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.
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.
Program Learning Outcomes
- Understand the structure, work and organization of the Ontario court system, and of quasi-judicial administrative boards, tribunals and regulatory bodies.
- Understand the principles of law and the formal procedures attached to proceedings initiated by the Crown under the Provincial Offences Act.
- Appreciate the basic principles underlying tort law and the law of contracts, with particular emphasis on areas of permitted practice.
- Appreciate the basic principles underlying a variety of legal processes, including real property law, wills and estates, power of attorney, business organization, construction lien rights and bankruptcy, immigration, and residential tenancy.
- Make effective client representations before courts and administrative boards and tribunals in areas of permitted practice.
- Understand the limitations currently defining areas of practice for client advocates or agents who are not qualified legal practitioners, and the clear lines of demarcation and authority defining areas of unauthorized practice.
- Demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills, and appropriate interpersonal skills in support of client relationships.
- Demonstrate effective administrative and business management skills, including facility in basic accounting techniques and micro-computer applications, office organization and case management, and the ability to develop and implement a realistic business operating plan.
- Appreciate the importance of business ethics and professional responsibility to clients, particularly in a legal environment.