Law Society welcomes 140 newly licensed paralegals
Since the Law Society began regulating paralegals in 2007, more than 7,000 paralegals have been licensed, providing Ontarians with professional services and improving access to justice.
The Law Society was pleased to welcome members of the judiciary as special guests. The Honourable George R. Strathy, Chief Justice of Ontario; The Honourable Faith M. Finnestad, Associate Chief Justice of the Ontario of Court of Justice; The Honourable Timothy Lipson, Regional Senior Justice; Her Worship Kathy-Lou Johnson, Senior Justice of the Peace; His Worship Warren G. Ralph, Regional Senior Justice of the Peace; and His Worship Bernard J. Swords, Senior Advisory Justice of the Peace, were present.
Chief Justice Strathy addressed the new paralegals.
“For many members of the public, you will be their primary, possibly their only contact with the legal system,” he said. “You are often the front-line professionals of the legal community. How you perform your responsibilities will shape the public’s perception of our community.”
Treasurer Janet Minor congratulated the new licensees and offered support.
“Let me encourage you to take full advantage of the resources and support available from the Law Society to help you establish your new practice,” Treasurer Minor said. “We are pleased to provide each of you with as much guidance and help as we can to make sure that your new career is a success, and your clients will appreciate legal services provided to them by a trained, competent and ethical professional.”
Bencher Michelle Haigh introduced guests to the Paralegal Standing Committee, of which she is chair, and explained its role in the regulation of paralegals.
She also offered advice and shared how important continuous education has been for her career. “I have been a practising paralegal for 19 years and I continue to learn new things every day. I continuously enroll in programs and online courses that will strengthen my skills in the line of work I do.”
Bencher Haigh encouraged the new licensees to do the same. “You have lots to learn and you have many resources available to help you along the way,” she said. “Strive to make yourself the most educated and professional individual in our profession and this will surely improve your success. Do not limit yourself to the required 12 hours of CPD, and pursue as much knowledge as possible to succeed.”
Benchers Cathy Corsetti, Brian Lawrie, Marian Lippa and Susan McGrath attended the reception.
Women’s Paralegal Association of Ontario president Andrea Sesum and vice president Gerri Camus were also present, as was Ontario Paralegal Association president Stephen Parker.