Also known as an associate within a law firm, a legal associate is an entry-level to mid-level attorney. Typically specialising in one area of the law, associates develop to eventually earn partner status at their firm.

 

What does a legal associate do?

Everyday responsibilities of a legal associate include:

  • Managing client cases from start to finish
  • Advising clients and conducting legal research on their behalf
  • Preparing and reviewing legal documents ahead of a court hearing
  • Developing litigation strategies
  • Gathering evidence
  • Updating and consulting with senior associates
  • Supervising paralegals or legal assistants from time to time

What key skills should a legal associate have?

Skills that are valued in this type of role, and will allow you to perform well include:

  • Advanced critical and legal reasoning skills
  • Problem solving
  • Decision making
  • Ability to project manage to a high standard
  • Ability to work independently
  • Excellent legal English skills
  • Attention to detail
  • The ability to work under pressure
  • Excellent communication skills

 

What qualifications should a legal associate have?

Typically you’ll have GCSEs and A-levels under your belt, as well as an LLM Law Degree or equivalent. You’ll also ideally have a professional legal qualification e.g. Legal Practice Course. All qualifications should have been completed to  a high standard.

 

What is the career path for a legal associate?

As a legal associate, you’ll typically look to work on your specialist area, whether it’s property law, personal injury etc. You will likely work your way towards becoming a partner at a firm. You will also likely need around five years experience before you can be considered for this.

How much does a legal associate earn?

In London, the average salary, according to Careersmart, is £43,800. You will work on average around 38 hours a week. However, the average salary for a legal associate in the UK, according to our data from 2018, is £51,642.

View the latest legal associate jobs here.

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