It’s a silly name for a job title, probably originating from the USA to describe a person who assists a qualified solicitor.
It’s a QBE term which stands for ‘qualified by experience’ and applies to persons like accountants and solicitor support who are not qualified but through years of doing that job they have acquired knowledge of how to do it as well as a qualified person. Of course QBE’s or paralegals rarely get paid as much as their qualified counterparts.
Even though paralegals may not be qualified to solicitor or legal executive level they can obtain a practicing certificate and offer legal advice and services.
Legal Aid is being watered down and it’s availability will diminish over the years so persons that would usually rely on Legal Aid would want to secure cheaper legal advice or representation than that offered through a solicitor so it’s a useful job to have if you can obtain a practicing certificate which is like a licence to practice.
Even if you don’t find yourself wanting to be in practice for yourself you’ll find thousands of paralegals employed in law firms and other aspects of commerce all over the country.
There are a large number of different aspects within the law profession that you do not need to be qualified to the solicitor level to complete.
One such area is conveyancing. Someone who is bankrupt would benefit from the services of cheap conveyancing solicitors as opposed to trying the do-it-yourself approach. It is tempting when you hit rock bottom to try to cut costs – but DIY is a bad idea. Solicitors employ paralegals (like you) to keep costs down, and offer competitive prices on conveyancing. Much of the conveyancing process is actually done by paralegals in the background. One can also save a lot of money on conveyancing by comparing prices online and not just using a local solicitor by default. We recommend equoteconveyancing for their easy to use online comparison site.