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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 76740 Find in a Library
Title: Public Sector Paralegalism - Developments, Trends, Challenges (From Public Sector Paralegalism in Canada Today, P 5-18, 1979 - See NCJ-76739)
Author(s): R Penner
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 14
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: Developments, trends, and chalenges in the use of paralegals in the public sector in Canada are discussed.
Abstract: The reduced access of high-cost legal services to middle and low-income persons shows a growing need for the paralegal as a low-cost legal practitioner to perform routine legal services. The development of and trends in public sector paralegalism are far more significant and innovative than has been the case in the private sector, and they have a much broader rationale than economic influences. Four federally funded legal aid clinics in Canada have been created as models for the future development of the community legal (paralegal) workers. Developments in the use of community legal workers as legal assistants, lay advocates, community organizers, indigenous community leaders, and communicators of legal information have made legal services more accessible to the public than they would otherwise be. Perhaps the most significant role of community legal workers is in the formation and support of local organizations which focus on issues of social and economic injustice. In the recruitment, training, and development of public sector paralegals, a variety of roles may be assigned, including the conventional role of legal assistant; however, it is primarily in their role of helping organize power groups among the poor that the community legal workers demonstrate a new dimension to public legal services. Footnotes are provided.
Index Term(s): Canada; Community action programs; Indigents; Legal aid services; Paralegals
Note: Article based in part on a speech delivered at the National Workshop on Paralegalism, Vancouver, Canada, March 29-31, 1978.
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