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The SRA’s recognition of paralegals is most significant

James O’Connell debriefs a busy summer period which has seen paralegals go from 0 to 60mph in no time at all

9 September 2014

What an incredible eight months. At the end of 2013, paralegals were still in the shadows. Now the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is theoretically willing to allow paralegals to qualify without an LLB, the LPC or a training contract.

A House of Commons Select Committee and the Civil Justice Committee have sought the paralegal view. The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) has launched its paralegal enquiry. The Institute of Paralegals (IOP) is workingon the professional paralegal register. Trailblazer legal apprenticeships have been introduced. There is an explosion in the number of alternative business structures (ABSs) largely staffed by paralegals. Official support for the extension of the use of McKenzie Friends has been voiced, and the Legal Education Foundation is now offering to fund paralegal-related projects.

Of these, the SRA’s recognition of alternatives to the academic, vocational and training contrac...

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