Special guests included Attorney General Madeleine Meilleur. She called paralegals a “dedicated and hard-working profession,” making strides in ensuring Ontarians have access to quality legal services. “I hope you will have many clients, and a good life as a paralegal,” she said.
Treasurer Janet Minor told the new licensees that they are now an important part of the legal community, and will help to increase access to justice in the province. “We need you,” Minor said.
This was the first event for paralegal bencher Michelle Haigh, who was recently elected chair of the Paralegal Standing Committee. Haigh outlined the services and supports available through the Law Society, including the Law Society Referral Service. All licensees have access to the Member Assistance Program, for help with everything from quitting smoking, to addiction and mental health services. Haigh urged the paralegals to get involved in the legal community, to participate in educational opportunities, and use resources such as Paralegal Scope Magazine to stay connected to the profession.
The new legal services providers came from across Ontario to attend the event — some from Ottawa, Trenton, Tottenham, Waterloo and Windsor. Twice a year the Law Society of Upper Canada holds a reception for new paralegals.