Paralegal Apprenticeship

Paralegal Apprenticeship

This is our most popular apprenticeship.

Who is this apprenticeship for

This apprenticeship was developed as part of the government’s Trailblazer initiative and the Paralegal Apprenticeship standard is available on the Institute for Apprenticeship’s website.

This programme is aimed at school leavers who have the maturity to study law and possess good written English, paralegals or other current employees in administration or customer service who have the potential for development and those who have already completed an intermediate apprenticeship.

At a glance

  • A 24-month programme

  • Pathways available: Civil Litigation, Commercial, Criminal, Family, Property and Probate Practice. Apprentices must work in one of these contexts.

  • 20% off-the-job learning required as a minimum: EITHER a half day off per week with the rest as extra learning at work and additional revision leave OR preferably a day’s study leave per week

Programme information

Apprentices need to demonstrate that they have achieved the government-published standard for this programme by the end of their apprenticeship.

This programme is aimed at:

  • School leavers with a minimum of three Cs at A-level who have the maturity to study law and possess good written English.
  • Paralegals or other current employees in administration or customer service who have the potential for development.
  • Those who have already completed an intermediate apprenticeship such as the Level 2 Apprenticeship in Legal Administration and have completed written exams at AS/A-level.
  • All candidates must have five GCSE grades A*-C/9-4, including English and Maths.

The delivery includes:

Bespoke planning

  • Schemes of work with targets broken down across the period of the programme


  • Live interactive webinar induction
  • Live interactive webinar teaching support to teach law and professional skills
  • Live webinar revision sessions with specialist tutors

Learning materials

  • Course manual specially written to deliver the syllabus
  • “The CLS Hub”  gives access to resources in one location through personalised login
  • Webcasts on law topics
  • Revision materials for End Point Assessment timed assessments


  • Academic study assistance during office hours
  • Regular contact, either in the workplace or via Skype, with by their allocated Learning and Development Advisor

Progress feedback and reporting

  • Formative assessments with feedback from subject specialists
  • Marked mock assignments to develop skills
  • On-line system to record evidence to support achievement of Paralegal Standard
  • Tracking of progress and reporting to employer

The programme is designed to deliver the knowledge, skills and behaviour to meet the Paralegal Apprenticeship Standard.

Knowledge element

All apprentices will study:

  • Legal Systems
  • Client Care Skills
  • Legal Research Skills
  • Law and practice relevant to role

Successful testing will provide exemptions towards the CILEx Level Certificate in Law and Practice upon achievement of the Paralegal End Point Assessment

Additionally they will acquire knowledge of law and practice appropriate to their job roles and pathway selected on which they will be assessed in the End Point Assessment in the final four months of their apprenticeship.

Competence element

Ethics, professionalism and judgement

  • Have an understanding of legal and regulatory requirements relevant to the role.
  • Maintain sufficient competence and legal knowledge to work effectively – relevant law, research.
  • Avoid working outside their area of knowledge and competence, seek guidance and support where needed.
  • Use understanding and analysis to solve problems.

Technical Legal Practice

  • Undertake legal and factual research and present the findings accurately and clearly.
  • Use precedents and draft documents, using plain and succinct language.
  • Assist with legal matters and transactions.

Managing themselves and their own work

  • Manage work activities to ensure that they are completed on time and to an appropriate standard, including:
    – Keep others informed of progress.
    – Ability to work under pressure and willingness to accept changing priorities when new jobs need to be done.
    – Paying appropriate attention to detail.
  • Practise good file management – prepare and collate bundles, take and file accurate notes, close and review files, maintain databases, version control.
  • Work in accordance with good business practice – maintain an understanding of the basic financial drivers, time recording and billing processes relevant to the role and firm.

Working with other people

  • Communicate clearly and effectively, both orally and in writing.
  • Establish and maintain effective and professional relations with others, including an ability to work with people at all levels towards achieving internal and external clients’ and team objectives.
  • The CILEx Level 3 introductory law and practice unit is assessed through a central CILEx exam. There are two exam sessions per year
  • The client care and legal research professional skills are assessed by coursework marked by CLS and moderated by CILEx
  • The areas of law and legal practice are assessed in two timed assessments of 90 minutes (open book)
  • The portfolio: evidence gathered during the apprenticeship to demonstrate knowledge and competence is compiled into a portfolio during the final four months of the apprenticeship, which is used to form the basis of the interview is conducted
  • An end-point interview, during which apprentices are asked about their portfolio

Completion of the Paralegal Apprenticeship can lead to progression onto the full CILEX Professional Qualification.

How we support our apprentices

CILEx Law School’s role as the apprenticeship provider is to ensure that the apprentice develops the knowledge, skills and behaviours listed in the standard. We provide employers and apprentices with a delivery plan which explains how and when each element of the standard will be achieved.

Our learner management information system enables employers to be informed about their employees’ progression through their modules. We have Learning and Development Advisors located regionally throughout England, who support our apprentices in the workplace. Apprentices are guided and supported through their apprenticeship via specially developed learning materials, e-learning, telephone support, and live interactive webinar teaching/assessment.

Costs and funding

The minimum wage for an apprentice is £4.15/hour (April 2020), but employers in the legal services sector will usually pay significantly more than that. See the information below for funding and allocation of the levy relating to this apprenticeship.

£8,000 comes out of the levy pot.

Any additional paralegal apprentices taken on once levy pot, plus government 10% top up, used, would then cost the employer only £800 per apprentice.

Incentive payment of £1,000 for taking on an under 19 year old.

5% of capped cost = £450 (from 1 April 2019).

Incentive payment of £1,000 for taking on an under 19 year old.

5% of capped cost = £450 (from 1 April 2019).

Incentive payment of £1,000 for taking on an under 19 year old.

Additional incentive

Organisations with fewer than 50 employees who employ an apprentice have 100% of training and assessment costs paid by the government up to the capped amount where the apprentice is 16-18 years old.

Hear from some of our apprentices

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