Are you a Paralegal?

Written by: Evie Courtier & Amanda Hamilton
Published on: 6 Dec 2022

law

TotallyLegal; the UK’s leading job site for legal professionals, has teamed up with NALP; the National Association of Licensed Paralegals to bring the latest insights from the Paralegal profession.  

Within the workplace, we often see our job roles blend into a myriad of responsibilities, moving away from a specific job role. As Amanda Hamilton, the Patron of the National Association of Licensed Paralegals (NALP), clarifies, ‘1000s of people are working as Paralegals without realising it’. So, how can you find out if you are in fact a Paralegal, and what should you do about it? 

Why the ‘Pigeon-Hole’ Matters:  

The Paralegal job description can be defined as “those who assist Solicitors, Barristers, Legal Executives and other Lawyers with an array of legal work.”  

A broad definition, this statement explains how it’s easy for those working within a company, performing certain daily tasks to not realise that what they are doing may class them as a ‘Paralegal’. 

Clarifying your status within an organisation will give you a natural ‘lift up the ladder’ so to speak, aiding your career development. According to Amanda Hamilton, “there are an estimated 200,000 plus Paralegals working in a variety of fields and for diverse employers, who are unaware that they are Paralegals”.  

Establishing yourself as a Paralegal will give you the right to apply for membership with a professional body, providing executive status.  

Being a recognised Paralegal, will aid your job search, whether you are seeking a specific Paralegal job role, or branching out into the legal world.  

Do you Carry Paralegal Status?  

Training internal employees in specific legal certain tasks alleviates the need to hire an external Solicitor.  

There are a plethora of scenarios within the workplace that could define your status as a Paralegal:  

  • Conducting tasks that have legal connotations, for example checking contracts or sending letters to non-rent payers. 
  • Working for a specific department which conducts legal work, for example a housing department of a local authority. 
  • Gaining in-house training that includes an element of law or legal knowledge, such as niche expertise in Employment law from an HR perspective.  

So, What Can a Paralegal Do? 

The role of a Paralegal has changed exponentially in recent years. As noted by Amanda Hamilton, Paralegals are filling the void left behind by the eradication of legal aid. With the rising of Solicitors’ and Barristers’ fees, Paralegals are often asked to aid people representing themselves in court, to guide them through the process, for half the cost.  

Naturally, there are a few ‘reserved activities’ that remain monopolised by solicitors, including the right to conduct a conveyancing process, and a selection of probate activities. However, the role of a Paralegal carries plenty of scope, allowing you to advise and assist a consumer.  

Being a recognised Paralegal can further your career path, enhancing your knowledge of the ever-changing legal landscape.  

NALP offer a range of bespoke nationally-recognised qualifications, to help you hone your skills, and aid your job search within the Paralegal world.  

 


 

Keep up to date with further Paralegal insights, via the TotallyLegal blog and discover our latest Paralegal jobs today.  

 

NALP logo

The National Association of Licensed Paralegals (NALP), is a non-profit Membership Body and the only Paralegal body that is recognised as an awarding organisation by Ofqual (the regulator of qualifications in England). If joining a professional body or gaining Paralegal qualifications interests you, or you want to find out more, check out the NALP website for more information.

 

See: http://www.nationalparalegals.co.uk and http://www.nalptraining.co.uk/nalp_training