An alternative to a cheap solicitor

Amanda Hamilton, CEO of National Association of Licensed Paralegals
Amanda Hamilton
image of two women paralegals looking at legal documents

Looking for legal help?

Are you one of the 100s of people every month searching the internet for a cheap solicitor? Have you considered using a Paralegal as an alternative? Let us explain the differences and how this could be beneficial for you.

What is a Paralegal?

NALP Paralegals are legally trained and educated to perform legal tasks and offer legal assistance but is not a qualified solicitor. However, a Paralegal can do virtually everything that a solicitor can do except activities that are referred to as Reserved Activities.

The other point we should make clear at this point is that there is no statutory regulation for Paralegals. Anyone can say they are a Paralegal, so it is important that you check their qualifications and their experience. If they are one of our members, we have already done this for you.

So what can a paralegal do?

Too many people consider paralegals to be support staff for solicitors. Whilst that may be true for some, Paralegals are a real alternative in most legal matters; here are just some examples of when they can help you:

  • If someone takes you to court claiming you allegedly owe them money, a Paralegal can help you to defend yourself.
  • If you need to take someone to court, a Paralegal can help you with the process.
  • If you get arrested and are taken to a police station, many Paralegals are “police station accredited” and are able to represent you there.
  • Matrimonial matters
  • Employment tribunals, if you are taking action against your employer
  • A Paralegal can assist you in writing a will or obtaining a Lasting Power of Attorney for a relative.
  • A Paralegal can assist in housing matters.
  • A Paralegal can help you with any welfare matter.

Our National Paralegal Register uses 79 different areas of legal expertise to help you find a paralegal who can help you.

Why use a Paralegal instead of a cheap solicitor?

The average hourly rate for a solicitor is over £200 per hour. This strongly suggests there is no such thing as a cheap solicitor any more. Any legal activity you need to undertake is going to cost you money, so here are three key reasons why using a Paralegal will help you:

  1. Paralegals charge considerably less than solicitors, often as low as £50 per hour.
  2. Access to Legal Aid has been severely limited since April 2013, so legal costs are your responsibility.
  3. Even if your legal matter will require a solicitor at some point, using a Paralegal up to a point will save you money.

If you have a legal issue and are worried about the costs that would be involved in dealing with it, there is a solution. Paralegals are not solicitors and will never claim to be one. However, NALP Paralegals are legal experts and can help you resolve your legal issue in huge numbers of situations. There may be times when they can only do so much, before you need a solicitor. There will also be legal issues that they are not allowed to help you with. A Paralegal will make it very clear about what they can and cannot do. If you do find yourself hitting the internet and searching for a “cheap solicitor”, we hope we have shown you how a Paralegal is a real alternative. If you would like to find a suitable Paralegal from amongst our members, our National Paralegal Register is that you need. Click here!

Amanda Hamilton, CEO of National Association of Licensed Paralegals
Amanda Hamilton

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