Public Access To Justice

March 07, 2011 11:58 ET

"Law Society Finally Ready to Regulate in the Public Interest"

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 7, 2011) - Law Society of Upper Canada's Treasurer Laurie Pawlitza remarked at the February meeting of its governing board called Convocation that the time has come to review the scope of practice which paralegals may offer the public. She said the review should be based on the areas of practice identified in the 2000 report, "A Framework for Regulating Paralegal Practice in Ontario".

Paralegals typically offer legal services directly to the public at a lower price then lawyers. Since 2007 paralegals in Ontario have been regulated by the Law Society.

The 2000 report recommended that paralegals be allowed to offer the pubic: uncontested divorces, appearances before the family court, appeals from tribunals and from the small claims court, real estate law, prepare simple wills, powers of attorney, living wills, and simple incorporations. The Law Society has barred paralegals from offering any of these services. 

"A review of scope of practice is an important first step for paralegals and the public" said Marshall Yarmus spokesperson for the advocacy group Public Access to Justice. "Too many people cannot afford a lawyer".

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