Paralegals are licensed legal professionals who are well trained and qualified for their permitted areas of practice, and are usually a more economical choice than hiring a lawyer.
- Paralegals in Ontario must be licensed and are regulated by the Law Society of Upper Canada (just like lawyers).
- Paralegals are required to meet educational and licensing requirements before receiving a license to provide legal services (just like lawyers).
- Paralegals are required to complete annual Continuing Professional Development to keep their skills up to date (just like lawyers).
- Paralegals are required to maintain Professional Liability/Errors and Omissions Insurance (just like lawyers).
- Paralegals are specifically trained and licensed to provide services in Small Claims Court and Administrative Tribunals (not like lawyers).
Although lawyers can practice in the same areas as paralegals, they usually focus on other areas of law and usually have much higher fees. This makes paralegals a more economical choice for matters within their scope of practice.