Paralegals are the semi-skilled and para-professionals who are qualified by education, training or work experience. They are not licensed lawyer and completely qualified as a lawyer but they get the license as paralegals from government or government authorities. Paralegals works as an assistant in diverse fields and they also work in the law offices as an assistants of lawyer who assists in workings related to the practice of law and legal profession. In Nepal, legal profession belongs to the profession of lawyer namely senior advocate, advocate and pleader. Paralegals are non-lawyer so paralegals who works in law office only support the task of lawyers in their work and they are not full professionals in the legal profession.
Paralegals who are working in the law offices are the persons under the supervision and direction of a licensed lawyer. Lawyer is responsible for all of the professional actions performed by the paralegals which are prescribed by the lawyer or law office. Paralegals apply their knowledge of the law and experience in legal proceedings in rendering direct assistance to a lawyer engaged in legal research, design, develop, planning, organizing or new procedures, techniques, services, processes or applications; prepare or interpret legal documents and write detailed procedures for practicing in certain fields of law. They select, compile and use technical information from references source such as digests, dictionaries, encyclopedias, law reports (Nepal Kanoon Patrika-Nepal Law Magazine and Supreme Court Bulletin in Nepal) or practice manuals and analyze and follow procedural problems that involve independent decisions. So, the paralegal performs all the preparative works and accumulates all the information necessary for the lawyer in the legal profession. Conceptually, there is no systematic use and practice of paralegals in the legal profession of Nepal. As like other countries, there is no separate and specific policies, guidelines or specific laws and practices of the paralegal in Nepal. But ‘Lekhapadi Bebasayi’ (Professional Paralegal Writers) are working as a paralegal in Nepal for the preparation of certain legal documents which is prescribed by the law. There are separate laws, Regulations, Code of Conduct, professional organization of ‘Lekhapadi Bebasayi’ (Professional Paralegal Writers) and its Constitution (Bidhan).Both ‘Lekhapadi Bebasayi'(Professional Paralegal Writers) and lawyers get license from different institutions, governed by different laws for different works and they have different professional association well. ‘Lekhapadi Bebasayi’ gets license from the District Court of Nepal and lawyer’s gest license from Nepal Bar Council. In Nepal, ‘Nepal Bar Association’ is the professional umbrella organization of lawyers and the ‘Professional Legal Lekhapadi Association of Nepal-PLLAN’ is the professional umbrella organization of ‘Lekhapadi Bebasayi’(Professional Paralegal Writers).Legal Aid Act1997 (2054);Lekhapadi Bebasayi Niyemawali (Professional Paralegal Writers Regulation)2051 (B.S.), Code of Conduct of Lekhapadi Bebasahi (Professional Paralegal Writers)2064 (B.S.), Internal Work Arrangement and Circulation Regulation of Lekhapadi Bebasahi (Professional Paralegal Writers)2064 (B.S.), Economic Regulation of Lekhapadi Bebasahi (Professional Paralegal Writers)2064 (B.S.), Election Regulation of Lekhapadi Bebasahi (Professional Paralegal Writers)2064(B.S.), Legal Education Regulation of Lekhapadi Bebasahi (Professional Paralegal Writers)2064(B.S.), Disciplinary Regulation of Lekhapadi Bebasahi (Professional Paralegal Writers) 2064 (B.S.)etc. are the laws for the regulation of ‘Lekhapadi Bebasayi’ (Professional Paralegal Writers) and their profession in Nepal.
Keywords: Education, lawyer, legal, paralegal, person, profession, training, work
In modern societies, the scope and coverage of law are expanding. The workload for lawyers is increasing in the new and growing areas of the law. More and more social issues are emerging that have a connection with the law but the nature of the service required is not fully of a legal nature. This environment pushes the creation of a new field of work that is not purely legal and not completely non-legal as well. A framework of social work having linkage with the law and that can be performed under the supervision of lawyer is nowadays termed and understood as paralegal work in the legal profession and those who are engaged in such field are called paralegals.
