Law Society of Upper Canada

Law Society of Upper Canada

May 16, 2008 06:59 ET

Law Society welcomes newly licensed paralegals at Toronto receptions

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 16, 2008) - The Law Society of Upper Canada held two receptions at Osgoode Hall on May 15 to welcome newly licensed paralegals. They are the first cohort to have passed the regulatory examinations held earlier this year. Receptions are also scheduled for Sudbury, London, Thunder Bay and Ottawa over the coming month. Licences to practice as paralegals became effective May 1, 2008, and 1,772 have been issued to date.

Paralegals make an important contribution to ensuring access to justice for Ontario citizens, providing legal services in connection with administrative tribunals, provincial offences, including traffic violations, minor matters under the Criminal Code, and small claims. The Law Society assumed responsibility for the regulation of paralegals in May 2007.

The head of the Law Society, Treasurer Gavin MacKenzie, congratulated the newly licensed paralegals saying: "Tonight we are gathered to celebrate a historic milestone in the provision of legal services in Ontario. You are among the first group of paralegals to successfully complete the licensing process and to be regulated by the Law Society of Upper Canada. Our common objective is to ensure that the people of Ontario have access to legal service providers who meet high standards of competence and ethics. On behalf of the Benchers and the lawyers of Ontario, I congratulate you and welcome you to the Law Society of Upper Canada."

These sentiments were echoed by Paul Dray, chair of the Paralegal Standing Committee. "We are pleased to celebrate the achievement of the newly licensed paralegals. Their licences recognize that they have met standards of learning, and regulation will ensure that the citizens of Ontario are served by paralegals who also meet standards of competence and conduct, and who are insured."

The Law Society of Upper Canada regulates the lawyers and paralegals of Ontario in the public interest. The Law Society ensures that every individual who practises law or provides legal services in Ontario meets standards of learning, professional competence and professional conduct that are appropriate for the legal services provided.

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 to act in a timely, open and efficient manner.

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