What You Need To Be A Litigation Paralegal

A litigation paralegal is a professional that supports all phases of the litigation process by assisting and coordinating different activities under the supervision of the attorney or settling legal disputes in court.

They also help manage legal cases before, during and after the litigation process.

Qualifications Required To Be A Litigation Paralegal

Becoming a paralegal in the UK doesn’t have specific educational qualifications other than a related degree combined with good GCSE and A-Level grades. Litigation paralegals usually have a Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) or have completed a Legal Practice Course (LPC).

Training while work is also an option with the  CILEx (Chartered Institute of Legal Executives), or qualifications available on the National Association of Licensed Paralegals (NALP).

School and college students can also apply for an apprenticeship which will enable a young person to train to be a paralegal without completing a university degree. Apprenticeships are considered the traditional way to begin a career as a litigation paralegal and thus is in high demand.

Salary Of A Litigation Paralegal

This average base salary for litigation paralegals as of 2021 is £23,681 yearly. You can earn as high as £37K after some years of experience.

Duties Of A Litigation Paralegal And Skills Needed

Litigation is the process of legal action so paralegals in this fieldwork in the realm of law where a type of legal action is being taken. There is a number of specialities in the litigation area and the ones that are popular are bankruptcy, personal injury, or corporate or intellectual property. Whatever the speciality, the duties and skills are the same.

Duties

  1.  Draft pleadings and discovery.
  2.  Prepare for depositions, mediations, and arbitrations.
  3.  Assist at trial.
  4. Interview clients and witnesses
  5. Communicate with court personnel, opposing counsel and others
  6. Locate key documents
  7. Manage outside vendors
  8. Filing pleadings with the court
  9. Legal research
  10. Investigative research
  11. Analyze data and prepare summary charts
  12. Keep track of case deadlines
  13. Work with electronically stored information (ESI)
  14. Document organization
  15. Summarize transcripts
  16. Prepare trial exhibit lists and trial notebooks
  17. Track exhibits and other evidence during a trial

Skills

1.  Problem-Solving Skills

Attorneys wish to work with someone that will solve their issues rather than report the problem and wait for the attorney to fix it. A good litigation paralegal is someone that is always looking for possible solutions to the problem. The more issues you solve, the more valuable you are!

2.  Ability to Work Well Under Pressure

Good litigation paralegals have good time management skills. All of the work that a litigation paralegal does is tied to a deadline set by the court rules of the judges. Hence, time management is important. However, it is more than managing time. You should also have the ability to well under pressure when there is a limited amount of time and no flexibility with the deadline.

3.  Technology Skills

Technological skills are crucial if you want a successful career as a litigation paralegal. Over the last decade, e-technology and trail technology has changed the way litigation paralegals operate. Before, you only needed to have good organization skills because much of the litigation field involved a lot of paper documents. Now, attorneys and their clients use emails and text messages to correspondence while most of the evidence in a civil litigation matter comes from what the parties did (or did not do) through their phones or computers.

4.  Communication Skills

Litigation paralegals need a high level of communication as that is the most asked for in job descriptions. This is because the paralegal will communicate (in writing and verbally) with opposing counsel, court staff, judges, and more. Furthermore, a litigation paralegal is also expected to draft motions, briefs, discovery, and other important documents in the case.

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