The regulatory scheme set out in the Law Society's By-Law 4 permits paralegals to practise in what were already permitted areas of practice. Subsection 6 (2) authorizes licensed paralegals to represent someone:
A person with a paralegal licence can do the following in the course of representing a client in any of the above-mentioned proceedings:
Paralegals are not permitted to appear in Family Court and may not provide legal services that only a lawyer may provide, such as drafting wills or handling real estate transactions or estates.
ALL paralegals need a license; anyone in Ontario who provides legal services requires a licence, unless they are exempted under the Law Society Act or section 30 of By-Law 4.
Bill C-35, an Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act came into force on June 30, 2011 and paralegals who are licensed by the Law Society are now eligible to provide certain legal services in the field of immigration law. Paralegals who are licensed by the Law Society can appear before the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) to represent a client or clients in an IRB hearing, and can provide legal services to clients for matters relating to an IRB hearing. Drafting of documents or other legal services practices that are not related to an IRB hearing remain outside of a Paralegal’s scope of practice. For additional information, paralegals are encouraged to consult the Law Society Bylaw 4, section 6 (2)2(iv) on this matter.
The Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA); is the law that governs Canada's youth justice system. It came into force on April 1, 2003, completely replacing the previous Young Offenders Act (1984-2003). The YCJA provides the legislative framework for a fairer and more effective youth justice system. While the YCJA applies the Criminal Code to youth criminal justice proceedings, the YCJA is a separate and distinct federal law governing the youth justice system.
P1 licensees, Paralegals, who are licensed by the Law Society of Ontario, cannot represent youth in proceedings under the YCJA.
Bylaw 4 section 6 2(iii) only provides that paralegals may represent a party before a summary conviction court and only in the case of a proceeding under the Criminal Code.
Consequently, the provision of legal services before proceedings in a Youth Justice Court under the YCJA remain outside of a Paralegal’s scope of practice.
For additional information, paralegals are encouraged to consult the Law Society’s By-Law 4 section 6 (2) (iii) on this matter.
Staff of collection agencies, working in the normal course of debt collection, do not need a licence to carry on that work.
However, drafting pleadings for a case in Small Claims Court or appearing in Small Claims Court constitutes the provision of legal services and can only be performed by a person licensed by the Law Society of Ontario, operating through a permitted business structure.
People who merely serve documents are not providing legal services. Process servers who serve documents for their employers can continue to do so without obtaining a paralegal licence, as long as they are not making decisions about what documents to serve, how to serve the documents and on whom to serve the documents. People who perform these latter actions are providing legal services and will require a licence.
Jaclyn provides full legal services as permitted by the parameters of her P1 license, including drafting, court processing, court appearances, tribunal representation, and process serving. The Law Society of Ontario ensures that licensed paralegals are:
Jaclyn is, Lawfully Yours!