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Plan B: Paralegal alternative career paths


Most paralegals are working towards the end goal of a training contract. However, with training contracts becoming more and more difficult to obtain, many of our candidates are starting to consider alternative career paths.
 
Having spent a lot of time and money studying law, it can be a difficult time for candidates facing this situation and most are unaware of the multiple career paths a legal background can offer.  
 

Compliance

 
Compliance is a combination of all processes and procedures in order to ensure a business is adhering to all government rules and regulations.
 
The financial crisis and global banking frauds highlighted the failure of businesses to carry out compliance checks which in turn led to a number of new EU directives to ensure companies comply with data privacy rules and regulations. As a result, there has been a surge in the number of compliance roles in the market as more organisations feel the need to appoint a compliance officer. 
 
Compliance officers are responsible for making sure companies meet these obligations and therefore a legal background is often desirable. Candidates suited to these roles often have strong academics and a meticulous eye for detail. As with any career change, candidates will have to start in an entry level position however, senior compliance candidates can command salaries of £100k plus.
 

In-house 

 
One alternative to private practice is working in-house. In-house encompasses all sectors and industries excluding law firms and popular roles include working as a contracts administrator, officer or manager. Unlike private practice, candidates can secure these roles without having the LPC.
 
A candidate working in a contracts role is responsible for the management of contracts between a business and any other vendor or third party. This includes negotiating terms and conditions as well as drafting and amending the contract. A good command of the English language and extensive knowledge of contracts law is therefore of utmost importance. 
 
Many of these positions are quite commercial in nature and are suited to those who enjoy business development. Candidates will need good communication skills. These roles therefore are best suited to people who are personable and confident.
 
In some instances, candidates can be fortunate enough to be offered the opportunity to train and qualify in-house. This often involves doing a number of seats at a law firm associated with the organisation. Upon completion of the training contract, candidates will be admitted as solicitors in England and Wales however, it is tough to make the move into private practice following this form of qualification.
 
Breaking into this industry can be quite difficult as most hiring takes place at the senior end of the market.  Candidates considering a career in contracts management need to be aware that they must start in an entry level or administrative position and most of these positions are secured by applying directly to the organisation.
 
Senior contracts managers can command salaries of £100k plus.
 

Recruitment

 
Many of our consultants are former lawyers who enjoyed the business development aspect of their previous roles but wanted a career which was more client facing and sales driven.
 
Most legal roles are document heavy and don’t always involve a lot of client contact. These kinds of roles can be a struggle for candidates who enjoy networking and utilising their communication skills.
 
If you feel you might be the kind of person who enjoys building relationships and who might work well as a legal recruiter, please call Hannah Fegan on 0207 269 2418 or visit our JoinPageGroup site.
 
For other legal roles, browse legal jobs now or contact your local Page Personnel office.