A supervising solicitor is any Scottish solicitor with an unrestricted practising certificate who is allocated to supervise the work of the Accredited Paralegal or the Trainee Accredited Paralegal. The supervising solicitor maintains full responsibility for the work carried out by the Accredited Paralegal or the Trainee Accredited Paralegal .
In practical terms, the supervising solicitor is required to –
- Confirm that a new applicant has the necessary skills and competencies to become accredited, specifically in regard to, (1) the general competencies (2) competencies in the practice area(s) in which they work; and (3) the Standards of Conduct.
- Supervise the work of the accredited paralegal. There is no prescribed method of supervision. It is for the supervising solicitor and the Accredited Paralegal to determine this with regard to the overriding principles of the status.
- Carry out quarterly reviews with the Trainee Accredited Paralegal, sign off on those reviews and ultimately sign off on the traineeship. More details on the reviews can be found here. The basic process is -
a) The trainee completes review paperwork in advance of the quarterly review with the supervising solicitor
b) The supervising solicitor carries out the quarterly review and signs off on the review paperwork
c) At the end the last quarter review, the supervising solicitor will confirm that they are confident that the trainee has the skills and competencies to become accredited.
CPD is any training or learning activity which is designed to improve an individual’s professional knowledge, understanding and skills. It is a fundamental part of being a professional, along with 'on the job training', CPD helps to ensure competence over the course of your career.
Accredited Paralegals will be required to undertake ten hours of CPD every practice year. A Trainee Accredited Paralegal will be expected to complete ten hours of CPD during the traineeship. A minimum of five hours must be verifiable and the remaining five hours can be made up of private study.
If the Accredited Paralegal joins the status part way through a practice year, CPD will be calculated on a pro-rata basis. This also applies if the Accredited Paralegal has only worked part of the year due to long term sickness or has been on a period of maternity or adoption leave. Please get in touch for further details.
To upload your CPD:
- Log into the member's area using your Law Society username and password
- Select the Paralegal tab from the left hand menu
- Select the CPD tab from the left hand menu
- A new window will open on the right hand side of the screen
- Click on the “+” symbol to add your CPD
Accredited Paralegals should submit their CPD by close of business on 31 January.
Further information on CPD can be found here.
Accredited Paralegals can download the Accredited Paralegal logo to use on emails, business cards and company websites.
To download the Accredited Paralegal logo:
- Log into the member's area using your Law Society username and password.
- Select the Paralegal tab from the left hand menu
- Select the Paralegal logo tab from the left hand menu
- Select which version of the logo you wish to download (JPEG or EPS)
- Select download
The Accredited Paralegal brand guidelines can also be downloaded from the Paralegal logo tab.
Trainee Accredited Paralegals are not permitted to use the Accredited Paralegal logo until they have completed the traineeship and have received their Accredited Paralegal certificates.
Use of the logo is covered by our Trademark Licence.
To change your personal details please contact us at email@example.com
- Change of employer
- Change of name
- Change of supervising solicitor
- Change of address (work and home)
- Other contact details
Our Professional Practice team offers support and advice on legal practice and procedure to all members of the Law Society including Trainee and Accredited Paralegals. The service is staffed by experienced solicitors, who have access to a range of information sources and specialists across the Society.
Advice is free and confidential.
Lines are open 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday. Telephone: 0131 226 8896
Lawscot Wellbeing is a dedicated online resource that provides help and guidance for members and employers. We aim to work in collaboration with NHS Scotland, LawCare, SeeMe, SAMH and other mental health charities to:
- equip our members with information and signposting to help manage emotional wellbeing
- support our members and others employed in the Scottish legal sector who may be experiencing difficulties to access support services and advice
- support colleagues and people managers to help those in difficulty or crisis
- guide members who are concerned about their client’s emotional wellbeing
- challenge the stigma around emotional wellbeing and champion best practice
For general enquiries about your Accredited Paralegal status please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0131 476 8357
We will contact you prior to the renewal date. At that time we will send you an invoice for your annual subscription and a reminder to complete and log you CPD.
The Accredited Paralegal year runs from 1 February to the 31 January.
If you are planning a period of time away from work for parental leave, your firm (or you) can continue to pay your fees thereby ensuring that your accreditation is in place on day one of your return. Alternatively, you can let your accreditation lapse at renewal time and then contact us on your return to work, when you wish to be reaccredited. If you do wish to surrender your accreditation, please remember to remove all references to your accredited status eg email sign offs, websites etc.
If you return to your role within a 13 month period and providing you continue to meet the criteria of the accreditation, you will automatically regain the status (payment will be required for the remainder of the practice year and will be calculated on a pro-rata basis).
If you return to your role after a 13 month period of absence, please contact us in the first instance. Each request will be reviewed on a case by case basis by the Accredited Paralegal Committee.
The short answer is no. You cannot be both a paralegal and solicitor at the same time. At the point that you sign your training contract as a trainee solicitor, your name will be removed from the roll of Accredited Paralegals.
New applicants will automatically become members of the Scottish Paralegal Association (SPA) . If you do not wish to become a member you can opt out during the application process.
Existing members can opt in/out of the SPA membership during renewal periods. If you wish to amend your SPA membership, please contact us at email@example.com.