The registered paralegal status will be five years old in August. Last year, the Society worked with employers, HR people and registered paralegals to see how it could improve the scheme.
Over 400 people have signed up for the voluntary scheme. When asked why they had done so, the most important reason was the professional recognition. It mattered to paralegals that they had a defined status that was understood by the profession, and that this could only be granted to those who had significant experience, expertise and a relevant qualification. The distinction from simply being a paralegal was important, and was increasingly being noticed by clients and employers.
Employers largely agreed. Most had signed their paralegals up to the scheme as recognition of their work and their capabilities. It was part of their ongoing staff development which, in turn, would help the business and their clients.
What of the future? Ultimately it is employer led: the registered paralegal status has to be relevant to the needs of practitioners and their paralegals. It was telling, though, that so many predicted that the role of the registered paralegal will become more prominent. Over 90% of employers thought paralegals will increasingly do client-facing work, and a similar number thought that the ratio of paralegals to solicitors would increase. Nearly 80% thought paralegals would become involved in more complex legal work. Over half thought that clients would, in due course, call to see paralegals accredited in some way.
If these developments do come about, it is likely that a standard based around experience, expertise and qualifications will become necessary for employers and clients alike. The registered paralegal status offers such a standard.
In this issue
- Keeping Government responsible
- Contempt, or good faith?
- Reform – 170 years on
- Employee ownership: adding trust
- The gender gap: coming clean
- Cyber risk - are you covered?
- Reading for pleasure
- Opinion: Graham Sykes
- Book reviews
- President's column
- Land Register completion update
- People on the move
- Tools for today's titles
- Those elusive profits
- The Budget and the crystal ball
- Child of our time?
- Elephant in very many rooms
- Video: the best evidence?
- Who would be a legislator?
- Sustainability: applying the presumption
- A woman’s work…
- Scottish Solicitors Discipline Tribunal
- Living the dram
- Land information: a one-stop shop
- From the Brussels office
- Registered paralegals: what trends?
- Law reform roundup
- MHO reports – please help with timing data
- Plaque marks WW1 lawyer dead
- Selling yourself from day one
- View from the grass roots
- Keep it in the family
- Ask Ash
- When cooling-off kicks in
- Bottom line, the accountants are coming
- First day in the office