Canadian Paralegals

By Wendy Souter

Canadian Paralegals are among the most respected within the profession.  In the Province of Ontario, they work independently provided they are licensed by the Law Society of Ontario.  Working in Ontario as a Paralegal entails completing a program accredited by the Law Society of Ontario.  However, they are restricted with the type of legal services that they can provide to members of the public as the majority of legal services are reserved for Barrister and Solicitors.  

It is not necessary for Paralegals in the other Provinces to become licensed or certified and they work as Paralegals under supervision of Barristers and Solicitors - Paralegals in the Provinces.  

Many university courses last for years and for some experienced personnel looking to change their careers, this may not be a viable option as they all need to continue earning. Qualifying no longer needs to take years for the mature student who wishes to study online. This is where our intensive and fully comprehensive online program makes it all possible. Students can combine their working experience with our Paralegal Courses, fast track their career and qualify in months.  

Paralegals are not able to do the work which are reserved for Barristers and Solicitors and since they mostly work under supervision, they are not required to achieve the same level of competency as Barristers and Solicitors. Their role is to provide lower operating costs, hence the growth in the Paralegal Profession. This continued growth combined with the opportunity to study online is transforming the working lives of many.

With the increasing popularity of online courses, qualifying in Canadian Law has become more convenient. We offer individual modules which can be taken over time to enhance your portfolio. Whether you wish to work as a Paralegal or a Legal Assistant, we have a suitable course for you.

Join those students who have already transformed their careers with this new and exciting opportunity.  

According to the BC PA, "the only way to stand out from the crowd is to study with a reputable college". There is no accreditation system in British Columbia. The only Province which requires Paralegals to be licensed is Ontario. Otherwise, Paralegals work under supervision and employers will look for relevant education and familiarity with Canadian laws and procedures - which we provide.

Recognition of Credentials

Excerpt from the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials

Other than in Ontario, the profession of paralegal is not regulated in Canada. Paralegals are skilled in various areas of law owing to their education, career training and work experience.  Under the guidance of legal practitioners, paralegals perform legally relevant work which includes administrative or management functions requiring sufficient legal knowledge that only a legal practitioner could normally provide.

Assessment and recognition of credentials for the purpose of employment in Canada Fact Sheet No 2

What is the difference between a regulated and a non-regulated occupation?

A "non-regulated" occupation is a profession/trade for which there is no legal requirement or restriction on practice with regard to licences, certificates, or registration. The vast majority of occupations in Canada fall into this category. For some non-regulated occupations, certification/registration with a professional body is available to applicants on a voluntary basis, whereas for other non-regulated occupations there is no certification/registration available at all.

In general, applicants for non-regulated occupations will have to demonstrate to their potential employers that they possess the experience and training required for the job. Even when an occupation is not regulated, employers can still require that an applicant for a job be registered, licensed, or certified with the relevant professional association*.

A "regulated" occupation is one that is controlled by provincial and territorial (and sometimes federal) law and governed by a professional organization or regulatory body. The regulatory body governing the profession/trade has the authority to set entry requirements and standards of practice, to assess applicants' qualifications and credentials, to certify, register, or license qualified applicants, and to discipline members of the profession/trade. Requirements for entry, which may vary from one province to another, usually consist of such components as examinations, a specified period of supervised work experience, language competency, etc. If you want to work in a regulated occupation and use a regulated title, you MUST have a licence or certificate or be registered with the regulatory body for your occupation. Some occupations are regulated in certain provinces and territories and are not regulated in others.

*  Paralegal societies are one option for voluntary students’ membership registration after successfully completing a paralegal course.