What is a Paralegal?

Paralegals are licensed to represent businesses and the general public in:

  • Small Claims Court
  • Ontario Court of Justice under the Provincial Offences Act
  • Summary conviction offences where the maximum penalty does not exceed 6 months imprisonment
  • Administrative tribunals eg. the Financial Services Commission of Ontario, Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB), Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB).

Note: Paralegals can not work in the areas of Family Law, Real Estate or Estates/Wills.

Paralegal vs. Lawyer

There are several reasons to choose a paralegal over a lawyer.

One of the main reason (s) is Paralegals are significantly less expensive than those of lawyers, making them a good alternative for people whose legal needs fall within the scope of services provided by paralegals, and who cannot afford lawyers’ fees.

Most paralegals are one person operations and therefore the cost of conducting business is can be lower. The majority of paralegals will operate on a flat rate charge with the total cost being paid upfront.

Another reason for choosing a paralegal over a lawyer is the one on one relationship between clients and their legal representative.
As stated earlier, most paralegal work as one (1) person operation and therefore when contacting them, you will converse with your legal representative, who will receive your information first hand and not second hand. The cost of talking with most paralegal is already included in your costs.

Note: Paralegals can not notarize any documents.

Paralegals handle:

  • Small Claims Court matters
  • Landlord/Tenant matters
  • Statutory Accident Benefit claims and insurance files
  • WSIB hearings
  • Employment Insurance appeals
  • Highway Traffic Act offences
  • Disability appeals and appearances before all Boards and Tribunals