Individuals from diverse backgrounds can be employed as paralegals in different fields. Education and training requirements differ widely but are generally related to the responsibilities of the position. Specialized training in other fields sometimes determines the paralegal’s area of practice. For example, paralegals with medical training often work in personal injury or medical malpractice, while a paralegal in environmental law may have had experience as a naturalist. Paralegals are educated and well trained with a variety of backgrounds, experience, education and job responsibilities working across a broad range of practice areas. Only statutory, court authority or a supervising attorney’s determination of the paralegal’s competency limits the tasks a paralegal may perform. The delivery of legal services by non-lawyers before many administrative agencies is a well-established fact. Because the law is complex and often ambiguous, paralegals must be intelligent and possess an analytical, logical mind and good organizing skills. They must be able to recognize and evaluate relevant facts and legal concepts. Paralegals should have the ability to organize, analyze, communicate and administer. Interpersonal skills that serve paralegals include resolving conflicts, negotiating and relating well with various types of persons, often when these persons are in distress. Although on-the-job training remains an important element in developing successful paralegals, formal education has an increasingly important role for making refined, competent and best paralegals in the respective professional arena.
Paralegals are employed in private law firms, banks, corporations, insurance agencies, legal clinics, government agencies, accounting and engineering firms, title companies, construction companies and legal aid offices-in fact, almost everywhere law-related work is performed. Paralegals either work with lawyers who assume professional responsibility for the final work product or work in an area where “lay” individuals are explicitly authorized by statute or regulation to assume certain law-related responsibilities. Paralegals who work in the private sector are usually employed by law firms and corporations and often specialize in an area of law such as litigation, probate, real estate, corporate, taxation, domestic relations, or employee benefits. Paralegals who work in the public sector are often employed by non-profit public law firms, state or local governmental agencies in areas such as welfare, family law, health care, landlord/tenant, disability benefits, unemployment compensation, or social security. So, paralegals can work in diverse areas.
A paralegal can be employed in the private law firm to performs delegated legal work by the lawyer. They play an indispensable role to carry out the legal work in a systematic and fruitful way. ‘While lawyers assume ultimate responsibility for legal work, they often delegate some petty works to paralegals.’ Paralegals are not lawyers who support the lawyer in professional works. They only work as an assistant of lawyers to assist lawyers in the legal profession. Therefore, a lawyer is solely accountable and answerable for the work performed by the paralegal under his/her direction.’ Both paralegals and lawyers seem similar. The difference is that lawyer must supervise a paralegal’s work and a paralegal can’t do certain things as like the lawyers such as to give legal advice and represent clients in court’. Both lawyers and paralegals have a different scope of work, they gets license and governed by the separate regulatory institution, guided by the separate laws, code of conduct and they also have different professional umbrella organization. Paralegals never do the work which only a lawyer can do. That is why they are called paralegals. ‘It must be noted that paralegals are not lawyers and do not claim to be lawyers. They are doing legal work as a non-lawyer legal practitioner.’ Paralegals are people without high-level education who have received short-term, intensive training on legal issues, the legal profession, or certain subject matter related to law and justice. They are non-law personnel to assist lawyers in the law office. Lawyer and para-legal relationship are based on cooperation, sharing, division of work, teamwork and the lawyer acts as a captain or boss of the team. Lawyer guide, give advice, direction and supervision to the paralegals. All the tasks performed by the paralegals are approved and finalized by the lawyer.
The formal establishment of the paralegal profession was started in America which can be traced to the 1960s when individuals were trained to assist lawyers’ in making legal services available to the poor during the “War on Poverty.” Shortly, after public agencies began hiring paralegals, private law firms and corporations recognized the benefits of employing paralegals to supply efficient support, reduce the expenses of legal service and increase the availability of services to the public. The United State Government and American Bar Association realized legal services should be made more accessible and less costly to the public. At the same time, lawyers required trained legal assistants, and thus the term was born. The term was first mentioned by the Law Society of England and Wales, in their Research and Policy Planning Unit publication in 1993 in a document entitled Proceedings from the Annual Research Conference 1993 on Legal Education although it was, arguably, NALP (in its former existence as The Paralegal Association), that was responsible for making the term known in England and Wales after its inception in 1987. Lekhapadi Bebasayi (Professional Paralegal Writers)are working as paralegal in Nepal and there are separate laws, Regulations, Code of Conduct, professional umbrella organization and its Constitution (Bidhan) of lekhapadi bebasayi(Professional Paralegal Writers)in Nepal. Basing on the above scenario of introductory discussion, this article elucidates the concept of paralegal, the relevance of paralegals, their role in the legal profession along with the Nepalese legal provisions and practice of paralegals in Nepal as well as in the Nepali legal profession.
