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Robert Burd

Paralegal Candidates
Robert Burd

Candidate bio description

I have been providing legal services since 1991, licensed since 2008. Board member of the Association of Agents at Court from 1995 -2006, renamed the association to the Institute of Agents at Court with the main focus being to educate paralegal members. Board member of the joint Professional Paralegal Association of Ontario. In 2007 became the president of the renamed Licenced Paralegal Association until amalgamation with the Paralegal Society of Ontario. In 2010, became one of the first five paralegals to be elected to the Law Society. In 2013/14 Co-founded ( with John Tzanis) the Ontario Paralegal Association. In 2014, re-elected as bencher of LSO. 2018, became the Chair of the Paralegal Standing Committee. Made representations for Cory report, Morris Five Year Review, Law Commission report on POA reform (AMPs) Law Commission report on family law reform Member of the association Chief Justice’s POA task force in drafting the guide for self reps.

What inspired you to run for bencher this year?

I have been a bencher for 9 years now and am seeking re-election for a third and final term to complete important work that I played an intricate part in. The implementation of recommendations on the challenges facing racialized licencees. The changes as part of the indigenous review panel. Advancements in mental health. The expansion of the paralegal scope into family law. Making policy changes for Bill C-75 to ensure access to justice to Ontarians by maintaining the scope for law students and paralegals.

What do you believe is the biggest issue facing the legal profession?

Mental health is a bigger issue than many are willing to admit. Challenges facing racialized licensees Access to Justice in family law and summary conviction Licensees competency Reconciliation with indigenous people.

What would be your first priority upon election?

My priority is to have a comprehensive study on paralegal regulation. Paralegals have been regulated now for over 10 years and it’s to to see what works and what doesn’t work and how we can improve.

What do you hope to achieve over the next four years as a member of Convocation?

Over the next four years, I will continue to address access to justice issues in the public interest. I will continue to promote and develop resources for licensees to improve their delivery of legal services. I hope to bridge the gap between the public and the legal professions and the gap between lawyers and paralegals.

What's the most pressing concern for the profession in your region of the province?

Many newly licensed paralegals in the GTA are having difficulty finding employment. They spend anywhere from a year to four years on an expensive education and then are left with that debt and no employment. The root causes have to be looked at.

Do you support the requirement to create and abide by a statement of principles?

I was a member of the ‘Challenges Facing Racialized Licensees ‘ working group so yes I support the Statement of Principles along with all the other recommendations.

Poll Question

What do you see as the top issue that prospective benchers need to address if they are elected?