Over 100 paralegals in Scotland have registered for the Law Society of Scotland’s Registered Paralegal Scheme, the Society reports (February 2011).
The scheme was set up in partnership with the Scottish Paralegal Association in autumn 2010. The Scheme sets new standards for paralegals and aims to provide support for employers who wish to take on suitably qualified paralegals. Similarly, its intention is also to reassure the public about their dealings with the legal industry.
Anyone hoping to become ‘registered’ with the scheme must meet set standards and agree to abide by a code of conduct. They must also agree to undertake continuing professional development and manage complaints in an agreed way.
Once registered, paralegals continue to work under the supervision of a Scottish solicitor.
Douglas Russell, convener of the Registered Paralegal standing committee, said: “I’m delighted that so many paralegals have chosen to become Law Society of Scotland Registered Paralegals. The scheme not only offers paralegals a better career structure and ensures development in their role, their employer solicitors benefit from knowing the paralegals they employ meet the standards prescribed by the scheme, which in turn benefits the client.”
Karen Leslie and Alison Butters, Joint Presidents of the Scottish Paralegal Association, said: “The SPA has firmly believed for many years that not only should the role of paralegal gain deserved recognition, but that standards are an absolute necessity to our integrity and respect as an emerging profession.
“We’re delighted to see that those paralegals with the appropriate experience and qualifications to meet the entry requirements are signing up to become Registered Paralegals under the scheme.”
From this summer (August 2011) paralegals wanting to become Registered must carry out a one-year traineeship before being qualified for the status.
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