- Conceptualizing ‘Paralegals’ with Nepalese Scenario
The word paralegal is composed of two words ‘para’ and ‘legal.’ Literally, ‘para’ means ‘semi’ and ‘legal’ means having a basis with the law and related to the profession of law. Thus, a paralegal is a semi-skilled human resource who is not a qualified or licensed as a lawyer but someone who is trained and authorized to provide a limited number of basic legal services to needy people. According to Black’s Law Dictionary, “paralegal is someone who has some education in law and assists a lawyer in duties related to the practice of law but who is not a listened attorney.” American Bar Association defines, “… a paralegal is a person with legal skills who works under the supervision of a lawyer or who is otherwise authorized by law to use these skills. Paralegals are also called legal assistants and are continuing to assume a growing range of tasks in law offices and perform many of the same tasks as lawyers. Nevertheless, they are explicitly prohibited from carrying out duties considered to be the practice of law, such as setting legal fees, giving petty advice and presenting cases in court.
Conceptually, alike the practice of paralegals of other foreign countries, there is no systematic use and practice of paralegals in the legal profession of Nepal. But Lekhapadi Bebasayi (Professional Paralegal Writers)are working as paralegal in Nepal. Lekhapadi Bebasayi (Professional Paralegal Writers)are the paralegals and lekhapadi Bebasaye (Paralegal Writers Profession) is their profession in the Nepalese concept of paralegals. The laws and practices of a paralegal in Nepal is quite dissimilar to the practice of paralegals of other countries and the above mentioned universal concept and definitions of the paralegals.
- Results and Discussion: Comparing the working areas of Paralegals in selected countries with the Nepalese Legislations and Praxis
3.1 Rationale and Relevance of Paralegals in the Legal Profession
Lawyers use non-lawyers to assist them in the legal profession. With the increase in the complexity of lawsuits and the accompanying growth in the use of modern discovery methods, there is an obvious need for assistants to the lawyer specially trained in trial preparation and working in the law office in a formalized special status. A paralegal is a person under the supervision and direction of a licensed lawyer, who may apply knowledge of the law and legal proceedings in rendering direct assistance to a lawyer engaged in legal research; design, develop, or plan modifications or new procedures, techniques, services, processes, or applications; prepare or interpret legal documents and write detailed procedures for practicing in certain fields of law; select, compile, and use technical information from such references as digests, dictionaries, encyclopedias, law reports or practice manuals; and analyze and follow procedural problems that involve independent decisions. The activities of a paralegal do not constitute the practice of law as long as they are limited to work of a preparatory nature, such as legal research, investigation, or the composition of legal documents, which enable the licensed lawyer to carry a given matter to a conclusion through his/her own examination, approval or additional effort.
The paralegal is like a messenger for communicating information between the client and the lawyer, providing fast, accessible answers to the client’s questions and problems. It is the paralegal’s duty to relay the lawyer’s advice or answers expediently to the client. The paralegal also remain keeps in contact with the client during times of inactivity on the file, to reassure the client that his/her legal matter is being handled on a timely basis. Paralegals might investigate the facts of cases and ensure that all relevant information is considered. They also identify appropriate laws, judicial decisions, legal articles and other materials that are relevant to assigned cases. After they analyze and organize the information, paralegals may prepare written reports that lawyers use in determining how cases should be handled. If lawyers decide to file lawsuits on behalf of clients, paralegals may help to prepare the legal argument, draft pleadings and motions to be filed with the court, obtain affidavits, and assist lawyers during trials. Paralegals also organize and track files of all important case document and make them available and easily accessible to lawyers whenever required.
