The Law Society state that an accredited paralegal is “a paralegal who satisfies the entry criteria associated with the Law Society of Scotland Accredited Paralegal Status and thereafter adheres to the requirements of the status."

It is a voluntary accreditation which aims to provide a defined professional status and a career path for paralegals.  It increases awareness of the role of the paralegal in Scotland and gives employers and clients the confidence that the accreditated paralegal  is of a consistent standard and meets the required competency level as set by the Law Society.


The accredited paralegal status is open to anyone currently working as a paralegal under the supervision of a Scottish solicitor, either in private practice or inhouse. 

If you do not have the required 2 years experience then you can still apply to become a trainee accredited paralegal. Trainee accredited paralegals are paralegals who have been working as a paralegal for less than 2 years and who have obtained a formal qualification provided by one of the recognised  providers. The traineeship lasts for one year and during this year you will train in a specific practice area under the supervision of a supervising solicitor

  • BA (Law)
  • LLB / LLB + Diploma in Legal Practice 
  • HNC/HND in legal studies
  • Strathclyde University/Central Law Trainingparalegal qualifications
  • Stirling University/Scotia Law Training paralegal qualifications
  • Scotia Law Training Modern Apprenticeship
  • Professional Development Award (PDA) in paralegal studies
  • Glasgow Caledonian University/Rewards paralegal qualifications (no longer available, but qualifications held are recognised for entry)

If you have another qualification not on the list and are unsure whether this would be acceptable please contact us to discuss.

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 to undertake CPD. Along with 'on the job training' CPD helps to ensure competence over the course of your career. 

As a trainee accredited paralegal or an accredited paralegal, you will be required to undertake 10 hours of CPD every practice year. Of this 10 hours, a minimum of five hours must be verifiable.  

There are different types of CPD and more information on this can be found here.

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 and to ensure compliance with the competencies required, both generally and for the specific area of practice in with the paralegal or trainee works. The supervising solicitor maintains full responsibility for the work carried out by the accredited paralegal or the trainee accredited paralegal .

If supervising a trainee accredited paralegal, the role of the supervising solicitor will be slightly different in that the supervising solicitor will review progress on a quarterly basis and assist the trainee with completing an online assessment demonstrating their achievements.

Upon payment of the memberhship fee you will receive a certificate from the Law Society of Scotland. A copy of this certificate should be passed to your current employer for their records.  

Once you have your certificate, the requirement for your 10 hours CPD will then start and you will be required to log this online.  At this stage you can then access the members section of the Law Society website and have access to the benefits provided.

During the application process, the Law Society will allocate you with an online account and send you an email with your username and password. After you enter the accredited paralegal scheme, you will be able to view your personal details, submit your CPD and upload trainee quarterly reviews if you are a trainee accredited paralegal in the members section of the Law Society’s website using these login details. 

If you forget your password, you can request a reminder by entering your username.

Each membership year runs from 1 February to 31 January and you will receive notification of this in the month of January by way of a letter advising that payment of your £110 for the upcoming year is due.

All that is required to renew your accreditation is to pay the membership fee, or have your employer pay this if this is what has been agreed. 

Once your membership fee has been received and processed, you will receive your certificate for the upcoming practice year by email, to the email address we hold on file. It is important that if you change this email address that you advise the Registrar's department at the Law Society in order that your information can be updated.

The Professional Practice team offers a free and confidential support and advice on legal practice and procedure to all members of the Law Society, including accredited paralegals. The service is staffed by experienced solicitors and an accredited paralegal, 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.

Accredited Paralegal enquiries
Professional Practice
  • 0131 226 8896 (9:00 - 17:00)
Scottish Paralegal Association
LawCare helpline
  • 0800 279 6888
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Upcoming events

Find out more about our upcoming events including roadshows for newly qualified lawyers and CPD and training.