Paralegal Volunteer post has been carved out by the National Legal Services Authorities with the objective of providing legal aid and impart legal awareness regarding rights and duties to the citizen. The District legal services Authorities appoint and engage Paralegal Volunteers in Legal Aid Clinics under the district jurisdiction.
Several meaningful attempts have been made in recent times by the legal authorities to provide cheap, accessible and speedy justice to the common people in India. The appointment of the Paralegal Volunteers in Legal Aid Clinics located in different areas on behalf of the Legal Services Authority is one amongst them.
Paralegal Volunteers are tasked with educating the people and encouraging them to exercise their legal rights. Paralegal Volunteers are also entrusted to generate awareness regarding the benefits of solving disputes and grievances in pre-litigation stage through Lok Adalats, Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration.
The government with the help of Paralegal Volunteers is looking to ensure that the poor and helpless people can get justice and the small disputes of the people can be settled only at the initial level with mutual talks and agreements.
Apart from this, the Paralegal Volunteers can also perform the duty of intermediaries to help resolve public disputes through an arbitration. Efforts are made to overcome the bitterness between the parties and cultivate good relation between them. While deciding any dispute, the Paralegal Volunteers are expected to work very patiently and without any partiality to defend the plaintiff or respondent.
Eligibility for Paralegal Volunteer-
Any person whom the District Legal Services Authority or Taluk Legal Services Committee deems fit is considered for appointment.
Paralegal Volunteers are usually selected from the groups such as Teachers (including retired teachers), Retired Government servants and senior citizens, M.S.W students and teachers, Anganwadi Workers, Doctors/Physicians, Students & Law Students (till they enroll as lawyers), Members of non-political service-oriented NGOs and Clubs, Members of Women Neighborhood Groups, Maithri Sanghams and other Self Help Groups including marginalized/vulnerable groups or Educated prisoners with good behavior , serving long-term sentences in prisons are considered.
Minimum academic qualification to become a Paralegal volunteer-
The minimum educational qualification for becoming a paragraph legal volunteer is 10th/10 + 2 pass/graduate or post-graduation from a recognized institution. The applicant should also be of a good moral character, should not be a party to any criminal conduct and should not be associated with any political party.
Age limit for paragraph legal volunteers-
Candidates should be between the age group of 18 to 38 years, to be considered for the post. There may be variation in age limit in different districts/states.
The salary for Paralegal Volunteer-
Paralegal Volunteer may be paid honorarium on daily basis and reasonable expenses incurred by Paralegal Volunteers as Travel expenses, Postage, Telephone charges etc., may be reimbursed by the TLSC/DLSA/SLSA, on the submission of proof of same.
Selection Process for Paralegal Volunteer-
Paralegal Volunteers are usually selected on the basis of written examination and interview conducted by the respective District Legal Services Authority.
Training/Courses for Paralegal Volunteer-
Paralegal Volunteer is trained by respective authorities after selection. The Training/Courses for Paralegal Volunteer consist of Orientation course, Induction course and Advanced course. Their courses are conducted to impart knowledge of basic laws, an overview of the role of the PLVs and code of Ethics.
Paralegal Volunteer vacancy notifications are notified by the concerned departments from time to time through the Employment News, daily newspapers and government jobs posts etc.