There are a number of rules, policies and codes to follow paralegals must follow. Aside from possessing a sense of professionalism, paralegals also must establish a sense of advocacy for clients and a duty to the law as a whole. While aspiring paralegals may feel like they have to alter their lifestyles, most have already discovered a passion for law and political justice overall.
Guidelines of Conduct
Integrity is one of the essential qualities that a paralegal must possess. No matter who they are dealing with, whether lawyers, clients or colleagues, they should be honest and have a strong set of principles. It's easy to gauge a person's character by their actions, and if a client senses dishonesty, it can severely damage the paralegal's reputation as well as their employer's.
These traits are also important when paralegals move on to new jobs or different employers where they may encounter cases involving clients they've worked with in the past. While the chance of this occurring may sound slim, it does happen and these workers have to follow a certain set of rules to make sure that they maintain their honest character. The firm will likely be cautious to speak of the case in front of the paralegals, but it is best for these new workers to demonstrate that they have no intention of getting involved, as they know it is a situation of moral ethics.
This scenario is actually called an "ethical wall," which involves screening the paralegal to protect clients from a conflict of interest. While it may feel like a sort of punishment, paralegals who practice good ethics will likely understand the seriousness/gravity of the situation and follow the rules as requested by their particular firm.
Just as paralegals should be loyal to their clients, they should also understand their duty to the province's laws as a whole. This responsibility includes reporting unethical information that they might receive from coworkers, even if they think it could cost them their jobs. Reporting misconduct is a rule that essentially every legal society of Canada asks its workers to do, no matter what the circumstance.