Paralegals are an integral part of the Canadian legal system. They play an important and active role throughout the legal process. Also known as legal assistants, they assist solicitors, attorneys and judges inside or outside the court, depending upon their employment. They have in-depth understanding of the Canadian legal system; are well-versed in legal procedures’ have ability to thrive under pressure and meet deadlines; possess strong analytical, communication and interpersonal skills; are problem solvers and quick decision makers; are comfortable with research tasks; and are highly organized with an ability to plan and prioritize.

The job of paralegals is quite challenging. But at the same time, it is interesting as they deal with diverse situations and come across with different cases most of the times. Moreover, research work involved in each case makes the job more interesting. However, paralegals sometimes may require working extra hours to meet the deadlines. Their job may involve travelling to client or witness’s locations, depending upon the situation. But no matter what, at the end of the day they help people in dealing with tough situations and make difference in their lives.

Becoming a Paralegal in Canada

If you are interested in becoming a paralegal and figuring out how to become one, here is the complete process. Getting into a paralegal program is the first step in this direction. You don’t need a four-year degree to begin your career. Rather you can consider a one-year graduate certification program and quickly get to the world of work.

Centennial College’s paralegal course provides you with the knowledge and skills required to work as a paralegal. You can also avail an experiential learning opportunity through field placement. It exposes you to realistic work environments and prepares you for industry expectations.

The program typically runs through three semesters and covers a wide range of subjects, including Introduction to the Canadian Legal System, Legal Research/Writing, Torts and Contracts, Legal Computer Applications, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Administrative Law, Advocacy, Evidence and Litigation Process, Communication/Writing, Ethics and Professional Responsibility, Tribunal Practice and Procedure, Small Claims Court and Provincial Offences/Motor Vehicle Offences. Additionally, field placements allow you to receive much required hands-on experience.

The Law Society of Upper Canada License Examination

The second step towards achieving your career goal is to write the mandatory LSUC (The Law Society of Upper Canada) licensing examination. Completing this is a mandatory requirement to practice as a paralegal in Ontario.

Centennial’s Paralegal Program Toronto prepares you for writing this exam. Upon graduation, you’re eligible to write the mandatory exam from the Law Society. During this program, you also learn to use technology systems, such as PC Law, Quicklaw, and other paralegal research tools that support paralegal objectives.

Career Outlook

Once you pass this examination, you will be able to find employment with law firms, community legal service, government, self-employed solicitors, insurance firms, collection agencies and corporations, in the areas of Highway Traffic Act offences, tribunals, small claims court, and provincial/minor criminal offences.