November 19, 2018

Since 2008, the Law Society has been exploring improving access to justice through the creation of a new, regulated category of legal service provider. In 2014, the Law Society asked the provincial government to amend legislation in order to enable the Law Society to put in place a new category of legal service providers and authorize the Benchers to determine the services that they could provide.

This afternoon, the provincial government tabled a bill that would give the Law Society the authority that we have been seeking. Bill 57, the Attorney General Statutes Amendments Act, 2018 includes legislative amendments that permit but do not require the Benchers to license paralegals to deliver limited legal services as determined and approved by the Benchers. A link to bill may be found here.

The Benchers will take time to get the rules and responsibilities of any new category of legal service providers right. The recognition that there should be a range of legal service providers is one of the elements of the Law Society’s efforts to address unmet and underserved legal needs and improve the public’s access to legal services. While several steps are required before any changes in who may provide legal services take effect, we are committed to continuing to engage with and receive input from the profession.