By Amanda Hamilton, Patron, National Association of Licensed Paralegals (NALP)
Have you a head for finance or mergers and acquisitions? Many large corporations have offices around the world and most tend to use The English Common Law as their preferred legal system. There are plenty of roles for paralegals in such organisations. From financial corporations to multi-national banks. From underwriters to insurance companies. Even oil companies such as Shell have advertised for NALP qualified paralegals to join their legal team. Organisations such as National Grid or British Gas, or the Virgin Group of companies, all have legal departments offering paralegal positions.
Big business offers many exciting opportunities for paralegals. But what of you fancy something in the glamour section of the legal Venn diagram?
Paralegal and glamorous may not seem like obvious words to occupy the same sentence, but paralegals work in a variety of fields, including some of the most sought-after industries.
These days football is a multi-million-pound business. Most premiership football clubs employ doctors, physios, chefs, waiting staff, receptionists, security, cleaning staff and a whole team of lawyers and paralegals to deal with the day-to-day running of a club, its players and any legalities that may occur. This can include players’ employment contracts, buying or renting a property for players or staff, assisting with small legal matters such as driving offences, marital problems, defamation actions and publicity related legal matters.
A club, like Chelsea for example, has a ‘village’ to run. This includes restaurants, cafés and bars, and promotional suites for guests. Plus, it employs hundreds of staff. The club has also developed The Chelsea Foundation to encourage, motivate and inspire younger people through football and sport generally. They have a museum and guided tours.
If this is your dream paralegal job, then think of the number of football clubs not only in the premiership but also in the lower leagues that may be interested in taking you on as a paralegal. Something to think about?
If you are interested in fashion, clothing or dress and shoe design, why not consider a paralegal role in one of the top design houses. Sometime ago, NALP was approached by a top shoe designer to assist in finding a paralegal for their legal department. The criterion was that they had to be qualified through NALP. Of course, we obliged and put them in touch with several candidates. Obviously, positions like that do not land in our lap every day but consider the possibilities. If you are a fashion or design guru and have also gained a NALP paralegal qualification, the world could be your oyster.
In terms of glamour, perhaps think in terms of Chanel or Christian Dior or British designers like Vivienne Westwood or Stella McCartney. Or if you are besotted by what is on your feet, then shoes designers such as Jimmy Choo, Christian Louboutin or Manolo Blahnik. What do they all have in common? They are all well known for their designs around the world, and they all employ paralegals. Using your paralegal knowledge and skills could gain you a position which could also lead to the possibility of world travel?
Got a passion for movies, stage, or TV production? Or maybe you have acting or production ambitions but, as insurance, you have qualified as a paralegal as a backup. Either way, there are plenty of production companies based in London and around the UK that utilise the knowledge of paralegals. Contracts relating to scenery or costume design, or to retain an actor for a part on TV.
A while ago, NALP ran a survey to ascertain how many companies employed a paralegal to deal with their day-to-day legalities. Three hundred companies/organisations were contacted including movie production companies and they all stated that they employed people in-house, who were not solicitors, to deal with employment contracts and commercial contracts and other related legal matters. In other words, they employed paralegals.
There are paralegal positions to be had in all sectors whether public, private, or charitable, so don’t limit your search. Follow your passion and find the right role within the right sector for you.