The Law Society of Scotland has renamed registered paralegals as “accredited paralegals”.

The change, which takes effect from today, 7 August, is to reflect better the high professional status of paralegals accredited under the scheme and of their work.

All 400-plus current registered paralegals will automatically become accredited paralegals and the route to accreditation will remain the same. The scheme provides an identifiable quality standard for paralegals across the profession, and an opportunity to gain a professional qualification. Having a quality standard for paralegals also helps assure clients that work is being processed effectively at the right level.

As part of the change, the Society is opening up its Professional Practice helpline, which offers free support and advice on legal practice and procedure to members, to all accredited paralegals.

Denise Robertson, manager in the Society’s Registrar’s team, commented: “The term ‘accredited’ more fairly and accurately reflects what the status is and does: accrediting paralegals as knowledgeable and proficient in a particular practice area, and confirming that they have experiential learning, supported by a qualification.

“One of the aims of the accredited paralegal scheme is to provide a professional qualification and identifiable quality standard for paralegals across the profession. In turn, having a quality standard will assure clients that work is being processed efficiently and at the right level”.

Solicitors employing paralegals who may be interested in becoming accredited in an area of law can contact Janet Rieu-Clarke, the Society’s accredited paralegal, at or 0131 476 8352. For further information see the accredited paralegal section of the Society’s website.