Media Advisory - Law Society is one step closer to licensing paralegals



    TORONTO, Nov. 5 /CNW/ - Ontario will be the first jurisdiction in North
America to license paralegals. Almost 2,200 experienced paralegals and
graduates of post-secondary paralegal courses have applied to the Law Society
of Upper Canada to write the licensing examination in Ontario.
    Regulation of the paralegal profession will provide consumers with a
choice in the legal service providers they wish to use. It also means the
public will have access to paralegals who meet high standards of learning,
competence and professional conduct.
    The Law Society's regulatory authority was expanded last year to include
paralegals following passage of the Access to Justice Act, 2005. The
legislation came into effect May 1, 2007. Since then, the Law Society has
created a set of rules of professional conduct for paralegals and developed a
licensing program that includes the same kind of regulatory standards used for
lawyers.
    The Law Society offered experienced paralegals six months to enter the
licensing process and apply to write a qualifying examination. That
"grandparent" opportunity ended October 31. The first paralegal licences will
be issued by May 1, 2008 to grandparent applicants who pass the licensing
examination. In the meantime, approved applicants can continue to practise in
permitted areas until they are licensed, providing they carry professional
liability insurance and comply with the Paralegal Rules of Conduct and Law
Society bylaws.
    Names of grandparent applicants have been added to the Paralegal
Candidate Directory, on the Law Society's website. This directory identifies
candidates within the licensing process and provides an easy reference for
members of boards, tribunals, court staff and the public. Candidates listed in
this directory may continue to provide legal services until they complete the
licensing process.
    More information and ongoing updates can be found on the paralegal pages
of the Law Society website at www.lsuc.on.ca.




For further information:

For further information: Roy Thomas, Communications Director at (416)
947-7619, rthomas@lsuc.on.ca, or Susan Tonkin, Communications Advisor at (416)
947-7605, stonkin@lsuc.on.ca


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