Today, paralegals employed in the law office play an integral role in the delivery of legal services. Paralegal duties encompass a wide range of activities and responsibilities depending on the size, type, and nature of the law office where the paralegal is employed. ‘The paralegal will find his/her greatest usefulness in the preparation, collection, collation, evaluation and indexing of discovery.’ At present paralegals performs different functions such as lawyers clerk or right hand who works directly with the lawyer to ensure every detail of a case is handled systematically, accurately, effectively, and efficiently. They involve in file preparation and maintenance, legal research, document preparation, and correspondence. Paralegals play a vital part in the normal day-to-day work within the law office. They play the supportive roles to the lawyer in preparing the daily work routines or plans based on the office calendar, contacting or nurturing with the clients and noting details of the clients, collecting the documents required, researching and gathering relevant information to the case such as applicable legal and jurisprudential doctrines, precedents, investigate facts of the case, evidence collection, filing and organizing documents, filing the petitions in the court, trial preparation (managing the necessary materials for lawyers while pleading), locating witnesses, informing case list and cause list to the lawyer, other correspondence and general tasks of the law office. The paralegal performs all the preparative works and accumulates all the information necessary to prepare a pre-trial and prepare a trail notebook for the lawyer.
Similarly, paralegals are also involved in the drafting of various legal, court-oriented, domestic, quasi-judicial and administrative documents. Other roles of a paralegal are representing the client in court through an attorney (warris), briefing the clients about the proceeding and condition of their case, proper use of information technology (IT), law office management, keeping records of the case, procuring the order or judgment copies from the court and other offices, drafting domestic deeds and simple applications useful in the court, other offices etc. In addition to these duties, paralegals are expected to handle administrative tasks of law office such as ﬁling papers, documents, answering telephone calls, typing, printing, photocopying and maintaining and organizing reference ﬁles in the law office etc. They can also play vital role in providing legal literacy and pro-bono services. Paralegals are often in-charge of maintaining the schedule of their lawyer with clients, outsiders and another daily routine work schedule. Often, paralegals may be responsible for monitoring and managing the law library and ensuring the texts are up to date in the law office. Performing all these multidimensional and multidisciplinary roles paralegal helps to minimize the workloads of the lawyers.
Paralegals may not quote fees to a client and therefore, the detail of the financial arrangements of the case should be handled by the lawyer, including the signing of the fee arrangement by the client. A lawyer is responsible for all of the professional actions of a paralegal performing services at the lawyer’s direction and should take reasonable measures to ensure that the paralegal’s conduct is consistent with the lawyer’s obligations under the rules of professional conduct of the jurisdiction in which the lawyer practices. Thus, paralegals act as per the direction and mandate of the lawyer under whom they work.
The rationale for the existence of lawyers is that many legal matters can be broken down into small components and tasks that can be delegated to non-lawyers working under supervision. There is a work division between the paralegal and the lawyer. Both of them perform their own roles and responsibilities by coordinating to each other. Law also empowers separate functions to them. Proper utilization of the services of paralegals contributes to the delivery of cost-effective, high-quality and prompt legal services. ‘Paralegals are much less costly than lawyers’. Using a paralegal instead of a lawyer can save a lot of money as well. A lawyer has no right to delegate all the tasks to the paralegal. Mainly there are three exceptions to the lawyer in which the lawyer is not allowed to delegate his/her rights to the paralegals they are: (a) responsibly for establishing an attorney-client relationship,(b) responsibly for establishing the amount of a fee to be charged for a legal service,(c) responsibly for a legal opinion rendered to a client.’
The American Bar Association (ABA) endorsed the use of paralegals in 1967 and established the ﬁrst committee on paralegals in 1968. Since 1975 the ABA has approved paralegal programs that satisfy the rigorous standards of the ABA Guidelines for the Approval of Paralegal Education Programs. The ABA adopted Model Guidelines for the Utilization of Legal Assistant Services in 1991. ABA Model Guidelines for the Utilization of Paralegal Services were revised in September 2018. Many states such as North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and state bar associations such as Colorado and Missouri have adopted these guidelines or their own versions to regulate the activities and functions of paralegals in the legal profession and other respective fields.
