Sunday, December 21, 2008

LSUC Budget Introduces Fee Increases for 2009

Last month, the governing body of the Law Society of Upper Canada approved its 2009 budget, complete with fee increases of 3% for lawyers and 6.5% for paralegals. The fee for a practicing lawyer will increase $50 from $1,653 to $1,703, and the fee for a licensed paralegal will increase $55 from $845 to $900.

Licensing Process candidates will see a $540 reduction in their tuition fees from $2,940 in 2008 to $2,400 in 2009. 

This is the result of changes to the lawyer licensing process which replaced the four-week Skills & Professional Responsibility Program with a five-day pre-call professional responsibility and practice requirement, along with a post-call professional development requirement of 24 hours within the first 24 months of practice. The licensing process fee for paralegals will remain the same at $1,075.

A major component of the 2009 paralegal budget - $1,057,900 - is dedicated to professional regulation. These costs are mainly associated with good character investigations and hearings for grandparent paralegal applicants, as well as other paralegal regulatory expenses.

It is interesting to note that paralegal fees are being increased by a higher percentage than the attorneys fees, or in the case of the licensing process, remaining the same. Perhaps LSUC needs more money to run the regulation program?

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