Law Society of Upper Canada

Law Society of Upper Canada

November 18, 2009 14:55 ET

First Paralegal Election Will Mark Milestone for Profession

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 18, 2009) - Licensed paralegals in Ontario will mark a major milestone in March 2010 when they take part in the first ever vote to elect five of their colleagues to join the Paralegal Standing Committee of the Law Society of Upper Canada. The first five paralegal members of the current committee were appointed by the Ontario government in November 2006 to develop the paralegal regulatory framework.

Licensed paralegals are eligible to stand for election and vote in the province-wide election. Online voting will take place throughout March 2010, ending at 5 p.m. on March 31.

"Ontario became the first jurisdiction in North America to regulate paralegals in 2007," says Law Society Treasurer W. A. Derry Millar. "Today, we have more than 2,500 licensed paralegals in the province, and we encourage them to nominate their colleagues and to make sure they vote in this important election. Through the Paralegal Standing Committee, paralegals have a prominent role in the governance of their profession."

The mandate of the Paralegal Standing Committee is to develop and recommend policies related to the governance and regulation of licensed paralegals in the public interest.

The 13-member committee comprises five paralegal members, five lawyer bencher members and three lay bencher members. Paralegal committee members attend monthly meetings to discuss policy and regulatory issues. They also sit on hearing and appeal panels to consider cases related to licensing, competence, conduct and capacity of paralegals.

Two of the elected paralegals will be chosen by the committee to serve as benchers, and will take part and vote at Convocation, the Law Society's governing body.

A package of information, including nomination forms, is available on the Paralegal pages of the Law Society website.

The Law Society regulates lawyers and paralegals in Ontario in the public interest. The Law Society has a duty to protect the public interest, to maintain and advance the cause of justice and the rule of law, to facilitate access to justice for the people of Ontario and act in a timely, open and efficient manner.

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