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Landing a job at Paragon Law

In this blog post Jack Brooks, a Trainee Caseworker at Paragon Law, discusses the job application process and his motivations for joining the firm.

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Applying for a job at Paragon Law

Jack Brooks joined us in June 2022 as a Trainee Caseworker in our Asylum and Human Rights department. In this article, Jack discusses how he found the job application process and how he is settling into his new role at Paragon Law.

I started with Paragon only in June of this year, yet the amount I’ve learned in such a short space of time has meant it’s felt like I’ve been here much longer. The whole team have been fantastic at welcoming me and supporting me to learn what is a vastly complex area of law.

I am currently a Trainee Caseworker within the asylum team. The goal is to qualify as a Senior Caseworker within the team where I will eventually be taking clients through their asylum claims, through appeals, through fresh claims and other relevant areas such as SET P applications. Most of the work I will undertake will be funded by Legal Aid.

It is a long road to that point, but one we’ve made good progress down already. I passed the Trainee Casework Assistant Exam in July and am currently working towards taking the Senior Caseworker exam later this year.

I came to Paragon with a great passion for the asylum sector; I spent over three great years with a Nottingham based charity that houses and supports both refused asylum seekers and newly-recognised refugees, and I had previously graduated with an MA in Human Rights. I’d known for a while that I wanted to focus my career down the legal route within the asylum sector, but other than OISC Level 1 Asylum and Protection, I had no prior legal knowledge.

I’d had the pleasure of dealing with Paragon Law loosely through my other work and I’d always been impressed, Paragon has a fantastic reputation within the asylum-charity sector. I’d been keeping an eye on Paragon’s social media and website on and off for some time until earlier this year a position for a Trainee Caseworker was advertised - it was exactly what I had been waiting for.

The application process was straightforward and I was delighted to have been offered an interview. The interview itself was online and with Deirdre, the Head of the Asylum and Human Rights team, and Saniya, a Supervising Senior Caseworker within the Asylum and Human Rights team also. It was a great experience to have met with both of them in itself and I would have been satisfied (albeit disappointed) had that had been it. To have later been offered a position was fantastic.

Arranging the contract and start date was handled easily by Paragon’s HR team and they remained respectful of the commitments I had made to my previous employer, allowing me to see them through before starting.

It was a nerve wracking first day, but I was struck by how welcoming it all was. It was a big change for me and I wasn’t sure I would have what it took to be there, but I was instantly made to feel comfortable and at home. That is perhaps the most significant of Paragon’s qualities; its culture. I have been given the space to grow, to develop and I have never felt out of place as a trainee or as someone without a formal legal background. I was just part of the team right from day one.

To support me in my development, I was provided with a clear and thorough induction plan and offered support by everyone. Alongside this training, I was given space for private study. Paragon has access to some fantastic online resources including the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association (ILPA), Electronic Immigration Network (EIN), Free Movement and a comprehensive training folder for internal practices among others resources.

As with most things, the best way to learn is to do it and whilst a lot of the work is not possible until I am accredited, I have had ample opportunities to assist fee-earners with tasks and to observe appointments supplementing my training and private study. All of this learning has been tied together in weekly supervision with my supervisor.

I’ve really enjoyed my first few months with Paragon. From learning relevant law, understanding Legal Aid, understanding Home Office procedures, to learning Paragon itself - it has been intense, and it has been challenging, yet it has been thoroughly enjoyable.

I’ve still got a long way to go and a lot to learn, but the whole team have given me the confidence that it is all possible. It is a pleasure to be here and I cannot wait to get up and running.

Careers at Paragon Law

If you would like to know more about working at Paragon Law then head over to our careers page. Alternatively, if you would like to apply for work experience at Paragon Law then please get in touch with us.

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