Well, this idea makes very good sense to me & not only for the UK:
"With trained paralegals becoming increasingly difficult to source from within the legal profession, is the recruitment of applicants from non-legal backgrounds worth consideration?
"The legal profession has a formidable reputation for demanding excellence and places for pupillages or training contracts are known to be highly competitive. This leads to many people who have an interest in law ruling it out as a career because they do not think they have the right background or qualifications.
"Recruiting paralegals from non-legal backgrounds is a way of bypassing the limitations that threaten to bind firms which pursue the more traditional methods of recruitment. One plus point of this new method is that you are not tied to hiring people who only have experience in one sector, or even one job, but can interview people with a proven track record of competence in other jobs [scroll down to "diverse and interesting backgrounds"]. This is beneficial in terms of having an employee with a portfolio of transferable skills to bring to the firm, but it is mainly of importance with regard to communication and customer service skills."