Unlicensed paralegals are assistants specifically trained to assist lawyers in their practice.
According to the Canadian Association of Paralegals, which offers training, networking opportunities and a job board for members, opportunities in the paralegal profession have doubled since the 1990s.
Licensed paralegals may appear in court and offer limited law services as recognized by the Law Society of Upper Canada.
Unlicensed paralegals are assistants specifically trained to assist lawyers in their practice, and may be called law clerks or legal assistants. Paralegals supervised by an attorney do not require a license, and may not appear in court or before a tribunal.
Your day-to-day tasks will include:
- Drafting documents for proceedings
- Negotiating on behalf of clients at a proceeding
- Representing clients in authorized courts
- Drafting documents under a lawyer’s supervision
- Conducting legal research
What Do I Need To Start With:
Applicants seeking licensure must meet the “good character requirement” as outlined in the Law Society Act. Paralegal programs generally require a minimum of Grade 12 education.
What Will I Study:
Paralegal programs are offered throughout Canada. Ontario is the only province that requires paralegals to be licensed after graduation.
What Else Do I Need:
In Ontario, the Law Society of Upper Canada licenses paralegals through an exam. Licensed paralegals are regulated and disciplined in a way similar to lawyers. They must participate in Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activities such as teaching and seminars and carry professional liability insurance.
Other provinces do not regulate or license paralegals.
Where The Jobs Are:
Self employment. There are also jobs working in all levels of government, law and paralegal firms, large corporations, courts, and financial institutions.