush the process and wish the time away.

What is it like to be a Paralegal?

Responsibilities and work can be quite varied. For example, you will often be dealing with your own caseload, supporting solicitors with theirs, undertaking admin/compliance tasks, raising invoices, and handling enquiries for the department all at once. Whilst this may sound like a lot, these are all essential skills necessary for qualifying as a Solicitor and it will help prepare you well for the future.

Have you known from a young age that you wanted to become a solicitor?

I left school not knowing what I wanted to do, and I wasn’t set on pursuing a legal career until university (I probably hadn’t fully come to terms with the fact I wouldn’t be a footballer!). Since hanging up my boots, my experience so far has confirmed I am happy with my decision.

Do you have an idea of which area of law you would like to qualify into?

Since university, my aspirations have been to qualify in corporate law. That said, since working in Litigation, I have come to realise I really enjoy resolving disputes and dealing with such a wide variety of matters (whether corporate-based or not), which have allowed me to broaden my knowledge of the law and be as well-rounded as possible when I come to qualify.

How much interaction do you have with clients?

I have a lot of interaction with clients: attending client meetings with the solicitors in the department, attending court hearings with clients, and communicating with clients daily via email and telephone. Recently, I have held some client meetings on my own dealing with matters I am competent with.

What kind of legal matters are you working on at the moment?

Commercial disputes, property disputes, debt recovery and enforcement, drafting agreements.

What is the most challenging aspect about being a paralegal?

Managing full-time work alongside study commitments with the SQE.

What have you enjoyed the most about your experience so far?

Having the responsibility to handle my own caseload and the variety of work in Litigation.

What 3 skills do you think are needed to shine as a paralegal?

  1. Organisation.
  2. Dependability.
  3. Interpersonal skills.

What advice would you give to someone applying for Paralegal positions?

The route to qualification has changed since the introduction of the SQE and phasing out of the LPC. Paralegal experience can be attributed to your two years of qualifying work experience, and is somewhat like training contracts seats, provided the same level of competencies are being achieved.

The main difference is that if you secure a role as a Paralegal, you are unlikely to rotate departments every 6-months. Therefore, aim for a role in an area of law which interests you; perhaps one you may wish to qualify into, or at least, one you think will benefit your career.

How will you celebrate when you qualify?

A nice long holiday somewhere warm.

What’s next? Do you have any future career plans or goals once you have qualified?

I’m looking at qualifying into corporate/commercial law. However, I’m keen to continue with Litigation work and will hopefully be able to do a bit of both in the future!

Lamb Brooks LLP
Victoria House
39 Winchester Street
Basingstoke
Hampshire
RG21 7EQ
01256 471 085
© Lamb Brooks is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority - SRA No 559661. Lamb Brooks LLP (registered at Companies House OC363909) whose registered office address is: Victoria House, 39 Winchester Street, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG21 7EQ