Lawyer Monthly Magazine March 2018 Edition

MAR 2018 42 Special Feature www. lawyer-monthly .com Should You Set Up a Paralegal Business? Six Steps to Starting a Paralegal Business you can gain the relevant legal experience by working in a variety of different employment environments: local authorities, national health service, charities, housing associations, HMRC, Crown Prosecution Service and company in-house legal departments. 2) Becoming a specialist Once you have gained some knowledge of law and legal procedure and have three or more years’ relevant legal experience, you need to decide whether you wish to specialise in one area of law or be a general practitioner. For example, you may have worked in a human resource department of a company and have studied Employment Law – this then may well be the area of law in which you wish to practise. 3) Join a paralegal organisation Clients need to have confidence that you are qualified and competent to offer legal services, therefore consider joining a membership body such as NALP which has been a Paralegal organisation for thirty years and is well established in the legal sector. Now is a good time to start your own paralegal practice, as more and more people are turning to paralegals to help them with a variety of legal issues. Here are six steps to help you get started: 1) Being a paralegal Paralegals are not statutorily regulated, so you have been told that it is not necessary to gain any training or qualification to carry out paralegal services. This is technically true, but in practice, it’s not accurate; remember that you are up against a mountain of competitors who will probably be far more qualified than you. Also, bear inmind that youwill be handling delicate legal matters for your clients and therefore you will have to consider the possible consequences if something were to go wrong. Gaining knowledge of academic aw and practice is essential to give you and your client confidence. Therefore, the very first thing you need to do is gain a paralegal or legal qualification or at the very least get some paralegal training and then, as much experience as possible. This does not have to be with a solicitor or barrister; nowadays L aw firms are increasingly recruiting paralegals as they offer strong, unparalleled support to barristers and solicitors, especially during busy working periods. Here, Amanda Hamilton from NALP, speaks on how you can open your own paralegal business and its benefits. Amanda Hamilton, CEO of NALP

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