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Escaping from purgatory

Paralegals are not the police community support officers of the legal world, argues James O'Connell

16 June 2015

In SJ 159/05, in an article entitled ‘Paralegal Purgatory’, Luke Murphy wrote a positive, balanced,
and supportive article about paralegals. But his article also demonstrated the unhelpfully narrow focus that most solicitors have about the nascent paralegal profession.

If they think of paralegals at
all, most solicitors focus on the plight of legal practice course (LPC) graduates without training contracts. These reluctant paralegals understandably see their paralegal status as a badge of failure, or at least as the gap year from Hell, spent in Murphy’s ‘paralegal purgatory’.

Most commentary, even supportive commentary like Murphy’s, defines paralegals by direct comparison to solicitors on issues like competency, training, prospects, and salaries. Too often the unde...

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