‘Redefining what is means to be a paralegal’ – work-life/study-life: the challenges and successes from October

Many of our team will be studying and working at the same time and its interesting to observe and then review the benefits and challenges that face the team as a result. Here is how the work-life/study-life has played out at the begin of this academic year


The beginning of the academic year is an interesting time in the calendar year for businesses. People have just come back from taking time off over the summer and things tend to start winding up again. Unlike university though, everyone isn’t in the same boat. Some projects will have been ticking over during the summer; others still going strong; and others were always in the pipeline. The challenge is then to get yourself up to speed whilst everyone is already cruising. This can be challenging when you are only just finding your feet in your studies. Your work-life is moving at a different pace.

However, something that studying encourages is goal setting and aims for a year; the beginning of the academic year in your work-life is a good time to set your objectives for the year. This is slightly different to what your colleagues who have been in the workplace for a while will be doing.  Call this a fresh contribution – it adds to your working environment.

The final challenge has been getting your head around a more practical application of knowledge; regularly knowledge that you don’t have yet or that you don’t have experience in applying. This is where studying alongside is useful. You can begin to see crossovers between your work-life and your study-life and use one to support the other. For example, if there is an area where you have very little knowledge, but you need to understand it fast for the project you have been assigned, what resources or topics are you studying. Do any of these help? Do any of them offer an alternative view point on what you are doing? One that you can acquire for the time being whilst you get to grips with the project?

A huge success has been the use of up-to-date and ongoing research to offer new insights and avenues within the business. This is very complementary to the wealth of practical skills of those who have been in the workplace for a number of years.


Making time for readings is difficult when you are also working. However, this improves your skills in skim-reading and in extracting the important elements of documents. This skill is highly transferable to the workplace and consequently this was both a challenge and success to discover that the difficulties caused by working and studying presented a new skill and opportunity.

A challenge when studying is to look beyond the pursuit of academic curiosity and to understand the practical applications of a subject area. Working subdues this challenge – a dual perspective on your study areas is developed. In this vein, you may be working at the forefront of your industry in your work-life and therefore be able to offer insight into the area.

What do we take away from this month?

As the team grows, the interaction between work-life and study-life as a paralegal with tlamParalegals will be enhanced by the diversification of the education and work experience.

As the routine and the balancing act of working and studying becomes more ingrained the way in which the two compliment one another should flourish. We will check back in on how the two work side by side in the new year.