Note: content below is indicative because of the recent changes to the apprenticeship standard
Paralegal Apprenticeship (Level 3)
We worked with the employer trailblazer group to inform the design of the paralegal apprenticeship standard in 2015 and have contributed to the updated standard launched in July 2023.
This apprenticeship is a perfect entry point for apprentices new to legal services post A-levels or those joining the sector later in their careers. Combined with our solicitor apprenticeship it can be used as the first step on the path to qualification as a solicitor. For employers, the paralegal apprenticeship gives access to a wide and deep pool of talent that may not historically have been able to pursue a legal career.
Paralegals usually work under the supervision of qualified lawyers and mainly give legal advice on routine and straightforward matters. They support other legal professionals, including on regulated aspects of law.
On completion, apprentices can apply to the National Association of Licensed Paralegals (NALP) to become a registered Paralegal Technician. Depending on experience and qualifications, progression to Associate and Fellowship status may be possible. For apprentices interested in the CILEX route, the apprenticeship also grants exemption against certain CILEX Foundation units.
Our vision at Damar is closely aligned with O Shaped, who are working to create a legal profession that is more client-led and people focused. Our paralegal programme includes an introduction to O Shaped, with apprentices provided with additional support to develop core skills in areas such as relationship building, emotional intelligence and problem solving.
The apprenticeship is suitable for paralegals working in all contexts, from small firms to large multi-nationals. They can work in the private or public sector. They can work within in-house legal departments, the not-for-profit sector and charities.
The programme is formed of carefully planned and sequenced 6-week modules that help apprentices learn and apply the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for each of the core occupational duties undertaken by paralegals.
- Duty 1. Support provision of legal advice by other legal professionals
- Duty 2. Provide ethical legal services ensuring high standards of client care ensuring they are acting in the best interests of the client
- Duty 3. Complete routine legal research and present information in response to requests from others under supervision
- Duty 4. Assist with the initial review of legal documents for example witness statements, meeting notes, contract reviews, lease agreements, bundles and produce varied correspondence
- Duty 5. Produce first drafts of legal documents and proofread documents under supervision using digital tools
- Duty 6. Use and support the use of digital technology and tools within the organisation
- Duty 7. Engage with stakeholders appropriately and adapt communication styles and tools appropriately including escalating problems when appropriate in line with organisational policies and procedures
- Duty 8. Manage own workload using digital management systems and undertake review of casework to ensure progression is maintained and problems identified and escalated
- Duty 9. Deliver paralegal activities in support of the organisation’s commercial strategy or budgetary constraints such as value for money, compliance with time billing and fee structure policies
- Duty 10. Assist in work with clients to provide an excellent customer service on routine casework
- Duty 11. Assist in carrying out “Know Your Client” activities to ensure that the appropriate type of scale of legal service is being provided
- Duty 12. Administer digital systems to create, maintain and use client and organisation data securely in line with legislation
- Duty 13. Ensure that all transactions and activities are carried out safely and securely to protect the organisation from threats such as money laundering, fraud and cybercrime
- Duty 14. Identify the limits of their personal professional experience and competence and escalate instructions that are beyond their scope of expertise
All apprenticeships embed the functional use of maths and English as well as personal development topics in areas such as equality and diversity and British Values. Apprentices unable to evidence maths and English at GCSE level 4 or above may need to take functional skills exams as part of the apprenticeship. Additional training is provided if necessary.
People of all ages and educational backgrounds can undertake the paralegal apprenticeship, but there are some restrictions, the most important of which are:
- The employer and the training provider must ascertain that the apprenticeship will allow the individual to gain substantive new skills. The training therefore needs to be materially different from any prior qualification or previous apprenticeship.
- The apprenticeship must align with the skills needs of the apprentice’s role.
- The apprentice must be employed, usually for 30+ hours a week, and work more than 50% of their time in England.
- All apprenticeships must take at least 12 months with apprentices spending a minimum of 6 hours per week in off-the-job training. All Damar apprenticeships plan for more than the legal minimum. There is more on how we maximise the benefits of off-the-job training here: https://damartraining.com/news/2023/so-what-is-off-the-job-training/.
If your annual UK wage bill is over £3 million, the cost of training can be funded via the Apprenticeship Levy. We can help you navigate your Apprenticeship Service account to access this funding.
If your annual UK wage bill is below £3 million, the government covers 95-100% of the training costs. The level of funding available is determined by the size of your business and the age of the apprentice.
There is an exciting range of progression routes from the paralegal apprenticeship standard. The most common is to the solicitor apprenticeship. Other routes are to the Chartered Legal Executive apprenticeship or apprenticeships in related areas such as Data Protection and Information Governance Practitioner. Several other higher level legal apprenticeships are in development.
To discuss how Damar apprenticeships can help your organisation and your colleagues to achieve their potential, please click 'Make an enquiry'
Our delivery model
- Pre-work. Usually, reading or video content relating to the module.
- Main learning. Self-directed, interactive content on our online learning platform.
- Group coaching session. Apprentices come with their questions, discuss their learning with peers and prepare themselves for the final part of the module, which is to complete individual activity.
- Individual learning activity. An activity brief will be provided for the apprentice as introduced in the group coaching session. The student will work through the activity brief, building their evidence to support the portfolio and end point assessment. Importantly, this final activity allows the apprentice to embed and contextualise their learning.
- 1:1 Coaching Visit. Every six weeks, where work completed, and feedback are reviewed and, if it is to the right standard, the module will be signed off. It is also an opportunity to review progress and discuss personal development with the apprentice.
- Legal knowledge and practice content is underpinned by live workshops, delivered by sector experts, and high-quality online resources. Apprentices are tasked with completing their knowledge learning prior to the relevant workshop.
- Review meeting. Takes place with the apprentice and their supervisor every 12 weeks, immediately after a coaching visit, providing a further opportunity to review progress.
- A 60 minute professional discussion with an independent end-point assessor, supported by a portfolio.
- A project report, presentation and Q&A with an independent assessor on a specific problem, recurring issue or an idea or opportunity relating to the apprentice’s area of specialism.