Accessability Links

First paralegal to qualify using new route of qualification

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22 Apr 2015
In a recent blog I discussed the new changes for paralegals to qualify as a solicitor through a new and more flexible route. Under the SRA Training Regulations 2014 exemptions to the training contract may be granted to an LPC graduate who can demonstrate they have met the same standards as trainees through equivalent means of training, such as assessed and work-based learning.

This week signifies a milestone in the legal profession, with the first ever paralegal qualifying as a solicitor using the new route to qualification, without undertaking a training contract. A Senior Paralegal with Bates Wells and Braithwaite, Robert Houchill successfully completed the six month process and covered three areas of law to gain qualification. According to Roll on Friday, Robert commented on how the process was "Very exacting and thorough” and doesn't believe the new route poses a risk to the profession.

Achieving qualification through this means is no easy feat. Paralegals who wish to embark on this pathway need to evidence and document their work, alongside rotating around different practices areas, in order to satisfy the SRA. Advice given to anyone who is interested, you must be fully aware of the SRA requirements and to keep an up to date work diary, showing proof of work covered.

There is hope for many paralegals who have been affected by the decreasing number of training contracts available, that there is light at the end of the tunnel. With the legal market changing, we should start to see more organisations taking a different approach to the traditional means of qualification, and see it as an opportunity to bring on the 'best and brightest' of their paralegals.

Will we see more paralegals convincing their employers to choose this route of qualification? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…

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