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Through the back door

The benefits of alternative routes to qualification must be balanced against the risks posed by unscrupulous firms, warns Pippa Allsop

31 March 2015

Entry numbers into the legal profession suggests there is a distinct disparity between those who are accepted to study law at undergraduate level and the number of training contracts registered.

With competition fierce, an increasing number of graduates are attempting to secure qualification by ‘getting in through the back door’ by obtaining paralegal roles. Yet, this route is not without potential pitfalls, and there are a number of frustrating dichotomies that graduates face when they pursue paralegalling as a way of obtaining a training contract.

The Law Society acknowledges that the 'need to stay in the legal profession to gain experience whilst trying to secure a training contract... [is] usually achieved by taking up a paralegal position’. It even goes so far as to advise hopeful graduates that a paralegal role could ‘help you get your foot in the door’ with a firm.

However, these concessions come with a warning that &l...

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