Law Society unveils paralegal study

Print This Post

By Legal Futures

15 July 2010


Heslett: people are looking for recognised ways to enter the legal professioni

The Law Society has announced plans for a preliminary scoping study into whether the Law Society should develop or endorse qualifications for paralegals.

The study will be conducted by former Ministry of Justice official Nick Smedley, who previously looked at the regulation of corporate work for the society as part of the Hunt review.

The society said that with the paralegal market growing and, with the agenda arising out of last year’s Milburn report on fair access to the profession “still important”, this may well be the time to explore whether Chancery Lane should have a role in providing qualifications for these employees.

Law Society President Bob Heslett said: “This is particularly important when there are more paralegals in the market and when, given the Milburn agenda, people are looking for recognised ways of entering the profession. We want to see whether there is a demand for this among solicitors.”

This is not the first time that the society has eyed up the non-solicitor market. Plans to introduce an “affiliate” membership category for non-solicitors were scuppered in October 2008 when the profession voted against the plan.

Mr Smedley has also been asked to conduct a study into whether solicitor-advocates are being properly supported and have the tools they need to maintain and enhance their quality. Over 5,000 solicitors now have the right to appear in the higher courts.

Mr Heslett said: “In respect of advocacy, solicitor advocates are here to stay and we believe they provide important additional choice and competition in the market. The society wants to support them and help them achieve the highest standards.”

Mr Smedley is also a member of the board of ILEX Professional Standards, the regulator of legal executives.

Tags: ,



One Response to “Law Society unveils paralegal study”

  1. Why do I get the feeling that the desire to “support solicitor advocates” means we are all going to be asked to re-qualify every 5 years.

    Barristers are not asked to re-qualify and I’m not sure why we should.

  2. kris on July 20th, 2010 at 10:32 am

Leave a comment

* Denotes required field

All comments will be moderated before posting. Please see our Terms and Conditions

Legal Futures Blog

Preparing for the GDPR – What do you need to know right now?

Craig Forsyth

On 25 May 2018, the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force. That might seem like a long time, but that’s just over 100 days away at the time of writing. Actually, GDPR was adopted back in April 2016, May 2018 is the end of the two-year grace period. The GDPR brings with it a whole host of changes, and the penalties for non-compliance are higher than ever, either 4% of your annual turnover or £20m, whichever is higher. But how do you prepare? What do you need to change first? Where do you even start?

February 19th, 2018