If you have less than the required two years' experience and have obtained a formal qualification provided by one of our recognised providers you can apply to become a trainee accredited paralegal.
Trainee accredited paralegals can be working as a paralegal either in-house or within private practice but can also hold other roles within the firm, such as receptionist or secretary, whilst obtaining their qualification.
Once the qualification has been achieved, you can apply to become a trainee accredited paralegal with the agreement and support of a supervising solicitor who holds an unrestricted practising certificate within your firm.
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.
Each practice area has a set of core competencies which we expect you to be working towards and to be meeting by the end of this year. The competencies cover all aspects of your practice area from what you should have knowledge of through to the skills you should have acquired.
During this year you will also be required to completed 10 hours of continual professional development.
During the year, you will complete four quarterly reviews with your supervising solicitor. The reviews are a chance for you to speak to your supervising solicitor to review your progress against the framework and assess if there are any areas where more training is required. There should be an open dialogue between you both as it is important that you are both involved in this process.
At the end of each quarter you will look at the review questions and grading structure together and based on your work during that period, a score between one and nine must be agreed by you and your supervising solicitor for each area. Where possible, ensure that you add some comments which can be used to assess progress at the next review.
You will receive an automated email from the Law Society prior to each review advising of the date it is due. If the review is not completed by this date you will be emailed reminders until this is completed and if it remains uncompleted then you may be contacted by the accredited paralegal account manager for an explanation. Please note that completing the reviews early will not result in your traineeship finishing early.
Quarterly reviews are required so we can assess your progress throughout your training year ensuring that by the end of the year you meet the standard of a Law Society of Scotland accredited paralegal.
After the final review, we will receive notification that the final review has been approved by your supervising solicitor.
All four of your quarterly reviews and the CPD you have completed will then be assessed. Should the reviews and CPD be in order the trainee accredited paralegal will be awarded the Law Society of Scotland Accredited Paralegal Status and be issued with a certificate which they can provide to their firm.
You are now able to use the accredited paralegal logo on your email sign off, website and business cards.
A supervising solicitor is the solicitor in your firm who will oversee your traineeship year and ensure that during the training year you learn and adhere to all of the competencies within the area of practice you are training under.
The relationship between a trainee accredited paralegal and a supervising solicitor is indivisible. An accredited paralegal works in practice areas, always in support of a supervising solicitor, in delivering legal advice to clients. A trainee accredited paralegal or an accredited paralegal is not entitled to work in his or her capacity as an accredited paralegal other than in connection with work done in support of a Scottish solicitor.