Australian Paralegals are a growing group of legal assistants forging ahead to make their presence felt and gaining the recognition afforded to them. Uncertain as they may be regarding their position within the marketplace, they are the new voice within the legal profession.
Up until recently, recognised qualifications for Paralegals and Legal Secretaries have been un-cordinated but with the rising need to provide cheaper and better legal services, the contribution from Paralegals has become a significant factor and their educational requirements are now fully catered for. The rise in their importance is growing significantly.
Compared with their UK counterpart, the Australian ‘Paralegal’ may be a new and less well-known title than Legal Clerk, Law Clerk or Legal Assistant. Their role is no less significant as they are providers of legal services who work under the supervision of Solicitors and Barristers. They provide lower operating costs than Solicitors and Barristers and as a consequence, they require specialist legal knowledge to allow them to become fully conversant with legal work. Paralegals can specialise in Litigation, Conveyancing and work under supervision of qualified lawyers as Litigation Clerks, Conveyancing Clerks et al.
A recent study reveals the following salaries which can be expected from working as a Paralegal: