|For immediate release||October 21, 2010|
Law Society takes action to help more people access legal services
Vancouver – In order to improve the public’s ability to afford competent legal help, the Law Society has approved a plan to increase the work that paralegals and articled students can do, provided they are supervised by a lawyer.
This change was recommended by the Law Society’s Delivery of Legal Services Task Force and is designed to help those who can’t always afford the services of a lawyer.
The Society’s Board of Governors, called Benchers, also accepted the recommendation that paralegals be allowed, in certain circumstances, to give legal advice. The Law Society is planning to consult with the province’s courts to determine if and when paralegals should be also allowed to act as advocates for clients in a courtroom.
Articled students, law school graduates who are completing their 12-month practicum, will also be able to perform additional legal services. The Law Society’s Credentials Committee will be exploring what those expanded duties might look like.
"Issues about the public’s ability to get affordable legal services are complicated, and will require a broad range of solutions,” said Law Society president, Glen Ridgway, QC. “However, this is a step in the right direction and will help people get the legal services they need, including those people who can’t afford a lawyer, despite the fact they’re earning a good salary.”
The goal of the Delivery of Legal Services Task Force is to develop a new regulatory model that may broaden the range of professionals permitted to provide certain legal services. Download the Delivery of Legal Services Task Force Final Report.
The Law Society of British Columbia regulates the more than 10,000 lawyers in the province, setting and enforcing standards of professional conduct that ensure the public is well-served by a competent, honourable legal profession.
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