As a membership group of over 600 members we are always keen to grow and diversify our membership, by being as inclusive as possible. But we are aware that there is a large number of practising paralegals who do not work in any of our 12 practice areas and who might not have the time or inclination to contact us and ask for accreditation of additional practice areas. So how can we welcome them in and grow the Accredited Paralegal Status?
The simple answer is that we need your input. We would love for you to chat with your paralegal colleagues and to let us know if you have an idea for a new practice area. It might not be possible for every single request for a practice area to become reality, but as an organisation striving to excel and be a world-class professional body and with an overarching objective of leading legal excellence, we will always try our best to understand and meet our members’ needs .
What happens if you have an idea? Well, if you are willing to work with us then we will look at whether or not we are able to create and open a new practice area! We need your expertise, your experience and above all your enthusiasm to make this work. The first steps would be to sit down and work out the core competencies for the particular practice area and what would be reasonably expected of a 12 month qualified paralegal, who may or may not have a formal qualification or experience.
We would then dig a bit deeper and look at other areas of that practice where you should be able to demonstrate knowledge, understanding and awareness. This would include legislation, regulatory requirements and sometimes just basic requirements of that particular field.
Once we have the basic framework, we would then involve members of our committees, colleagues and other members to ensure that we have a full and rounded view of the practice area and that it is fit for purpose. Once approved by our Accredited Paralegal Committee, we can share the good news with our members and invite applications.
We are currently working with a number of members on the potential creation of three new practice areas to be opened up this year, so it does happen and it is possible!
Sound simple, sound exciting? Well why not get in touch and let’s see if we can look at what new practice areas we might develop in time for our for our 2020/2021 practice year.
Also, keep an eye on your Lawscot news and the August Journal for more information on some new practice areas coming your way!