BC paralegals surveyed on certification

The Law Society's Paralegal Task Force, chaired by former Vancouver Bencher Jo Ann Carmichael, QC, is reviewing input from over 600 paralegals in BC on a proposed paralegal certification scheme.

Through a broadcast email to the profession in mid-May, the Task Force asked all practising lawyers to invite the paralegals working under their supervision to 1) review online information on the proposed certification scheme and 2) complete an online survey on paralegal certification

The Law Society is considering paralegal certification as a way of raising the profile of paralegals in law firms and law-related workplaces and ensuring that members of the public in BC fully recognize and derive the benefit of paralegals working with lawyers in the delivery of legal services. The Task Force is also of the view that it is to the advantage of BC lawyers to use paralegals in the delivery of legal services as effectively as possible to ensure the profession meets current and future marketplace competition.

The survey is intended to gauge overall interest in certification, determine whether or not the proposed standards for certification are appropriate and ensure input on the proposal from paralegals.

While the survey was completed only by paralegals, lawyers are invited to read the Task Force's paper, Proposal for a Law Society Paralegal Certification Scheme, in the Resource Library/Reports section of the website and to relay their views by writing to the Task Force c/o Carmel Wiseman, Staff Lawyer, Policy and Legal Services, at cwiseman@lsbc.org, Fax: 604 443- 5770.