October 23rd was National Paralegal Day!
A day to celebrate and recognise the contributions of paralegals in firms across the world. Paralegals are also known as legal assistants.
The job role of a paralegal is auxiliary and paralegals provide vital support and assistance to the legal team. The Collins English Dictionary defines auxiliary as “a person who is employed to assist other people in their work”, but I believe it is better to view paralegals as workers who help the firm carry out its mission and at Greens Solicitors our mission is to provide a range of legal services kept simple and straightforward with teamwork that offers experience, compassion, empathy and commitment.
My role as a paralegal is varied and I assist my team by (but not limited to) preparing applications, diarising court dates, conducting legal research, taking instructions from clients and organising case files. Some paralegals do undertake advocacy. The Legal Services Act 2007 states that a paralegal’s work entails assisting in the conduct of litigation, and they are doing so under the instruction of a Solicitor and as such, paralegals are able undertake advocacy if the hearing is not a reserved family proceeding and not being conducted by a Lay Magistrate.
For many aspiring solicitors, I would advise that one of the best steps to becoming a solicitor is to secure a job as a paralegal. I have recently completed the Legal Practice Course (LPC) which I completed part time alongside working full time as a legal assistant, I think that working as a legal assistant whilst completing the LPC has been beneficial and provided me with invaluable experiences and skills which I will be able to use and develop when I start my formal training. I was also able to use the knowledge I have gained in family law to assist with my family law exam which was a bonus.
I thoroughly enjoy working as a paralegal at Greens Solicitors and all the experience and knowledge I have learned and continue to learn from working with our brilliant team of solicitors. I am very excited and looking forward to my new chapter post university