Paralegal

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What is a Paralegal?

A Paralegal is a professional who has been trained in certain legal matters and has taken paralegal courses in law and legal processes.  Paralegals assist lawyers through conducting research, drafting legal documents and managing cases and in some provinces, paralegals are able to represent clients in court.

What do Paralegals do?

Paralegals often handle much of the paperwork, although in some Canadian provinces, a paralegal may provide legal advice in certain areas of the law and may even appear in court. Typical duties of paralegals include:

  • Drafting legal documents and correspondence
  • Conducting legal searches
  • Submitting documents for registration with the appropriate agency
  • Interviewing witnesses and gathering documentary evidence

Paralegals in Ontario

Paralegals in Ontario are licensed and regulated in the same way that lawyers are and are subject to rules of conduct.  To become a licensed paralegal in Ontario you must graduate from a paralegal program that is accredited by The Law Society of Upper Canada and pass the regulatory exam.  A licensed paralegal may provide legal advice and draft documents for matters in:

  • Small Claims Court
  • The Ontario Court of Justice for matters under The Provincial Offences Act and The Highway Traffic Act
  • Some criminal matters
  • Various Tribunals established by the Province of Ontario
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