Case study

Accredited paralegal — Sharon Connolly

Sharon is an accredited paralegal specialising in residential and commercial conveyancing

What did you study and where?

I have five paralegal qualifications from the University of Strathclyde/Central Law Training. These qualifications are in residential conveyancing, advanced residential conveyancing, wills and executries, commercial conveyancing and most recently debt recovery.

Why did you decide on a career in law?

Law wasn't my original career choice - all through school I had been focusing on going into nursing but when I left school I took a year out before university and got a job at a law firm doing graphic design and word processing. It was such an interesting place to work and gave me such a good insight into the legal industry that I decided to pursue a career in law rather than nursing.

What does your role as a paralegal involve?

I originally qualified in residential conveyancing and that has predominantly been the constant in my career. I take the client through the house selling, buying, transfer, remortgage process etc. and I am in direct contact with the client, other agents, banks, and professionals throughout. I prepare and give advice on contracts, mortgages and legal documents and review title deeds associated with the client's transaction.

In a typical day, I will deal with emails, calls, review contracts, examine title deeds for properties, prepare legal documents and meet with clients.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The people. Making connections with clients and trying to make things as stress-free as possible for them, at what is generally one of the most stressful times of their lives, is very rewarding. It is always lovely when a client comes back to you for another transaction. I also enjoy the camaraderie with other agents and my colleagues in pulling together to get the job done.

What are the challenges?

No matter what field you work in within law it's always busy, so the challenge comes in juggling time and workload, but it's something that becomes second nature.

What three qualities are important to be a paralegal?

  • communication
  • hard work
  • a sense of responsibility.

What advice would you give to anyone who wants to be a paralegal?

Do it. There is obviously a lot to learn, and the learning continues throughout your career so embrace it.

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