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Paralegals in the Provinces

The following excerpts on the current status of Paralegals throughout the provinces are from the Paralegal Edu website.

Alberta

At this time, paralegals in Alberta are not regulated, meaning that they do not need to pass an examination or meet minimum training/educational standards to be able to work lawfully as paralegals. Thus aspiring paralegals may begin their careers through on-the-job training or by seeking post-secondary education.  However, paralegals are required to work under the supervision of a lawyer and avoid activities that might be regarded as unauthorized practice of law. For example, paralegals are not permitted to represent people in court. Paralegals may conduct legal research, submit registration documents to the appropriate agencies, and assist with certain types of legal matters, including trial cases, under the supervision of a lawyer.

Education

Although it is possible to find employment that provides on-the-job training, most paralegals obtain post-secondary education in the legal field. Education allows aspiring paralegals to obtain the skills and knowledge they need to perform their job duties competently, and allows job candidates to distinguish themselves from competing candidates. Additionally, increasing numbers of employers are seeking entry-level paralegals that have completed an educational program. Aspiring paralegals can choose from three types of programs: paralegal certificates, paralegal diplomas and paralegal degrees.

British Columbia

Currently, paralegals in British Columbia are not regulated. This means that they are not required to complete a specified educational program nor are they expected to write an exam to become licensed. Aspiring paralegals may pursue entry into the profession through on-the-job training or through paralegal education.

In British Columbia, paralegals may not work independently and must work under the supervision of a lawyer. Paralegals may not practice law, and as such may not represent people in court nor assist them with traffic violations or name changes. However, they may attend certain disputes, such as between a landlord and tenant, as well as attending some categories of tribunals and administrative hearings.

Paralegals in British Columbia sometimes opt to become notaries public or trademark agents in addition to being paralegals. These related professions have their own regulations, but can complement the work of a paralegal.

Education

In British Columbia, the trend is towards education even though on-the-job training is permitted. Employers are increasingly seeking entry-level paralegals that can come into a job with knowledge and skills. Three types of paralegal education programs are available to aspiring paralegals in British Columbia: paralegal certificates; paralegal diplomas and paralegal degrees.

Manitoba

The paralegal profession in Manitoba is not regulated. This means that paralegals are not required to become certified, pass an examination or meet minimum training/educational standards before entering the workforce.  However, paralegals are not permitted to practice law and must work under the supervision of a lawyer. Paralegals may perform work that otherwise would be performed by a lawyer, as long as they are directed to do so by a lawyer. Such duties include interviewing clients, researching legal matters, drafting documents and correspondence, and preparing legal documents.

Education

While some paralegals to find employment that offers on-the-job training, most aspiring paralegals pursue post-secondary education. Education helps prepare paralegals for employment and also allows aspiring paralegals to demonstrate their commitment to the profession. This can give them an edge in a competitive job market. Three types of paralegal training programs are currently available: paralegal certificates, paralegal diplomas and paralegal degrees.

New Brunswick

As a paralegal in New Brunswick you must work under the supervision of a legal professional and take care not to misrepresent yourself as a lawyer, barrister, or solicitor. Paralegals aren’t specifically defined in the province’s Law Society Act of 1996, which stipulates that functions including the practice of law can be done by anyone so long as they are carried out under the supervision of a practicing member of the Law Society of New Brunswick.

Because there are no regulatory hurdles like licenses or certifications you must earn to work as a paralegal in New Brunswick, you’ll need to distinguish yourself even more so professionally.   In a marketplace where anyone can arrange to work under the supervision of a lawyer it’s important to make your résumé as attractive as possible.


This is where earning relevant paralegal education comes into the picture. You can earn certificates, diplomas, and bachelor’s degrees offered throughout Canada and in New Brunswick that will demonstrate a concrete mastery of skills that are critical to working as a paralegal. 

Newfoundland and Labrador

As Newfoundland and Labrador do not regulate the paralegal profession, there are no license or certification requirements for paralegals. The law does require that paralegals be supervised by lawyers. Paralegals are also prohibited from giving legal advice.

Lawyers may delegate substantive legal work to paralegals in their employ. A paralegal’s job duties may include performing legal research, interviewing clients and witnesses, drafting legal documents, and writing correspondence.

Education

In Newfoundland and Labrador, paralegals may be able to find employment without having completed a paralegal education program. However, having a certificate, diploma or degree in paralegal studies can make entry level job candidates more competitive. For someone who is already working as a paralegal, completing an educational program can help advance their career.

Northwest Territories

There is no formal regulation of paralegals in the Northwest Territories or Nunavut.

Nova Scotia

Under the direction of a lawyer, paralegals may perform substantive legal work. A paralegal’s job duties may include: evaluating and submitting documents, performing legal research, interviewing witnesses, drafting correspondence and assisting in court.

Education

Entry level paralegal job candidates may choose to find work that provides on-the-job training or to complete a paralegal education program that will help them be prepared for entry into the job market. Some working paralegals choose to pursue education while working in order to increase their skill level and further their careers. Paralegal education programs include certificate programs, diploma programs and degree programs.

Nunavut

There is no formal regulation of paralegals in the Northwest Territories or Nunavut.

Ontario

Paralegals in Ontario are regulated.  They work independently and are required to become Licensed in order to offer some restricted legal services to members of the public for a fee.  Pre-covid the Law Society did not permit paralegal programs to be delivered online, therefore, our current paralegal programs are not for Ontario.  Students can take the Legal Assistant courses, Business Law courses, Office Administration course.

Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island does not regulate the paralegal profession. There are no entry requirements or examinations that paralegals must complete. However, paralegals must work under the supervision of a lawyer and may not give legal advice.

Paralegals may perform substantive legal work when it is delegated to them by a lawyer. Such work includes legal research, drafting legal documents, interviewing clients and witnesses, evaluating evidence and evaluating the completeness of applications prior to submitting them.

Education

Within an emerging market such as Prince Edward Island, many paralegals may find work without completing a paralegal education program. Instead they will receive on-the-job training. However, once employed they may wish to supplement their training with coursework. As the market grows, paralegals that have completed an educational program may have an advantage over other job candidates. 

Quebec

We do not deliver legal courses specifically for Quebec due to its difference in legal systems.

Saskatchewan

Paralegals in Saskatchewan are not regulated, which means that there are no formal requirements for education, training or examination. Paralegals may find employment that provides on-the-job training or they may choose to complete an educational program prior to beginning their careers.

Legal guidelines in Saskatchewan require that paralegals work under the direct supervision of a lawyer and do not engage in activates that could be construed as unauthorized practice of law. Typical paralegal duties include: conducting interviews with clients and witnesses, preparing legal documents and performing legal research. Paralegals may not offer legal advice.

Education

Although education is not required for finding work as a paralegal, many aspiring paralegals choose to complete paralegal education programs. Not only do paralegal education programs prepare students for employment by ensuring that they have an understanding of the legal system and have learned the basic skills needed to be successful on the job, but they also help students demonstrate their commitment to the profession. These qualities can make job candidates more attractive to employers. There are three types of paralegal education programs open to aspiring paralegals: certificate program, diploma programs and degree programs.