Legal executives are increasingly less likely to want to train as solicitors, switching to a trainee contract after having been a paralegal can involve a decrease in contact with clients, a major survey has found. The research said workplace experience helps to develop the competences needed to be a solicitor.
A proposal by CILEx Regulation to make it easier for paralegals to become qualified legal executives has been fiercely rejected as likely to cause “confusion to employers and consumers” by the new voluntary paralegals regulator.
Will writers have become the first practitioners to sign up to a new register of paralegals, which is set to be launched next month as part of an effort to set standards for the non-authorised legal professionals.
Robert Houchill, a senior paralegal at London law firm Bates Wells Braithwaite, has become the first solicitor to qualify through the ‘equivalent means’ route. He said the new route would give law graduates more flexibility in funding the legal practice course.
Paralegal Shaun Lawler has said he hopes to be the first solicitor admitted to the profession through the ‘equivalent means’ route rather a traditional training contract.
The Department for Business Innovation and Skills has approved the standards for its new legal apprenticeships, allowing young people to qualify as solicitors, chartered legal executives, licensed conveyancers and paralegals through workplace-based training.
To say that the paralegal enquiry launched by the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) is timely is a massive understatement. It is a highly significant piece of work – its aims ambitious, its scope comprehensive, its outcomes potentially far-reaching.
The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives yesterday launched an enquiry into paralegals in an attempt to clarify their numbers, where they fit in the legal spectrum, and what training should be made available.
The Law Society has delayed the launch of its paralegal accreditation scheme, Legal Futures has learned. The scheme – aimed at non-qualified staff working in organisations regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority – was scheduled to go live in autumn 2013.
The Law Society will launch a paralegal accreditation scheme later this year for non-qualified staff working in organisations regulated by the SRA, it has emerged. It will be for all staff from secretaries to those with an LLB or LLB/LPC and no training contract.