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Gaining work experience in the legal industry

Gaining work experience in the legal industry can be challenging, in this blog TJ tells us what he learnt during his work experience at Paragon Law.

Tendaishe’s Week at Paragon Law

It has never been more important to gain work experience, regardless of what industry you want to pursue. However, it’s not good enough to just have another name on your CV: rather you need to make the most of your time and gain transferable skills which you can use going forward. The necessity of gaining work experience (particularly in the legal industry) is why we regularly welcome students into our office who are looking to kick start their career in the legal profession. 

At the start of the year we welcomed final-year LLB student, Tendaishe Rushwaya (TJ), into our office for a week-long work experience. Since working with us TJ has managed to secure a part-time role with us as a Trainee Paralegal. We spoke to him to understand how he made the most of his time in a legal environment.

Throw yourself into it

When people apply to gain work experience at Paragon Law we make sure that they are not limited to one department and instead get to see the broad range of jobs available within the legal industry. We do this because quite often our employees ‘work their way up’ the firm, and so, tend to have fulfilled multiple roles during their time with us. During his week with us, TJ was able to understand the following:

  • How the organisational structure of a law firm works and how different departments and roles work together.

  • How the case administrators are expected to take calls from clients and organisations and what information is required to be gathered.

  • How to create and amend diary appointments for the fee earners.

  • How a case management software works and how this is an integral part of the client journey. 

  • How client appointments run.

  • How case law and legislation plays a vital role in the life of a lawyer.

Be inquisitive

TJ’s time shadowing client meetings enabled him to see the different skills which solicitors are required to have, e.g. the ability to manage expectations, the ability to extract the most important information, and the ability to receive instructions. 

Through shadowing and interacting with the immigration lawyers and solicitors TJ was able to see the different legal software and technology which is used by the lawyers and solicitors during virtual client appointments and when assessing a client’s financial position to come to the UK.

Challenge yourself

TJ was also given a number of research tasks during his week at Paragon Law. The research tasks provided TJ with the opportunity to engage with the law and see how it could affect client outcomes. These tasks challenged TJ to manage his time effectively, become a more effective note-taker, and provided him with the opportunity to question the immigration lawyers on any points of the law or legal process which he did not understand.

Be open-minded

The sheer range of tasks in which TJ was exposed to meant that he was able to gain an insight into aspects of the legal profession which perhaps he would never have taken a look into. For instance, TJ was able to gain experience within the research and administrative of the legal industry to show how a law firm is not just full of solicitors.


“Overall, I really enjoyed my week at Paragon Law since it was engaging within an academic and professional sense.  However, I also enjoyed my week due to the welcoming nature of all the staff I was fortunate enough to meet with, also all of the staff were ready to lend me help or assistance at any time which was very useful since it enabled me to settle down almost immediately. Everything from the culture that I saw here to how the staff interact with, and handle clients was very inspirational. It was also inspirational to speak to some of the fee-earners who had recently left education to practice or were still in education as it allowed me to be around people who had previously been in my position and become successful within the law industry.” - Tendaishe Rushwaya

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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