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From down under to on top: Apprentice paralegal shortlisted for National Awards

From down under to on top: Apprentice paralegal shortlisted for National Awards

An apprentice paralegal at leading East Midlands law firm, Nelsons, has been shortlisted for the Best Paralegal Apprentice of the Year at the 2022 National Paralegal Awards after discovering her passion for law while backpacking in New Zealand.

Chelsea-Ann Read started her legal career during a year out travelling, which saw her working for the Criminal Records Unit at the Ministry of Justice in New Zealand. This role gave her the drive to fuel her future career, which stayed firmly rooted in the legal sector on her return to the UK.

Now, two years into her role as an apprentice paralegal within the court of protection department at Nelsons, Chelsea-Ann is shortlisted in the National Paralegal Awards, which is an annual event and in its fourth year. The Awards include 14 individual and five business categories, promoting the work and achievements of paralegals across the UK.

Speaking about the achievement, Chelsea-Ann said:

“I am over the moon to be recognised alongside other such talented paralegals across the country. It really is an hour just to have been nominated, let alone be shortlisted – and is an incredibly rewarding part of my career journey so far.

“I discovered my passion for law while backpacking. After travelling to Australia on a one-year working holiday visa following my 18th birthday, I headed over to New Zealand where, after experiencing different jobs and roles, from picking bananas on a farm to serving in a fish and chip shop, I began working as a Priority Service Operator.

“It was my role within the Criminal Records Unit at The Ministry of Justice in Wellington that really opened my eyes and working in the legal sector engaged me unlike anything I had experienced before, fuelling all my future choices.

“When I returned home in 2018, I immediately started applying for jobs in the field. First, I worked at Nottingham Crown Court as an usher and administration officer for nearly two years, before finding the job advert for a paralegal apprenticeship at Nelsons. I applied straight away and haven’t looked back since. I’ve finally found my focus and my passion - all thanks to my backpacking trip.”

Currently on her second year as an apprentice paralegal, Chelsea-Ann will complete her apprenticeship in September. She will then continue her career with Nelsons as a permanent paralegal in October.

Chelsea-Ann added:

“Since joining Nelsons I strive every day to learn and push myself to the next level with my work. I also enjoy networking and social events run by Nottingham Junior Lawyers Division, as well as helping to raise money for charity. I recently took part in the Nottingham Legal Walk 2022, which was a 10k walk for The Access to Justice Foundation and have volunteered at Stonebridge City Farm, which was Nelsons’ Nottingham office’s nominated charity last year.”

Craig Staten-Spencer, legal director and trust manager at Nelsons, said:

“We are so pleased to see that Chelsea-Ann has been shortlisted. The work that she has done since she joined Nelsons, as well as the charity work she has done, is testimony to why she deserved to be nominated. It was a pleasure to work with her on her submission and we wish her all the best of luck on the awards final in September.”

Chelsea-Ann said:

“It has been a great two years at Nelsons as an apprentice paralegal and I know this shortlisting is just the beginning of an exciting career ahead with the team. I cannot thank my tutor enough for nominating me, as well as Nelsons for supporting me with my submission entry. I am really looking forward to the final and wish everyone shortlisted the best of luck.”

The National Paralegal Awards final will take place on Thursday 22 September 2022 at The Grand Hotel in Birmingham.

For more information on Nelsons, please visit

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