To celebrate National Paralegal Day, we caught up with some of our Paralegals to gain an insight into their day-to-day life here at Ellisons and share any tips they have for someone who is considering a career in law.

Martyna Green works in our Commercial Property team in Ipswich, Katie Price works in our Dispute Resolution team in Colchester and Daniel Marigold works in our Commercial Property team in Colchester.

What did you do before becoming a Paralegal?

Martyna – I joined Ellisons to pursue a legal career after working within the Commercial Property Department of a SIPP provider for six years, where I specialised in dealing with lease transactions.

Katie – I studied LLB Law at the University of Essex and graduated in July 2022. Alongside University, I worked as a Sales Assistant and Team Coach at a high-street retailor and volunteered at a Community Interest Company providing not-for-profit legal representation. I gained work experience at a high-street Solicitors firm shadowing a Solicitor and Legal Secretary for over four years. I joined Ellisons in May 2022, four days after my final exam at University and I haven’t looked back since!

Daniel – I joined Ellisons in March 2019 in the Front Office team which was a great way to learn how the firm operates from an admin perspective as well as gaining exposure to a variety of departments. Consequently, this led me to the opportunity of internally applying for a paralegal role in the Commercial Property team.

Tell us about your practice area…

Martyna & Daniel – We act for Commercial clients for a range of matters from leases to plot sales. This enables us to have the chance to do initial drafting of various documents, completion statements, letters and even attending client meetings.

Martyna – Ellisons have been so welcoming since I joined the firm. Everyone is very friendly, and I feel like I have known my colleagues for much longer than just 3 months. Everyone within the team is very supportive and this makes Ellisons a great place to work at.

Katie – I work as a Dispute Resolution Paralegal within the Property Litigation team. I am responsible for the day-to-day work on residential possession matters, in which we are instructed to recover possession of a property on behalf of a landlord from the occupying tenant(s). This instruction includes the review and service of a Section 8 and/or Section 21 notice under the Housing Act 1998 (as amended) and continues up until a possession hearing, eviction of the tenant(s) by a bailiff, enforcement of a money judgment and preparation of a torts notice (where a tenant’s goods remain in a property following an eviction), where appropriate. I work alongside other fee earners in the team, such as Solicitors and Partners, to provide advice to clients on preparation and service of an abandonment notice, landlord obligations to tenants or issuing money claims – and assist in other matters, for example by liaising with the Court and instructing third party investigators.

What does your typical day look like?

Martyna – My day always starts with a large cup of coffee from one of the excellent coffee machines at the office. After having a read through my emails, I take a look at the to do list that I prepared before the end of the previous day and add any new tasks to that. A clear list helps me feel ready and prepared for the day and enables me to prioritise my workload effectively. I will then get on with my tasks for the day which are usually a mixture of responding to emails and phone calls, but also include research and drafting various legal documents such leases, licences and contracts. Every day is a learning curve for me and so I make sure to create notes and guides for future reference as I go.

Daniel – I usually arrive in the office at about 8:30am so I have time to prepare for the day ahead. Every day is different as I will be carrying out different work for different matters. I am currently drafting leases and helping out on plot sales. I am always learning something new every day and gradually I will start doing more of a variety of tasks.

Katie – I arrive at the office and log on early, at around 8:15AM. I check my emails and calendar to assess my workload for the day and make note of my deadlines and any urgent tasks that require immediate attention. I make a to-do list for the day taking into account any meetings or client calls that I have scheduled. In the morning, I set aside time to deal with any admin tasks, such as organising internal training sessions for the Property Litigation team and reviewing updates from legal research services (Westlaw or Lexis) and distributing notes to the team on recent developments in the law to keep up to date.  Following this, at 9AM, I begin dealing with my deadlines and urgent matters, both efficiently and to the highest standard, to ensure I allow myself ample time to complete any research or consult more senior members in the team if I have any questions. At lunch time, I go for a walk around Colchester town, go for lunch with a colleague or catch up with the team in the office, to allow time away from my desk and re-fresh and re-focus for the afternoon. If I am working from home, I go for a dog walk. In the afternoon, (providing I have no further deadlines and my urgent tasks have been completed), I consult again my to-do list and begin to ‘tick off’ more general tasks. I regularly monitor my inbox to ensure I am aware and up to date in matters, and if needed, re-assess my to-do list and complete any urgent tasks that crop up – such as dismissing any claims at Court and vacating possession hearings or cancelling bailiff appointments. At the end of the day, I ensure all deadlines and urgent tasks have been met and are complete. I assess my calendar for the next working day and plan the day ahead.

What do you enjoy doing outside of the office?

Katie – After work, depending on the day, I attend any networking events, go swimming, catch-up with friends or ‘wind-down’ for the day.

Martyna – Sometimes it is nice to do something a little different outside of the office, and I have been fortunate to attend some networking events recently. Networking and making new connections is important within the industry and I enjoy meeting people, so this is always quite interesting.

What are your top tips for someone who is applying for a paralegal role/considering a career in law? 

Martyna – As a Paralegal, it is important to be adaptable because unexpected queries and tasks can crop up throughout the day and may need to be actioned urgently. You need to be organised and manage your time effectively to make sure things get dealt with in good time and by the set deadlines.

Katie – Be your authentic self and let your personality shine through! Alongside your ability to do the role you are applying for well, your interviewer, who will also be your future employer, is looking to see whether they want to work with you as a person. Integrate your interests, passions and character into your CV, covering letter and interview. Make yourself stand out. Research the firm and relate to the firm. Ask yourself – what is it about the firm that you like and why this is important to you. Be confident in yourself. Speak clearly, make eye contact and SMILE. It goes a long way.

Daniel – You may think it is difficult to make a CV and covering letter stand out, but it is possible. What have you done that everyone else hasn’t? Make sure you include your relevant experience, extracurricular activities and your interests. Be confident! You need to be confident in your CV and in your interview. Ensure you ask questions in your interview and demonstrate why they should pick you. Even if you get nervous before an interview you should try and hide it with your confidence.

If you are interested in a career in law, please visit our careers page for more information and to see the latest vacancies.

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