3.2LekhapadiBebasayi as Paralegals in Nepal: Analysis of their Working Areas, Legal Framework and Praxis
While talking about the Nepalese practice conceptually and similarto the other countries there is no any separate and specific guideline, any laws or legal provisions in Nepal to promote and regulate the service of the paralegal till now. But in Nepali society directly or indirectly works similar to paralegals have been performed. From ancient times the petty cases and disputes are settled by bhaladmi, senior peoples of the village, mukhiya, jimwal, etc. in Nepali society. Lekhapadi Bebasayi (Professional Paralegal Writers)are working as a paralegal in Nepalfor preparing certain documents and deeds in offices, administrative bodies, quasi-judicial bodies, courts and especially land revenue office. The ‘Provisions of Attorney’ (Warris), under Chapter 13 and Section 144-155 of the National Civil Procedure Code2017 (2074);Section 27 and 28 of Nepal Bar Council Act 1993 (2050)are the laws and legal provisions which are somehow related to the concept of a paralegal.
Similarly, there are other law, several Regulation and Code of Conduct of Lekhapadi Bebasayi(Professional Paralegal Writers)such as Legal Aid Act1997 (2054);Lekhapadi Bebasayi Niyemawali (Professional Paralegal Writers Regulation)2051 (B.S.); Code of Conduct of (Professional Paralegal Writers) 2064 (B.S.); Internal Work Arrangement and Circulation Regulation of (Professional Paralegal Writers) 2064 (B.S.); Economic Regulation of (Professional Paralegal Writers)2064 (B.S.); Election Regulation of (Professional Paralegal Writers) 2064 (B.S.); Legal Education Regulation of (Professional Paralegal Writers) 2064 (B.S.); Disciplinary Regulation of (Professional Paralegal Writers) 2064 (B.S.) etc. are the laws for the regulation of lekhapadi bebasayi(Professional Paralegal Writers)and their profession in Nepal.
Section 27(i)of the Nepal Bar Council Act 1993 (2050) provisioned about the provisions to be followed by those who have received a certificate to prepare a document (Lekhapadi) in court and offices. Section 28 of the said Act mentioned about providing certificate by the district court for the preparation of documents in offices and courts. The document preparing professional i.e.lekhapadi bebasayi (Professional Paralegal Writers)can prepare or draft Sale Deeds (Rajinama), Gift and Will Deeds (Bakaspatra), and other deeds which are approved by the Land Revenue Office. Similarly, they can prepare Loan Deeds, Guarantee Deeds (Bainapatra), deed of power of attorney and other simple domestic deeds. In addition, they can also draft simple deeds and applications for the quasi-judicial bodies and other offices.They can make the copyof documents (nakkalsarne) of the court and offices as per the prevailing laws. The Court shall provide copies of the document to the staff and lawyers involved in the services of Legal Aid without charging a fee as prescribed in prevailing law. Likewise, Section 2(a) of the Legal Aid Act, 1997 (2054) mentions that “Legal Aid” means legal aid to the indigent person under this Act and the term also includes counseling and other legal services such as correspondence pleadings, preparation of legal documents and proceedings in the courts or offices on behalf of the indigent person. Lekhapadi Bebasayi(Professional Paralegal Writers)has an indispensable role in performing the lower level works related to administrative offices, court and quasi-judicial bodies.
Both Lekhapadi Bebasayi (Professional Paralegal Writers)and lawyers get a license from different institutions, governed by different laws for different work and they have different professional associations as well. ‘Lekhapadi Bebasayi’ (Professional Paralegal Writers)gets license from the District Court and lawyers get license from Nepal Bar Council. In Nepal, ‘Nepal Bar Association’ is the umbrella organization of lawyers and the ‘Professional Legal Lekhapadi Association of Nepal-PLLAN’ is the professional umbrella organization of Lekhapadi Bebashai (Professional Paralegal Writers).So, there is different provision for regulating their profession. Lekhapadi Bebashai(Professional Paralegal Writers)are also bound by the same ethics which govern conflict of interest and the obligations of delivering competent legal services to the client. Paralegals are also bound by their professional ethics and paralegal who are working in the law office are obliged to follow the professional ethics of the legal profession. Similarly, they must protect the confidentiality of the client’s matters as well.
