For law graduates not going on to the LPC or BPTC, a career as a professional paralegal is a real alternative. Being a paralegal is not the same as being a lawyer, but as doctors are supported by skilled nurses, so too solicitors are supported by skilled paralegals. And as with nurses, nowadays paralegals are becoming a recognised professional group in their own right.
CILEx is the professional body representing around 20,000 trainee and qualified chartered legal executive lawyers. Changes in legislation mean that chartered legal executive lawyers are increasingly on a level playing field with solicitors or barristers, as they can now become judges, advocates and partners in law firms.
There's no denying it – apprenticeships in the legal sector are gaining momentum. The traditional route to being a lawyer is being challenged by, among other things, the Legal Education and Training Review, the rise of legal executives, increasing paralegal numbers, and alternative business structures.
Like the Internet of Things and autonomous cars, fintech — which stands for financial technology — has emerged in recent years as one of the hottest, technology-related areas. Essentially it is about the convergence of new technology on the financial sector, so that the upstarts of Silicon Valley are now rubbing shoulders with the denizens of Wall Street and the Square Mile. In this binary image it does the high-tech sector the world of good to be depicted as the brash hipsters tearing down some of the financial world’s biggest players. The reality is a lot more nuanced.
This advice service provides a daily diagnostic drop in centre, casework support and court representation to residents of Tower Hamlets. There is also an outreach service to Somali residents. Volunteers can provide support as administrative assistants or supporting legal caseworkers.