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Paralegal v solicitor

(9 Posts)
bexsybooboo Wed 13-Feb-13 08:55:21

Could someone advise me what the difference is between a paralegal and a solicitor.
I am currently seeking to find legal help concerning DV, contact for children and trying to get an occupation order.
I have a solicitor appointment booked for tomorrow but a paralegal lady has contacted me advising she may be able to assist also.
I have googled it and sort of understand it but could someone confirm if a paralegal could write letters to my ex h like a solicitor would ??

Em2010 Wed 13-Feb-13 08:57:07

Paralegals are legal assistants. They are not qualified solicitors. They will usually work on a case with a solicitor, it would be more unusual for them to have their own caseload.

MOSagain Wed 13-Feb-13 09:57:53

Some paralegals are law graduates who are getting some work experience prior to obtaining a training contract (2 year training period required to qualify as solicitor).
They would always be supervised. Advantage would be that they would be far cheaper and would probably have a lot more time for your case.

bexsybooboo Wed 13-Feb-13 10:21:33

Thank you for replies. The lady is calling me at 2pm to discuss.
Am a little worried as I know written correspondence will be needed between both parties and was unsure if they could do this. The lady sounds nice and has advised she could help so am hoping she can.

MOSagain Wed 13-Feb-13 10:24:13

Well any correspondance between solicitors will just be signed in the name of the firm. They won't say 'yours faithfully, brand new shiny paralegal'. They will say 'Joe Bloggs & CO'.

if you want an occupation order, chances are you won't get an experienced family lawyer to do it as if ex-parte (without notice) it will be a case of drop everything, do statements, rush to court etc. A paralegal will have (in theory) more time for you. Good luck x

bexsybooboo Wed 13-Feb-13 10:33:56

Thank you Mosagain. Its definitely worth talking to her and this has helped me understand a bit more.

Xenia Wed 13-Feb-13 15:00:12

Is the paralegal lady working for a firm of solicitors?

(Anyone can call themselves a para legal even an office cleaner or someone without GCSEs just as you can use words like life coach and trainer and therapist without any experience, exams or training, by the way although it is likely this one has some legal knowledge)

Cheeryble Sun 17-Feb-13 10:42:52

I agree with Xenia, only deal with the paralegal if she is part of a firm of solicitors. Apart from anything else, if she isn't, she won't be subject to all the strict rules governing solicitors about things like confidentiality, safeguarding client's money etc, and she won't be insured - so if she got things drastically wrong you couldn't get compensation.

bevelino Mon 18-Feb-13 20:14:10

A great number of law firms have paralegals working for them and their work can range from low level administrative work to high level case management. Unless they are very experienced all work carried out by a paralegal will normally be under the supervision of the solicitor who has overall responsibility for your case. You will be, without question a client of the solicitor's firm and not the individual paralegal and therefore they will be bound by the firm's obligation regarding client confidentiality and client money. Every firm of solicitors in the UK has professional indemnity insurance that covers all employees. Therefore you will not go uncompensated if there any acts of negligence for which you are entitled to receive compensation

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