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I often get asked the question: What exactly is a paralegal? What can they do? And how are they different from a lawyer? So here’s a little bit of history for you.
The Law Society of Upper Canada regulated paralegals back in 2007 so it’s a fairly young industry.
What is a paralegal?
When I tell people I’m a paralegal, they ask if I’m like Rachael from Suits. A paralegal can act as the right hand of a lawyer in a law firm, but we can also stand on our own two feet and carry on our own practices.
Paralegals are licensed legal professionals, who are trained to handle minor legal matters. We are credited, require insurance, and are regulated by the same professional code of conduct that lawyers are.
What can we do?
There are restrictions; such as all financial disputes must be under $25,000, and we are not trained to handle cases in Family Court. However, we can assist our clients in a variety of legal matters, including cases in Criminal Court, Small Claims Court, Landlord and Tenant, Human Rights Tribunal, Immigration matters, Provincial Offences Act and more.
How are we different from a lawyer?
The biggest benefit of hiring a Paralegal for your minor legal matters is cost. In addition to being a cost effective resource, we are specifically trained and experienced in lower courts, therefore we know the best practices to get your minor legal matters sorted efficiently.
So the next time you have a need for a lawyer, consider if it may be a job that would be better suited for a paralegal. If you have any further questions, feel free to give me a call. I offer free 30-minute phone consultations.
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