Saturday, May 10, 2008

Paralegals up North Finally Get Some Respect from Lawyer Competitors

Despite the controversy, some paralegals view the Law Society of Upper Canada's new regulation of paralegals, in effect as of May 1, as a very good thing. While paralegals working independently will need to adopt new stationary, new business cards, and even new business names, the benefits are definitely worthwhile.

Ontario's decision to give lawyers the job of licensing and disciplining their lower-priced, lesser-trained competitors has been controversial, certainly among the paralegals.

But, despite the $1,725 cost and time required to qualify to do the same job as before, despite the $845 annual fee to the law society and the $2,400 for new accounting software, [paralegal Gary] Spector has decided "it's a good thing."

"It adds legitimacy to our profession, for what we are doing," he says. "I think it will give us a better relationship with insurers in terms of trust and responsibility."


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