Difference Between Our Paralegal Course And A 2-Year Program

Article by Wendy Souter, Course Director, Online Training College of Law

Our courses are specialized courses that build on the knowledge and skills already acquired within the workplace and not necessarily within the legal sector. 

  1.     We do not offer degree courses.  Our qualifications are Diplomas or Certificate levels.
  2.     Paralegals are not being employed as cheaper replacements for Barristers and Solicitors so their level of competency does not need to equate     with that of qualified lawyers. 
  3.     Paralegals can specialize in one area of law, therefore, we do not insist that they cover a myriad of law subjects at once. We concentrate on     the most popular law subjects enabling them to start their careers sooner.  Should they wish, at a later stage, to expand their practise area,     they can always add-on law subjects to their existing portfolio.


Paralegals are assistants to lawyers and they work under their supervision.   The paralegal profession in Canada remains unregulated, therefore accreditation or licensing is not a requirement.  One exception is within the province of Ontario, which grants Paralegals a licence to operate independently.   All other provinces do not require Paralegals to become licensed but they must be able to show sufficient competency either from previous legal work experience or from having a Paralegal Diploma or Paralegal Certificate.  

Paralegals are not required to cover all aspects of Law. They are not required to complete a law degree.  They are employed to have specific legal knowledge in order to perform legal duties relating to legal research, court applications, client care, carry out legal searches and registrations, legal aid applications and so on. It is imperative that their studies include foundations of law and procedural law.

Although Paralegals are employed to provide lower operating legal costs, they are not being employed as a cheaper alternative to Barristers and Solicitors but their legal expertise in any subject they chose to specialize in, must be comprehensive.

The Law covers Law of Contract, Law of Tort, Criminal Law, Civil Law, Employment Law, Taxation Law, Environmental Law, Consumer Law, Property Law, Administrative Law, Family Law, Human Rights, Corporate Law, the list is endless. A Paralegal does not have to cover all these areas which would certainly take the better part of a 2-year program.

We offer courses in Principles of Canadian Law covering the Canadian Legal System, Criminal Law, Civil Law, Law of Tort, Law of Contract, Procedural Law in Conveyancing, Criminal Litigation, Civil Litigation, Matrimonial and Corporate Law.   In addition, we offer Legal Skills and Techniques which are totally necessary for a practising Paralegal covering:

Business Awareness
Communication Skills
Managing & Working with Others
Legal Research
Self Awareness
Workload Management
Clients’ Relations
Interviewing Skills
Negotiating Skills
Professional Conduct
Legal Writing
Legal Drafting