The Limited License Pilot aims to enhance access to legal services for underserved Saskatchewan individuals through the licensing of alternative (non-lawyer) legal service providers balanced with ensuring public protection.
The Law Society is not creating an entirely new professional group with a robust regulatory structure but is considering how to extend a limited authority to practice law to alternative (non-lawyer) legal service providers on a case-by-case basis through limited licensing. There are context-specific needs that can be serviced by alternative (non-lawyer) legal service providers operating within a specific, individualized scope of practice reflecting the knowledge, training, and experience of the service provider or group of service providers.
As the granting of a limited license to practice law is a novel approach to legal regulation in Canada, a new licensing system needs to be developed. The development of the limited licensing system involves consultation and a Pilot to support the advancement of appropriate rules and regulation.
An application form is available here. Please review the parameters and Frequently Asked Questions carefully before applying.
Please refer to the information on the Legal Services Task Team.
The granting of a limited license to practice law is a unique approach to legal regulation. Other jurisdictions in Canada have taken different approaches to enhance access to legal services, such as the regulation of paralegals. The Task Team did not recommend the creation of a new class of service providers, with a robust regulatory structure like the regulation of paralegals in Ontario. The Task Team determined this model was too complex and would be too costly to develop without assurances that there would be a sufficient number of service providers.
There were significant amendments to The Legal Profession Act, 1990, (the Act) which were proclaimed into force on January 1, 2020. The overall effect of these amendments is to facilitate the Law Society’s shift towards a more modern approach to regulation. Please see this post for more information. In order to accommodate the changes to the Act, amendments were required in some areas of the Law Society Rules. Amended Rules came into effect January 1, 2020. Please see this post for a summary of the changes.
The Legal Profession Act, 1990 includes a definition of the practice of law in section 29.1:
29.1 The practice of law is the application of legal principles and judgment with regard to the circumstances or objectives of another entity or person that require the knowledge and skill of a person trained in the law, and includes the following:
(a) giving advice or counsel to others with respect to their legal rights or responsibilities or the legal rights or responsibilities of others;
(b) drafting or completing legal documents or agreements that affect the legal rights of an entity or person;
(c) representing another entity or person in any of the following:
(i) a court;
(ii) a formal administrative adjudicative proceeding;
(iii) a formal dispute resolution process;
(iv) any other administrative adjudicative proceeding in which legal pleadings are filed or a record is established as the basis for judicial review;
(d) negotiating legal rights or responsibilities on behalf of another entity or person.
Section 30 of The Legal Profession Act, 1990 (the Act) details authority to practice law and identifies that no persons other than members who hold a licence shall:
(a) practise law in Saskatchewan; or
(b) hold themselves out as, or represent themselves to be, persons who may practise law in Saskatchewan.
Section 31 of the Act details exceptions to unauthorized practice and the Law Society has adopted Rule 1002(1) identifying certain groups who are exempted from unauthorized practice provisions, and in the public interest, may provide limited legal services without becoming a licensed lawyer. These exemptions are listed here.