In Ontario, there has been a recent increase in the number of people who need legal services. This has led to a greater demand for affordable legal service providers. Many people are now turning to paralegals to help them with their legal needs.
Paralegals have many of the same responsibilities as lawyers, including being regulated by the same laws and principles, meeting specific standards of learning and professionalism, and following a professional conduct code that is appropriate for the legal services they provide.
Back in 2007, The Law Society of Ontario regulated paralegals. Now a paralegal can work in corporations, law firms or can carry on their own practices.
Licensed Paralegals in Ontario are governed by The Law Society of Ontario, to provide legal services to individuals. You may find a Paralegal in their own private practice, working in a Paralegal or Law Firm, and in many other diversified organizations. Under their license, they are free to provide an array of legal services that can include representation before court or a tribunal.
When Can I Use the Services of Paralegal in Ontario?
There are number of tasks which would suit the retaining of a Paralegal, not limited to:
- To defend yourself if someone takes you to court claiming that you allegedly owe them money.
- If you have been arrested for a minor criminal offence and need representation.
- If you need assistance in a Provincial Offenses matter.
- If you need to take someone to court and need assistance with regard to the process.
- If you wish to take action against your employer through a Tribunal.
- To assist you in a housing matter.
- To assist you with any welfare matter.
- To swear an oath, affidavit, or prepare a true copy of a document, as Paralegal’s in Ontario are Commissioners of Oaths as well.
- When they have been appointed, may also act as a Notary Public.
Since paralegals work in a variety of fields of law, the above list is not meant to be a definitive list of situations.
Paralegals do not have the same legal requirements as attorneys, so it is important to obtain evidence of paralegal qualifications and experience and ensure that they are fully licensed and in good standing with The Law Society of Ontario.
Paralegals in Ontario perform similar roles like a professional attorney does, as they are governed by The Law Society of Ontario. The paralegal conducts legal research to help individuals, and can represent just as a Lawyer in certain legal matters. However, Paralegals in Ontario currently cannot work in Family Law nor can they draft a Will for an individual.
Major Benefits of Hiring Paralegals in Ontario
Licensed Paralegals can handle matters formerly held only to Lawyers. Hiring a lawyer can bring a lot of benefits, but it is also expensive. Do the math to determine the actual profit of each option.
A paralegal costs less than a lawyer. But that’s not all that you need, right? If the suggestions on, or the provision of some legal services as above, then Paralegals could be of great assistance.
Paralegals in Ontario provide access to affordable legal help for more people. They play a powerful role in the legal industry and as regulations change, it is likely their scope of practice will continue to expand.
Good paralegals conduct research, communicate with clients, and write letters and memos, and work under a legal retainer with clients. Licensed Paralegal’s in Ontario are also required to carry and hold professional liability insurance.
Paralegals have specific areas of expertise, which means they understand the details and legalities of specific legal fields. This gives clients a significant advantage, as they can trust their paralegal to handle their case with competence and knowledge. Furthermore, a paralegal with expertise in a certain legal area is often able to provide valuable insight into the case and what the likely outcome will be.
Paralegals have become a more common sight in the legal field over the years, as the need for legal help has increased. There are now over 9,000 licensed paralegals in Ontario, which means that finding one to help with a specific matter should not be difficult. Additionally, they are more affordable than lawyers, so even clients with smaller budgets can get the legal support they need.
More for Clients
By hiring a paralegal rather than a lawyer, your clients may receive lower bills. The magic of this choice is that your profits are maintained, or even increased, while reducing customer bills. In this career, it is important to possess excellent communication skills, analytical, logical and creative thinking, as well as a positive attitude and the ability to work in a team. Likewise, this professional must be open to working under pressure, as well as to performing several tasks at the same time.
Where Can I Find a Paralegal?
The Law Society of Ontario’s website has a “find a Paralegal” tool that will identify Paralegal’s in Ontario, and as well identifies their current standing, an important factor in the hiring if a Paralegal. Visit www.lso.ca to see the Paralegal search tool.
Paralegals are important because they provide essential legal services that allow the legal system to function effectively. Paralegals are skilled in legal research and documentation, which allows them to compile and organize information efficiently. Paralegals are thus an essential part of the legal system and play a critical role in ensuring that justice is served.
If you need legal assistance in the future, remember that you don’t have to go to the most expensive person to get your job done. Paralegals are just as educated, competent, and knowledgeable as any other professional legal service provider.