We discuss the importance of Paralegals representing themselves honestly to consumers and the reserved activities they cannot perform. There's a fantastic opportunity fo Paralegals to offer affordable legal assistance, membership bodies like NALP ensure Paralegals abide by their code of conduct.
With the withdrawal of legal aid for most cases (save the most urgent), many consumers are unable to pay fees charged by solicitors. This has resulted in a plethora of individuals with the slightest training or knowledge of the legal system setting themselves up as ‘paralegals’ offering legal services and a reasonable cost to consumers under the umbrella of being a ‘lawyer’. While technically calling oneself a ‘lawyer’ may be correct if an individual has studied law, the impression this gives to the average man on the street is that this individual is a solicitor.
The Paralegal Sector is not statutorily regulated and therefore, in effect, anyone can call themselves a paralegal whether or not they are qualified, trained, educated or affiliated to a professional membership body.