Frequently asked questions

What is the role of a Paralegal?

A paralegal would initially be based within one department of the firm to gain experience and prove your value to the firm before being considered for a period of recognised training.

As a paralegal, you will be expected to provide support to fee earners in the relevant department which may involve a variety of tasks ranging from preparing bundles of documents to drafting documents in connection with the particular transaction or matter on which you are assisting.

How much responsibility does a Paralegal have?

The level of responsibility given depends not only on the way in which the various departments work, but also on the quality and standard of work produced by the paralegal to demonstrate to fee earners that the paralegal is capable of taking on a certain degree of responsibility.

Does a Paralegal have their own caseload?

Paralegals generally work on a variety of matters and do not usually have their own caseload, but will assist a solicitor on all aspects of a matter, including attending client meetings and drafting documents.

I have yet to complete the Legal Practice Course, will I be considered for a Paralegal position?

Becoming a Paralegal is an excellent way to gain an insight into what a legal career will involve. Almost all Paralegals at Harrison Clark Rickerbys will have completed the LPC prior to applying for a position. However it may be possible to work full-time and attend LPC lectures on a part-time basis. Each department within the firm operates differently, the workload of the department will have an effect on the flexibility that department is able to offer in terms of attending lectures and examinations. Please do remember that you cannot apply for a period of recognised training until you have at least commenced your LPC and you cannot commence a period of recognised training without having your LPC.

I did not achieve a 2:1 in my degree, will I still be considered for a position?

Any law firm operating a competitive market will be looking to recruit paralegals/trainee solicitors with excellent academic records, therefore a minimum 2:1 degree is generally required. However, if you can demonstrate other reasons why you should be considered – e.g. previous experience or extenuating circumstances which resulted in a lower grade than expected – then this may be taken into consideration.

If I am successful at obtaining a Paralegal position, how do I progress towards being offered a period of recognised training?

Key for a successful paralegal is the ability to demonstrate a good basic legal knowledge, good office skills, commitment to the department they are working in at any particular time, which often includes working outside of normal office hours, and being a safe pair of hands for busy fee earners to rely on. If you can consistently demonstrate these skills then you should have a good chance of progressing to a period of recognised training – subject to you following the necessary application procedures and thereafter successfully completing the required Open Afternoon and Assessment Centre
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How does a period of recognised training operate?

Once you have been offered a period of recognised training, the seat rotations throughout the period of recognised training occur every six months to enable you to gain a good basic grounding of four key disciplines, covering both contentious and non-contentious work.

Does Harrison Clark Rickerbys offer work experience placements?

If you are interested in work experience please email Sam Billingham HR Administrator, at sbillingham@hcrlaw.com. Any request for work experience should include a covering email stating that you wish to apply for a period of work experience with a copy of your CV attached.
Please note that we cannot under any circumstances accept anyone under the age of 16 for insurance related reasons.

What is life like as a trainee?

You are welcome to contact one of our recently qualified solicitors who was firstly a paralegal with us before commencing a period of recognised training. None of this communication is censored, so to hear first-hand what a Harrison Clark Rickerbys period of recognised training is like please feel free to contact David Gordon at dgordon@hcrlaw.com

Paralegal and Trainee Group

We have an excellent Paralegal and Trainee Group (“PT Group”) who participate in a number of pro bono and fundraising activities. The PT Group is an excellent way to meet other paralegals and trainees within the firm. The PT Group organise at least one major firm-wide fundraising event each year and is tasked with helping the local and worldwide community in charitable activities and pro bono work which forces them to “think outside the box”. The PT Group assist external charities and also raise money for the Harrison Clark Rickerbys Charitable Trust. Past activities the PT Group have been involved with include:

• Facilitating legal workshops with students at Cheltenham Ladies’ College and the Kings School
• Christmas box packing for the British troops in Afghanistan
• Static bike ride to cycle 140 miles as a team for Royal National College for the Blind

PT Group – in their own words:

“For around four years the PT Group has been organising events and undergoing many bizarre activities all in the name of charity. In the past we have jumped off castles, cleared forests, held casino nights, fashion shows, legal workshops and much, much more. We are always here to lend a hand whether it’s painting animal enclosures, decorating Christmas trees, serving drinks or boxing up gifts to send to the troops!”

“Thank you so much for taking part in our Careers event on Saturday. The girls will really have benefited from talking to you and it was so kind of you to give up your Saturday morning. “

Dr Sherwood, Cheltenham Ladies College