In Nepal, there is Code of Conduct of Lekhapadi Bebasahi (Professional Paralegal Writers) 2064 (B.S.)for Lekhapadi Bebasayi as a paralegal and there is Code of Conduct of Legal Practitioners 2051 (B.S.) for the lawyers. Lekhapadi Bebasayi(Professional Paralegal Writers)are also bound by a certain code of conduct while performing their professional works. They shall not sign or verify the deeds which is prepared by others, shall clearly mention their name, surname, certificate number, certificate issuing district court and signature etc. in the deeds which s/he has prepared, shall not make forceful inquiry to the persons or service seekers who came in court and offices with special work, shall not criticize the association in the public place or with the group of people, shall appear in the court and offices in dress and logo which is prescribed by the association, shall compulsorily take membership of association of respective district or region for conducting their profession, shall strictly follow Lekhapadi Bebasayi Samandhi Niyemawali (Professional Paralegal Writers Regulation) 2051 (B.S.) including prevalent Nepal law, shall not misinterpret or criticize other or work of other lekhapadi bebasayi(Professional Paralegal Writers)with other clients affecting their profession, shall not commit or cause to commit illegal transactions, shall not induce the clients to commit illegal works, shall not stop the client to do right work and things by appearing in court or offices, shall not appear before the court and offices by taking intoxicating drinks or drugs in the course of his/her professional duties, shall not write deeds knowingly which is harmful to the client, shall not misappropriate the funds of association or any organizations, shall not prepare deeds from the blank papers obtained from the client converting the same into a legal deed which affect the client, shall not destroy the original documents of the clients, shall not commit any crime related to corruption and moral turpitude, shall submit certain prescribed charge to the concerned committees while approving and execution different deeds and other drafts.
There is Legal Education Regulation2064 (B.S.) of Lekhapadi Bebasayi (Professional Paralegal Writers) which is enacted for subject-wise professional capacity building of Lekhapadi Bebasayi (Professional Paralegal Writers) of Nepal who is working in judicial and quasi-judicial bodies. This Regulation aims to develop competent, competitive, accountable Lekhapadi Byabasayi (Professional Paralegal Writers) in Nepal by giving legal education and professional training to them. For this purpose, the Central Committee of Professional Legal Lekhapadi Association of Nepal-PLLAN can develop the curriculum of legal education and professional training and make the formation of a professional capacity development committee. Therefore, Nepalese laws give some authority to the Lekhapadi Bebasayi (Professional Paralegal Writers)to draft certain domestic deeds, deeds, applications and legal documents which are presented in the court, administrative offices and quasi-judicial bodies on behalf of clients and do the respective task delegated by the party of the case as per the law. In practice of Nepal, lekhapadi bebasayi(Professional Paralegal Writers) have their own office to perform lekhapadi bebasaye(Paralegal Writers Profession) in courts and offices. In reality, most of them have their office nearby Inland Revenue (malpot) office and they are preforming the works related to this office and preparing certain legal documents and deeds. Hence, these roles played by the Lekhapadi Bebasayi(Professional Paralegal Writers) is somehow similar to the works of paralegals but it is not exactly similar the working areas of paralegals of other countries such as U.S.A, U.K., etc.
- Conclusions and Implications
In sum, the person who assists a lawyer in the performance of various legal tasks and activities is known as a paralegal. A paralegal is a person qualified by education, training or work experience who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office or other entity and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible. They are in the position of lawyers’ supportive roles. They are the non-lawyers who act as assistants or the right hand of the lawyers. They perform several roles or duties such as researching facts, law, precedents, evidence gathering, legal doctrines, filing and organizing documents, communicating with the clients, drafting basic legal and domestic deeds, etc. So, paralegals have a vital role in performing lower-level works in the legal profession.
