Legal Support Staff
Depending on the nature of your practice, you may find that there is real value in hiring a person who has completed a paralegal or legal assistant program. There are many tasks that they are able to perform and there may be clear economic advantages in delegating certain tasks. However, be aware that proper training and supervision are key to helping you to deliver more efficient, comprehensive, and higher quality legal services.
If you do decide to hire someone with a paralegal or legal assistant diploma, be aware that contrary to some other provinces in the country, the paralegal profession is not regulated in New Brunswick. This means that in New Brunswick, paralegals do not have to meet any standards and are not required to obtain a licence or certification. In New Brunswick, a paralegal working in your office will not be permitted to do any more or any different work than other non-lawyer staff members in your office.
There are limitations to the work staff and legal assistants may do, and before you hire staff, you should understand the scope of tasks they may perform. As a best practice you should take the time to evaluate your staff’s ability to perform the duties you intend to delegate; and, continue to be conscious of your staff’s competency throughout the term of the employment relationship.
Your obligation to protect the public requires you to oversee any work you delegate to non-lawyer staff. It is a sound policy to establish objective criteria to assess whether an employee's training, education, and experience are appropriate for the work you are delegating to them.