Law Associations in Halton and Waterloo regions have now included paralegals as full board members
Mr. Mitchell, MBA, is the principal of Parallax Paralegal Services and a licensed paralegal. He reports that on Mar. 21, 2013, the Halton Law Association (HLA), at its Annual General Meeting, amended its constitution to include paralegals as members. The vote in favour of admitting paralegals was not unanimous, but it was “commanding.”
This inclusive measure is the culmination of ongoing discussions with the HLA. It was spearheaded by Laura Oliver, LL.B., the current president. Ms. Oliver, who also sits as a Deputy Judge in the south-central judicial region, believed it was time to get past the traditional angst between lawyers and paralegals in order to unite all providers of legal services in Halton in one organization, Mitchell says.
As one lawyer attendee noted: “Its about time. After all, this is the Halton Law Association, not the Halton Lawyer’s Association.”
The constitution was also amended to provide that at least one position on the Board of Directors be filled by a paralegal, elected by the paralegal members of the association. The membership fee for paralegals has not yet been decided. It is expected that it will include a surcharge to cover use of the Law Library at the Milton court. Paralegals do not pay a LibraryCo surcharge in their LSUC license fees,; those surcharges fund law libraries across the province.
”I hope all paralegals in Halton will take advantage of this opportunity,” Mitchell says. “We have much to gain by adding our voice to that of our lawyer colleagues when dealing with common issues relating to the administration of justice in Halton. I hope that a paralegal of stature will step forward and fill the role of elected paralegal on the HLA executive.”
Those wishing to join should contact Karen Stennet, the law librarian at the Milton Superior Court, for a membership application.
The Advocate Daily reports that the Waterloo Law Association have now included paralegals as full board members.