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  1. 1. By Mrs Hilton
  2. 2. The term ´paralegal´ is a relatively new one  in the United Kingdom.  There is no fixed definition of a paralegal, however the Institute's definition is becoming widely used: quot;Someone who is not a lawyer who does legal work that would previously have been done by a solicitor or barristerquot;
  3. 3. Legal assistants  First appeared in the 1960’s  Don’t appear in court  Don’t give legal advice  Write reports for solicitors and Barristers  Research  Preliminary interview of clients 
  4. 4. A paralegal may therefore be someone who  works in or with the law. They may apply it, administer it, interpret it, use it, monitor it or advise on it. Someone is not automatically a paralegal just because they work in a legal environment (e.g. a receptionist in a law firm or an administrator in the civil or criminal justice court systems).
  5. 5. The term quot;paralegalquot; is really only used in  the legal profession. However, of the circa 500,000 people in the UK doing paralegal work (full or part time), only 50,000 work in the traditional legal profession (law firms or in-house legal departments).
  6. 6. The remaining 450,000 paralegals do not use that  job title. They work in a wide variety of areas, e.g.  government agencies  corporations  trades unions  professional bodies  local councils  the armed forces  uniformed services  educational institutions  the voluntary sector  finance & insurance 
  7. 7. - contracts managers  - law clerks  - investigators  - health & safety officers  - probation staff  - enforcement officers  - regulatory body staff  - company secretaries  - prosecution caseworkers  - claims assessors  - trading standards staff  - NHS claims handlers  - HR administrators  - insurance claims staff 
  8. 8. What they all have in common is that they  are qualified through education, training or work experience to perform substantive legal work that requires knowledge of the legal system or legal processes or legal concepts. Jobs requiring such substantive legal work constitute ´qualifying employment´ for the purposes of Institute membership.
  9. 9. Unlike for solicitors and barristers, there are no formal  qualifications or accreditations that you need to obtain. Most paralegals begin their careers by learning on the  job. However, as the profession of paralegal continues to grow in recognition then it is likely in due course that the government will seek to regulate it. Part of the Institute´s remit is to establish a recognised educational and skills framework for the paralegal profession. Although anyone can at present call themselves a  paralegal, most employers recognise that the best paralegals have a mixture of experience gained whilst working and educational attainment.
  10. 10. Questions Define paralegal  How does a Paralegal differ from a  Barrister? How would you become a paralegal? 