If elected, I intend to concentrate on working for greater access to justice for the public, and greater access for Law Society members to the deliberations of the governing body.
For the Public:
Paralegal licensing was, in part, established to promote access to justice. Yet a major paralegal barrier continues to be a lack of knowledge about how we can help. Giving paralegals the right to commission oaths is a good first step. To further increase public access to justice, paralegals should also be entitled to accept Legal Aid Certificates, particularly as many lawyers do not. I will encourage the Law Society to seek this change and to promote it.
For Law Society Members:
Good governance is based on accurate representation of the electorate. The Law Society greatly improved its members’ access to continuing education through webcasting. In my opinion it is now time to apply this technology to improving members’ access to the Society’s governance. I believe that allowing members to see the deliberations at Convocation would foster greater interest in, and understanding of, the decisions taken at Convocation, leading to a more engaged membership. For these reasons I will work to ensure that Convocation is webcast.
For the Profession
Increase Lawyers’ Knowledge of Paralegals’ Scope of Practice:
There are still lawyers unsure of the skills of paralegals, categorizing them in the same skill set as law clerks. I will seek ways for lawyers and paralegals to work together toward common goals, to improve the efficiency of both.
Revising paralegal education and accreditation is a work in progress. Having graduated from a public college with a semester system, and having taught at a private college with a modular system, I know the strengths and weaknesses of both. I also work with paralegal candidates during and after their placement hours and am thoroughly familiar with the challenges faced by those entering our profession. I pledge to continue working to improve paralegal preparation.
This experience – teaching, mentoring and starting my own business – provides me with the background to effectively represent our paralegal members.
Meet Tami in Ottawa, Wed., Feb. 26, at an informal meet-the-Ottawa-area-candidates event hosted by Algonquin Career Academy.
Fri. March 7, 5 – 7 pm
Algonquin Career Academy, Mississauga
For Paralegal Program alumni
Speakers scheduled: Tami Cogan, Paula Callaghan, Brian Lawrie, Michelle Haigh, Cathy Corsetti
Return to Meet the Candidates Page