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Law Society Aims to Make Legal Services More Affordable for the Public

The Law Society of B.C. has approved a task force report that says the legal regulator should merge with the Society for Notaries Public of B.C. and expand the use of credentialed paralegals to allow access to legal services to be more affordable for the public. 

“The changes are going to help access to justice tremendously,” said Art Vertlieb, president of the law society. 

Since the mid-70s, paralegals have been providing legal aid service in B.C. for minor legal tasks and legal aid to meet criminal and civil legal information needs.  They are also used for poverty law services such as welfare, EI appeals and landlord-tenant disputes.  These are areas that lawyers traditionally don’t practice or are too expensive for consultation.

Ontario has a system in place for paralegals that offer legal services in small claims courts and Ontario courts of justice.  These paralegals are regulated, carry practice insurance and consult on matters under the Provincial Offences Act, Highway Traffic Act, in a summary conviction court under the Criminal Code and before various tribunals handling landlord/tenant and workers benefits cases. 

With the current B.C. system, the costs involved with providing legal services and the expense of the courts makes it difficult for the poor and middle classes to afford to defend or assert their rights, causing serious justice issues. [1]

For more information of this topic, please visit the original article here.

 

Derek May, HUB International PROFESSIONAL
 
HUB International PROFESSIONAL LAWYERS’ specialists are based in Vancouver and are focused on delivering the best coverage, best value and best service, with winning solutions for small, medium and large firms.

[1] Ian , Mulgrew. "Ian Mulgrew: Law society pushes for allowing notaries, paralegals to expand legal services." The Vancouver Sun. The Vancouver Sun Columnist, 09 December 2013. Web. 11 Dec 2013. <http://www.vancouversun.com/Mulgrew society pushes allowing notaries paralegals expand legal services/9266547/story.html>.

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