Candidate bio description
Prior to becoming a paralegal, Barbara had a very successful business which provided marketing solutions to Research In Motion partners globally. Barbara's ability to build and maintain relationships, along with her passion for providing quality service in a timely fashion was instrumental with her companies preferred vendor status at RIM.
Since becoming a paralegal, Barbara has built a reputation of being a passionate paralegal educator who is student focussed and dedicated to the growth of the profession.
What inspired you to run for bencher this year?
I am passionate about the possibilities that the paralegal profession offers to future candidates. As a professor, I have had the pleasure of engaging with amazing students who are capable of meeting and exceeding the expectations of most legal professionals. I am challenged with the fact that these students are all too often graduating, becoming licensed and then within a year or two, they are leaving the profession. Education and competency are addressed in almost every candidate's platform. It is time to make it a priority to get on the agenda at Convocation.
What do you believe is the biggest issue facing the legal profession?
Professional unity. Being a paralegal is not easy. Marketing who and what we are to the public is an area that we must improve on. But, what might be even more important is to ensure that we actively encourage a culture of alignment among paralegals. We need to demonstrate faith in each other's abilities and lead with a professional attitude that shouts that we are proud of who we are and what we do.
What would be your first priority upon election?
We need to encourage mentorship among our membership who are willing to share their skills, knowledge, and expertise. We also need to encourage communication. Regular communication is an integral part of building trust and bridging gaps that may have occurred within our membership.
What do you hope to achieve over the next four years as a member of Convocation?
To get "education" on the agenda. Paralegals have been regulated by the LSO for over 10 years. It is time that we revisit the educational requirements of a paralegal candidate and develop a program that is built to ensure the success of the profession.
I hope to be a part of a positive change that results in a stronger clear definition of who and what paralegals are and where we fit into the access to justice puzzle. Paralegals can play more than a " useful access to justice role in Ontario by providing assistance to individuals who, for various reasons, are unable or unwilling to hire a lawyer."
What's the most pressing concern for the profession in your region of the province?
Access to justice. The tribunals are backlogged. The waiting time in court is significant. Our scope of practice is in jeopardy. The general public does not have a good understanding of who and what a paralegal can do. All of it.
Do you support the requirement to create and abide by a statement of principles?
I support the meaning behind the statement of principles. I believe in the value of ensuring equality, diversity, and inclusion in the legal profession.