Accredited by the Law Society of Ontario (LSO), this program qualifies graduates to apply to write the LSO’s licensing examination, successful completion of which qualifies the graduate to become an LSO member as a professional, licensed paralegal. Unique to Ontario, the paralegal profession was established to provide affordable legal representation and access to the justice system for people who find themselves facing charges under provincial law or some Criminal Code provisions; those who require legal assistance in dealing with government agencies and tribunals in areas such as human rights, social assistance, immigration and workers compensation; and those who are embroiled in disputes involving residential tenancies or small claims court.
Whether you provide paralegal services in your own professional capacity, as a member of a law or paralegal firm, or as an employee of a government agency, your passion and integrity combined with extensive skills and knowledge, will make you the ideal legal representative for those challenged by the law.
If you do not have the requisite undergraduate diploma or degree, you will be required to submit additional documentation.
Applicants whose first language is not English or who are internationally educated in a non‐English speaking country must meet Durham College’s English Language Proficiency Policy.
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To help students succeed in programs with remote learning requirements, Durham College’s IT Services department has identified minimum technology recommendations. While these are not program requirements, these suggestions will help ensure students have the right tools to support a quality remote learning experience.
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Durham College is offering new and exciting ways to complete your education. Starting September 2022, the Law Society of Ontario has approved Durham College to offer up to 35% of classes in the Paralegal Programs online during a two year pilot project. As a result, students will be required to have access to a computer with video and audio. Please see the link for Tech Recommendations for further suggestions.
This program is accredited by the Law Society of Ontario (Law Society), the regulatory body governing professional paralegals in the province, and meets its rigorous competencies for paralegals. It will prepare you for the Law Society’s paralegal licensing examination, which graduates are eligible to write, and is designed to provide the specialized knowledge and skills required to independently provide legal services as a professional, licensed paralegal or work as a paralegal under the supervision of a lawyer.
The graduate certificate program is also designed specifically for individuals who have a degree or diploma consisting of law-related courses or three to five years of legal-related experience. Upon licensing by the Law Society, you will be able to provide legal services within authorized areas of practice.
Graduates who successfully complete the Law Society of Ontario’s Licensing Examination are recognized as Professional Licensed Paralegals and are afforded the privilege of providing legal services in prescribed areas of law before many courts and tribunals in Ontario, such as Small Claims Court, Provincial Offences Court, Criminal Summary Conviction matters, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, and the Landlord and Tenant Board, to name a few. Graduates may also find employment in law firms, working under the supervision of a licensed lawyer or paralegal, immigration and refugee law, as well as in several organizations approved by the LSO in By-Law #4.
Furthermore, Graduates may decide to continue their education and achieve further academic credentials. For example, they may apply to the College’s Law Clerk Advanced Fast Track Program and, after completing four courses during a Spring/Summer semester, become enrolled in the 3rd year of the 3 year Law Clerk Advanced Program, successful completion of which would see the student achieve both a Paralegal Diploma and Law Clerk Advanced Diploma in 3 years. In addition, there are many favourable “bridging” opportunities to Universities at which graduates can achieve a university degree in a condensed period of time.
The Paralegal Program offers pro bono (no cost) student representation for matters before the Social Security Tribunal (“SST”). If you are seeking assistance with your SST appeal, please contact Kandace.BondWileman@DurhamCollege.ca.
The courses listed below are for incoming students. If you are a current student, please refer to your program of study for the year you began your program. Your program of study can be found on MyDC.
Courses and course descriptions are subject to change. Please note that as a result of COVID-19 the 2023-2024 program of study may be modified to accommodate program delivery changes.
More than 50% of this program is delivered in-person.
The rest of the coursework will be delivered using hybrid, flexible or online formats. Students will come to campus to complete in-person learning requirements.Detailed schedules, with course-specific delivery information, will be available after registration. Courses, course descriptions and delivery formats are subject to change.
Your learning experience will be complemented by a 120-hour field placement with a licensed paralegal or lawyer, in a government, court or law firm setting. This field placement will provide you with practical, hands-on experience and the opportunity to apply the theories and concepts learned in the classroom.
Project Lord Ridgeback (PLRB) is multi-disciplinary experiential learning exercise that simulates a local disaster. Interacting with actors who play victims, casualties, emotionally distressed persons and the elderly in a staged, choreographed event, students from a wide range of programs learn by acting and responding as they would in real emergencies. Subject matter experts design injects into disaster-related scenarios which simulate authentic workplace demands.
Following the mock disaster, students participate in follow up exercises to apply learning in mock court testimony, critical incident stress debrief, crime-scene lab work, and form completion specific to their program areas.
Student participants are from a wide range of DC programs including: Practical Nursing, Primary Care Paramedic, Police Foundations, Protection Security & Investigation, Paralegal, 911 Call Centre Communications, Advanced Law Enforcement and Investigations, Journalism Mass Media Program, Social Service Worker, Activation Co-ordination – Gerontology, Court Support Services.
Qualified graduates can apply to Durham College’s Law Clerk Advanced fast-track program (three semesters), the successful completion of which provides them with a Law Clerk Advanced diploma (in addition to the Paralegal diploma). Other related Durham College programs include Advanced Law Enforcement and Investigations; Court Support Services; Mediation – Alternative Dispute Resolution; Victimology; and Youth Justice and Interventions.
To help students have the best remote learning experience possible, Durham College’s IT Services department has identified technology recommendations for each program based on course needs and software requirements. Students may want to consider these suggestions if they are purchasing a computer or laptop for the upcoming academic year.
Storage: 256GB SSD
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 Professional or Education x64 SP1
Internet Browser: Internet Explorer 11 or Google Chrome (newest version) or Firefox (newest version)
Network Adapter: 802.11ac 2.4/5 GHz wireless adapter
Camera: Webcam/built-in camera
Questions regarding technology recommendations can be directed to the IT Service Desk or the school office.