In Nepal, there is no systematic use and practice of paralegals in the legal profession. So-called writers (Lekhandash) which are known as lekhapadi bebasayi (Professional Paralegal Writers)are playing the role of paralegals in courts, administrative offices and quasi-judicial bodies. In practice lekhapadi bebasayi(Professional Paralegal Writers) have their own office to perform lekhapadi bebasaye(Paralegal Writers Profession) in various courts, administrative offices and quasi-judicial bodies as paralegals. Equally, they are often employed as a paralegal to assist the lawyer in the law offices and legal profession. The legal profession is not systematized on which it must be developed. The concept of the paralegal is also not flourished and even the senior, established and experienced lawyers ignore paralegals, law students, and new young lawyers who have just involved in the legal profession and they don’t want to train them as well as keep them as their helping hands in their law offices. Often senior and established lawyers rarely kept law students and lekhapadi bebasayi (Professional Paralegal Writers)as an intern or assistants who can play the role of paralegals. That’s why the role and practice of paralegal in the legal profession is in shadow and cannot be able to institutionalize and formalize. In addition, there is no separate and specific policy, guideline, laws in Nepal to specify, promote and regulate the paralegals and their service in the legal profession. We need separate and specific policies, guidelines, laws and institutional mechanisms for promoting and regulating paralegals in the legal profession.
The National Civil Procedure Code, 2017 (2074) of Nepal allows the appointment of a personal attorney (Warris) to perform various activities including attending courts and participating in the process of hearing and other court proceedings. Despite, licensed lawyers such as senior advocates, advocates and pleaders, there are many lekhapadi bebasayi (Professional Paralegal Writers) who get license from the District Court for preparing certain documents, application and legal deeds for the administrative offices, quasi-judicial bodies and courts. They can also be employed by the law offices as paralegals. So-called Writers lekhapadi bebasayi (Professional Paralegal Writers), pretend themselves as lawyers and claim that they offer better service than the lawyer. Any law and legal provisions do not prescribe any qualification of legal education be eligible for lekhapadi bebasayi (Professional Paralegal Writers)for conducting their profession. The common people identify and recognize them as Lekhandash (writers). Lekhapadi Bebasayi Niyemawali (Professional Paralegal Writers Regulation) 2051 (B.S.) named them as ‘lekhapadi Bebasayi’ (Professional Paralegal Writers) however, they prefer to identify them as ‘Lekhapadi Kanoon Bebasayi’ (Professional legal Writers). They have also used the same name and provision in i.e. ‘Lekhapadi Kanoon Bebasayi’ in the Constitution (Bidhan) of their professional umbrella organization i.e. ‘Professional Legal Lekhapadi Association of Nepal-PLLAN’ which was enacted in 2063 (B.S.). The name of LekhapadiBebasayiNiyemawali (Professional Paralegal Writers Regulation) 2051 (B.S.) and the Constitution (Bidhan) of their professional umbrella organization i.e. ‘Professional Legal Lekhapadi Association of Nepal-PLLAN’ is contradictory and not match able. Then what are the criteria to claim as ‘Lekhapadi Kanoon Bebasayi, what the word ‘Kanoon (Law)’ indicate, what kind of facets of law they follow and how are qualified to use the word ‘Kanoon Bebasayi’? it is irrelevant.
In this context, the practice of giving license to persons of non-legal field is not rationale because they are not qualified and have any legal knowledge to prepare documents of office, court, quasi-judicial bodies, and perform other necessary tasks. Therefore, the license of the lekhapadi bebasayi(Professional Paralegal Writers) must be provided only to those who have completed formal basic legal education i.e. Intermediate (10+2) in law or equivalence along with effective professional training which will be supportive to their professional capacity building to carry out their professional functions effectively and efficiently. While observing the concept and practice of the paralegal service, status, and role that can be played by the paralegals in other countries; it seems that there is an urgency to develop the laws and change the licensing system of the lekhapadi bebasayi(Professional Paralegal Writers) in Nepal as soon as possible. The government of Nepal and Nepal Bar Council must be serious in this concern and must enact the appropriate law and policies for modifying the existing practice of lekhapadi bebasayi (Professional Paralegal Writers) for developing competent, capable, and able paralegals in Nepal. Nepal Bar Council should ensure at least in the legal regime that a person intending as paralegal must be licensed with condition that s/he work as paralegal only under supervision and guidance of a lawyer.
 G.B. Reddy’s. (2006). Practical Advocacy of Law. Hyderabad: Gogia Law Agency. p.384.
 What is a Paralegal? Retrieved from https://www.paralegals.org/files/Paralegal_Responsibilities.pdf (Accessed on September 7, 2020).
