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FAQ

What is a paralegal?
What can a paralegal do?
What is the difference between lawyers and paralegals?
Are paralegals required to abide by a code of conduct, as lawyers are?
Are paralegals required to keep my personal information confidential like lawyers?

 

1. What is a paralegal?
In Ontario, a paralegal is a legal agent who is licensed by the Law Society of Upper Canada to provide legal services (which includes representation and the preparation of documents pertaining to proceedings).

2. What can a paralegal do?
Major areas of paralegal practice include Small Claims Court, Provincial Offences Act, matters before the Ontario Court of Justice, Landlord Tenant Board, and cases before administrative tribunals such as the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.

3. What is the difference between lawyers and paralegals?
The Law Society regulates Ontario lawyers and paralegal licensees in the public interest. The Law Society ensures that these individuals:

Paralegals are a cost effective means of receiving access to justice. For instance, lawyers often use the services of a paralegal to keep costs down.

4. Are paralegals required to abide by a code of conduct, as lawyers are?
YES. The Paralegal Rules of Conduct are based on the Rules of Professional Conduct for lawyers and on principles found in the 2004 report of The Task Force on Paralegal Regulations, as well as input from public consultations. The rules are structured around obligations to various parties, including general duties, as well as duties to Clients, Tribunals, other licensees, and The Law Society.

5. Are paralegals required to keep my personal information confidential like lawyers?
YES. A paralegal shall, at all times, hold in strict confidence all information concerning the business and affairs of a client acquired in the course of their professional relationship and shall not disclose any such information unless expressly or impliedly authorized by the client or required by law to do so. The duty of confidentiality continues indefinitely after the paralegal has ceased to act for the client, whether or not difference have arisen between them.

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