Paralawyers: Other Legal Occupations

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Although legal services are thought to be the domain of lawyers, those employed in many other occupations do law-related work, some incidental to other work and some, here called para-lawyers, as the sole focus of what they do. Para-lawyers have long existed, but they are becoming more visible as providers of legal services with the development of systems for licensing and regulating para-lawyers. Research shows that para-lawyers can be effective providers of a range of legal services, and that under some circumstances they can be more effective than fully qualified lawyers. Understanding the phenomenon of para-lawyers raises issues related to closure, deprofessionalization, postprofessionalism, and gender.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences: Second Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9780080970875
ISBN (Print)9780080970868
StatePublished - Mar 26 2015


  • Deprofessionalization
  • Lawyers
  • Legal services
  • Para-professions
  • Professions
  • Social closure
  • Sociology of the professions


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