In Ontario, over the past few years, there has been an influx in the amount of people that require legal services. With that, a larger demand for more affordable legal service providers is required. More and more people are looking towards Paralegals to assist with their legal needs.
Paralegal, it is not a new profession; it has been around for several decades. As of late, the public is just becoming aware of what a Paralegal is and how they can assist with providing legal services. Paralegals are non-lawyer agents that are able to provide legal services to the Ontario public. Similar to a Lawyer, a Paralegal must be licensed with the Law Society of Upper Canada and abide by the standard of learning, professional competence, and professional conduct guidelines set out by the Law Society of Upper Canada.
Similar to that of a Lawyer, there are schooling requirements that you must ascertain in order to become a Paralegal. In order to become a Paralegal, you must receive schooling at an accredited university or college with a Paralegal program certified by The Law Society of Upper Canada. Once you have graduated from this program, you are required by The Law Society of Upper Canada to take a Paralegal Licensing Exam (a bar exam for Paralegals). If you are successful in passing your Licensing Exam, then, and only then, may you call yourself a Paralegal.
There are many benefits to hiring a Paralegal; the main benefit of course is the affordability factor. Paralegal, as a whole, on average, charge much less than other legal service providers. Therefore, making the court systems accessible to all, rather than that of just the upper class.
The education that Paralegals receive is specific to the areas of law they are allowed to practice. Paralegals are unable to practice all types of law, for this reason their education is fine tuned to the areas they are allowed to service. Thus, they have a greater knowledge and understanding of the law they are going to practice once they are finished their educational program.
Paralegals are comparable to lawyers, in the sense that we are both regulated by the same law and principles. We are both required to meet specific standards of learning, professional competence, and adhere to a professional conduct that is appropriate for the legal services we provide.
Next time you require legal help; remember you might not need to go to the most expensive person to get the job done. Do your research; Paralegals are just as competent, educated and knowledgeable as any other legal service provider. The best part, Paralegals are usually half the price.
6 Response(s) for “Paralegal”
That’s good to know that Paralegals are specialist in the areas of law that they practice. I’ve always worried about a lawyer not knowing enough about certain areas of law, but it looks like going with a Paralegal is good cause they will be practiced in the area of law that I need. I’ll definitely have to consider hiring a Paralegal if I ever need legal help. Thanks for the useful information!
I like your tip on how a paralegal will usually be an affordable option. I would imagine that finding someone who can do quality legal work at a cheap cost would be a great benefit. I got into some traffic trouble recently so maybe I should look into hiring a paralegal so that I could afford the legal costs.
My brother got a ticket that he is considering taking to court, and could use the assistance of a legal professional. You wrote that a benefit of a paralegal is that they are a lot cheaper than a traditional attorney. I know my brother is on a bit of a budget, so this would be perfect for him. I’ll tell him to start looking online for good local paralegals.
That makes sense that paralegals can be more cost effective than lawyers. They have access to legal systems and a legal knowledge base due to their training, so they can be helpful in some situations. Like you said, it’s a less expensive way to access the courts.
A significant number of people are unrepresented in our legal system and major reason is affordability. Unlike our neighbour to the South, where paralegals are limited to perform only administrative duties, paralegal professionals in Ontario are able to represent their clients within the allowed scope of the law. The paralegals provide more affordable choice.
It’s great that you pointed out how paralegals as a whole, on average, charge much less than other legal service providers. I was watching a show about the law industry the other day and I was quite surprised to learn that there are actually a lot of legal professions. Paralegals, for example, I didn’t know before that they actually exist, but they seem pretty convenient to hire.