WHO ARE PARALEGALS?

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In regards to the Legal Aid Act, 2016 a paralegal is a person employed by the National Legal Aid Service (NLAS) or an accredited legal aid provider who as completed a training course in the relevant field in an institution approved by the Council of Legal Education (CLE). It further provides that only accredited paralegals may provide legal aid under the Act, accredited paralegal being a person accredited by the NLAS to provide paralegal service under the supervision of an advocate or an accredited legal aid provider. The LAA provides that  NLAS is to draw up guidelines governing the roles and work of paralegal in the provision of legal service to the indigent.

However, paralegals do not just offer basic legal support and advice to members of local communities. Their task extends to helping local communities address their socioeconomic needs. The more inclusive definition of paralegals is,  a person with basic knowledge and understanding of the law and with skills in community development.

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