Back to Navigation

Frequently Asked Questions - Practice Reviews

  • How are Reviews being conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic?

    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic Practice Review has been conducting reviews via our Remote Review Program. Licensees are contacted by telephone to discuss the review process and to set up a time for the review. Licensees are then provided with a detailed written request to provide required documentation via an encrypted file sharing program, and the review subsequently takes place with the licensee via a teleconferencing service such as Zoom or Teams. In all other respects reviews remain the same.

  • Why did the Law Society implement the Practice Review (formerly Practice Audit) component of the program?

    Convocation approved the program as an integral part of assuring the continuing competence of paralegals.

    The program is intended to be proactive and to assist paralegals in strengthening their practice management skills. Our Reviewers work closely with the paralegal to provide personalized guidance aimed at helping the paralegal correct deficiencies with their systems before they result in serious non-compliance, competence or misconduct issues. The approach is first and foremost remedial in nature.

    However, if serious misconduct is observed, Reviewers, like all licensees, are obliged under the Rules of Professional Conduct/Paralegal Rules of Conduct, to report that misconduct.

  • How are paralegals chosen to participate in the program?

    Any licensee holding a Class P1 license  may be randomly selected to participate.

  • How many Practice Reviews are conducted annually?

    Approximately 240 P1 licensees are selected annually to  participate in a Practice Review.

  • Will all paralegals be reviewed?

    No. Only those paralegals in private practice will be included in the pool of potential  candidates.

  • Does it make a difference if I am a sole practitioner or if I work in Firm?

    No. Any P1 licensee in private practice can be randomly selected to participate regardless of the size of the firm.

  • What are the benefits for paralegals who have been selected for a Practice Review?

    Selected paralegals will receive personalized guidance aimed at helping them to address and correct practice deficiencies. Reviewers assist paralegals in identifying possible efficiencies in their practice, which should lead to a better run and more effective practice. These impacts may also:

    • Assist you in identifying improvements to client communication and service
    • Assist you in improving client satisfaction
    • Assist you in reducing or preventing client complaints and negligence claims
    • Help sustain interest in and enjoyment of the practice of law
  • What are the possible outcomes of a Practice Review ?

    Outcomes include: closing the file, follow-up activities, follow-up review, Proposal Order, or referral for regulatory action.

  • Will a Practice Review affect my standing with the Law Society Referral Service (LSRS)?

    If you are found to not be meeting required  standards of competence in the course of a Practice Review, then you will not be permitted to become or remain a member of the LSRS until you have satisfied the Law Society that you are meeting required standards of professional competence.

  • How will I know that I have been selected for a Practice Review?

    You will be contacted by the Reviewer and a date for the review will be determined in conjunction with you.

    The Reviewer will provide you with a list of documents and other information that must be available for the Reviewer to assess.

    Pre-arranged appointments offer several advantages. They provide you with the opportunity to block dedicated time for the attendance and allow you to begin a process of self-assessment and reflection on your current approaches to practice management.

  • How much will I have to pay if I am selected?

    There is no fee payable by paralegals selected for a random Practice Review.

  • How long will the Practice Review take?

    On average, a Practice Review attendance will take a full day.

  • How much time will I have to implement any recommendations?

    This may depend on the nature of the recommendation, as certain issues identified may have to be corrected immediately, however on average you will have approximately six months.

    Depending on the matters identified by the Reviewer, a follow-up review might be required following the six-month period.

  • What if I am an associate or employee of a firm and the Reviewer identifies deficiencies in firm-wide systems?

    If the Reviewer has concerns about processes or procedures which are beyond the scope of your responsibility, firm management will be provided with that information directly.

  • What will the Reviewer be looking for?

    The Reviewer will be assessing practice management, focusing on such areas as:

    • Client Service and Communication
    • File Management
    • Legal Knowledge
    • Time Management
    • Billing/Fees & Disbursements
    • Use of Technology
Terms or Concepts Explained