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Family Law Action Plan

The Law Society is implementing the Family Law Action Plan to improve access to justice for Ontario families. The plan includes the following action items. Click on each point for more information. 

  • Develop a licensing framework for appropriately licensed paralegals and others to provide certain family law services

    Licensing framework

    The Law Society is developing a licence to permit appropriately licensed paralegals and others to assist the public with certain family legal services.

    The Law Society is assessing what legal services, including advocacy, would be in the public interest for apporpriately licensed paralegals and others to offer.

    Collaborative development process

    The development process for the new licence is based on the same model used to develop and maintain our current lawyer and paralegal licensing systems. Involvement of legal professionals, including the family law bar and paralegals is essential. Psychometricians are also assisting with the process to ensure the requirements are rigorous and defensible.

    The Law Society is currently consulting with a diverse cross-section of family law practitioners, paralegals and other stakeholders. These discussions will assist in defining the knowledge, skills, and abilities that will form the basis of the required education and testing components for the licence.

     

  • Support and promote the expanded use of unbundled legal services and legal coaching
  • Consider experiential training for lawyer candidates in the licensing process
    The Law Society is committed to exploring how lawyer licensing candidates may provide supports for the delivery of family law services under appropriate supervision.  This initiative is being considered as part of the Dialogue on Licensing, the Law Society’s current review of the lawyer licensing process.
  • Review the conduct rules to help clarify the legal information that may be provided to unrepresented litigants by court staff
  • Background

    Convocation (the Law Society’s board of directors) approved the Family Law Action Plan, in principle, at its December 2017 meeting.

    The action plan was developed in response to the 21 recommendations outlined in the Family Legal Services Review and in consideration of the over 160 submissions received from individuals and organizations