Whether just starting out, thinking about expanding your practice, or winding down, paralegals are always looking for tips and advice on doing things better.
Here are just a few of the practice management resources available to paralegals, to improve client services and ensure compliance with the Law Society of Upper Canada rules, guidelines and regulations.
In the Beginning…
- Guide to Opening Your Practice – The Law Society’s 100-page PDF, with steps, guides and advice.
- Sole Proprietor, PC, Partner, or What? – SCOPE article about current allowable business structures.
- Retainer Agreement/Engagement Letter – Explanation and samples of letters for legal practices, from the Law Society.
- LSUC Bookkeeping Guide – Step-by-step on how to meet the requirements. Updated February 2014.
- How to Open & Operate a Trust Account – This Law Society resource outlines the requirements.
- Contract Work – What to consider, and sample clauses, for contracting-out legal work, or performing work as an agent for another licensee, from the Law Society.
- Paralegal Basic Management Checklist – From client intake to office practices and arranging power of attorney, points to ponder for the new practitioner.
- Contingency Planning for Paralegals – Prepare for the unexpected. This guide offers practical advice for meeting the obligation to have plans in place to deal with life-changing or interrupting events.
- LIFE – Legal Information for Everyone – Use these eight “toolbox” modules to offer Public Legal Education (PLE) sessions to the public. Each module includes a video, checklists, handouts and information sheets with tools for delivering relevant and engaging legal information sessions to the public. Included: housing and employment law sessions.
Resources for More-Established Practices:
- Technology podcasts — LSUC staff recorded informative snippets on such hot topics as cloud regulations, tech audits, smart phone security, texting and wireless security.
- Great Library Research Guides – How to use various resources.
- How-To Briefs – Includes the steps in a civil claim, and conducting a criminal matter.
- Avoiding debt-collection scams – includes list of known bad-actors.
- Avoiding Claims – PracticePro articles and tip sheets
- Business Plans – Plan and budget samples to download.
- Mentoring – Handbook, tips.
- Retainer Agreements – Engagement and non-engagement sample letters and explanations.
Questions, Problems, Winding Down
- Practice Management Helpline – The Law Society maintains a confidential telephone service to help paralegals interpret their obligations under the Rules of Professional Conduct and Paralegal Rules of Conduct. It can offer insight into Law Society regulations, as well as ethical and practice management issues. Call: 416-947-3315 or 1-800-668-7380 extension 3315.
- Paralegal Guide to Closing Your Practice – Before moving on, paralegals must meet requirements to protect their clients.