 Supra Note 1.
 P.M. Bakshi. (2018). Public Interest Litigation. (5th edn.). New Delhi: Whytes & Co. p.725.
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 Supra Note 1.
 Amanda Hamilton. (2014). “In an ever-changing legal landscape, paralegals are the way forwards. “The Law Teacher. Vol. 18, Issue 1. pp.104-105. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03069400.2013.875305. (Accessed on September 10, 2020).
 Black’s Law Dictionary (10th edn.). p.1285.
 William P. Statsky. (1986). Introduction to Paralegalism, Perspectives, Problems and Skills. (3rd edn.). Minnesota: West Publishing Company. p.4.
 Supra Note 4. p.725.
 Dudley Hughes. (1976). “Employment of Paralegals in Trail Preparation. “The Forum (American Bar Association, Section of Insurance, Negligence and Compensation Law),Vol.11, No.4.Chicago: American Bar Association. p.1142. Available at:https://www.jstor.org/stable/25761169. (Accessed on October 20, 2020).
 Supreme Court of Kentucky. (1979). Para Legal Code. Rule 3.700, 43 Kentucky and Bar 30, cited at Supra Note 11.
 Paul R. Termblay. (2010). “Shadow Lawyering: No Lawyer Practice within Law Firms.” Indiana Law Journal. Vol.85, Issue 2. Article 7. p.664.Available at: https://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1065&context=ilj. (Accessed on May 21, 2021).
 Marcy Devis Fawcett. (1995). Paralegal Litigation Forms and Procedures. (2ndedn.). New Jersey: Wiley Law Publications. p. 2.
 Supra Note 4.
 Supra Note 13.p.1145.
 Supra Note 16.
 American Bar Association Standing Committee of Paralegals. (2018). ABM Model Guidelines for the Utilization of Paralegal Services. Chicago: American Bar Association Standing Committee of Paralegals. Guideline No. 1. p. 4. Available at: https://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/administrative/paralegals/ls_prlgs_modelguidelines.pdf(Accessed on May 21, 2021).
 Marie C. Stortz. (1994). “The Role of the Paralegal Today”. Theses Digitization Project. p.10.Available at: https://scholarworks.lib.csusb.edu/etd-project/886. (Accessed on September 9, 2020).
 Vivek Maru.(2006). “Between Law and Society: Paralegals and the Provision of Justice Services in Sierra Leone and World wide.”Yale Journal of International Law. Vol.31, No. 2. p.470. Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1276&context=yjil (Accessed on May 21, 2021).
 Supra Note 20. Guideline No.3. p.9.
 Information for Lawyers: How Paralegals Can Improve Your Practice. Available at: https://www.americanbar.org/groups/paralegals/profession-information/information_for_lawyers_how_para`legals_can_improve_your_practice/. (Accessed on October 25, 2020).
 Keshav Raj Aryal. (2074).Professional Ethics and Lawyering Skills. (3rd edn.) Kathmandu: Lumbini Prakashan. p.190.
 Nepal Bar Council Act, 1993 (2050). Section 27.
 Nepal Bar Council Act, 1993 (2050). Section 28.
 Lekhapadi Bebasayi Samandhi Niyemawali (Professional Paralegal Writers Regulation), 2051 (B.S.).Rule 4(1).
 Lekhapadi Byabasayi Samandhi Niyemawali (Professional Paralegal Writers Regulation), 2051 (B.S.). Rule 4(2).
 Legal Aid Act, 1997 (2054). Section 11.
 Legal Aid Act, 1997 (2054).Section 2(a).
 Code of Conduct of Lekhapadi Bebasayi(Professional Paralegal Writers), 2064 (B.S.). Clause 3.
 Legal Education Regulationof Lekhapadi Bebasayi (Professional Paralegal Writers), 2064 (B.S.). Rule 3.
 Legal Education Regulation of Lekhapadi Bebasayi (Professional Paralegal Writers), 2064 (B.S.).Rule 4.
 Legal Education Regulation of Lekhapadi Bebasayi(Professional Paralegal Writers), 2064 (B.S.).Rule 5.