The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) launched its enquiry into the future of paralegals last night at an event held at DWF’s offices in London.
The Paralegal Enquiry, which will begin with a number of targeted focus groups this autumn, will answer whether paralegals can meet the market needs of the future.
In his speech at the event Stephen Gowland, CILEx president said: “The ambition of the Enquiry is to enable CILEx to deliver knowledge, skills and professionalism in a way that doesn’t date, a way that can meet the fast changing requirements of a sector increasingly technology-led, yet still knowledge and skills-led and people focussed, and in a way that will be appropriate for every type of legal business, that businesses and individuals will have trust in.”
He continued: “CILEx uniquely offers qualifications, regulation and progression through membership. I'd like to say to employers: you have a responsibility to your paralegal workforce to give opportunity and progression.”
Speaking at the event, ILEX Professional Standard’s chair Alan Kershaw said: “There does need to be clarity about the roles professionals perform and the competence of each professional to do the work they claim to be able to do.”
Alan added: “The ‘shaking out of roles’ is a natural progression in the market and the world is changing quite rapidly. We want to raise the status of paralegals.”
Diane Burleigh OBE, CILEx’s chief executive said: “The onus is on businesses to make employees feel valued. The structure of the profession is changing; students and young people need to know what their choices will be.”
Attendees at the launch event included education providers, law firms, legal regulators, professional bodies, Skills for Law, Ministry of Justice and the Judicial Office.
The Paralegal Enquiry is anticipated to deliver a holistic view of the future market context (regulated and unregulated) for legal services delivery from 2020. CILEx will commission research which will be scoped and defined through a series of focus groups and roundtable discussions and will consider the characteristics of the legal workforce and employer attitudes towards the use of paralegals in future.
Anyone interested in taking part in the Paralegal Enquiry can register their interest by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To watch Stephen Gowland’s speech in full please go to: http://youtu.be/XxzkNyWlLP8
Consula's Martin Callan, CILEx Council Member for London and CILEx London Chair, attendied the launch of the Enquiry and will be a keen participant in the Enquiry. Martin said "This Enquiry will help to shape and deliver the future needs of the legal markplace, in particular resource and staffing within the providers of legal services in the UK. CILEx continues to lead the way on paralegalism."