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.
The average salary for a legal associate in the UK, according to our data from 2019, is £59,836.40.
The below map also shows the regional average salaries for legal associates in the UK in 2019, according to Simply Law Jobs data.
View the latest legal associate jobs here.