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Paralegals asked to undergo fresh one year training

THE STANDARD
April 11th 2022
NLAS Counsel Ms Fresiah Githumbi-Kareithi. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

Paralegals will be expected to undergo a one-year training to be accredited before being employed to serve marginalised communities in rural areas, as Legal Aid Act 2016 comes into force.

The National Legal Aid Service (NLAS) will collaborate with Paralegal Society of Kenya and other private stakeholders like Kituo Cha Sheria and Federation of Women Lawyers to train paralegals to be deployed across the 47 counties.

The paralegals have however raised concerns over the proposed one-year training and the minimum entry of C (minus), saying it is too high and set to lockout majority practicing for over 15 years before the Act came into force.

NLAS Counsel Ms Fresiah Githumbi-Kareithi, speaking on behalf of the NLAS Director in Mombasa, said one must undergo and complete training approved by the counsel for legal education to become an accredited paralegal.

Ms Kareithi said the new curriculum would be for advocates, law students, CBOs, paralegal firms, civil and faith-based organisations, to decentralise the services beyond the five counties into all the 47 counties and sub-counties.

“Once a person qualifies as a paralegal and is accredited, the government assigns cases to the accredited legal aid provider. For instance, if we have a client in Kwale, they will be referred to the nearest office with an accredited legal aid provider,” said Kareithi.

She said the training of paralegals from Kenya School of Law had not served the marginalised and poor Kenyans.

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