In a news release dated today, the Law Society of British Columbia has announced approval in principal of three recommendations made in the final report of the Legal Service Providers Task Force, to wit:
- The Law Society and the Society of Notaries Public of British Columbia seek to merge regulatory operations.
- That a program be created by which the legal regulator provide paralegals who have met specific, prescribed education and/or training standards with a certificate that would allow them to be held out as “certified paralegals.”
- That the Law Society develop a regulatory framework by which other providers of legal services could provide credentialed and regulated legal services in the public interest.
The benchers’ support for the recommendations was unanimous.
Law society regulation of paralegals has precedent in Ontario, but the opening of a door to “other providers of legal services” is a step into new territory for Canada.
This is approval in principle, it should be repeated, and there will need to be considerable work on details before actual regulations can be promulgated.
[Hat tip: Malcolm Mercer via the Canadian Legal Ethics email list]