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There is an emerging demand for paralegals in Canada and Ontario as rising populations continue to express a strong need for affordable legal representation and access to the justice system. Accredited by the Law Society of Ontario (LSO), this program qualifies graduates to apply to write the LSO licensing examination, successful completion of which qualifies the graduate to become an LSO member as a professional, licensed paralegal. Paralegals provide legal services within a prescribed scope of practice.
Durham College’s (DC) Honours Bachelor of Paralegal (HBPL) will develop future practitioners who have the requirements to apply to the Law Society of Ontario (LSO) to become a licensed paralegal or apply to law school or graduate studies. The HBPL program is grounded in the disciplinary fields of law and legal studies to help students develop a strong cultural competency lens to support the provision of legal services to diverse populations including immigrants, refugees, Indigenous peoples, women, and 2SLGBTQIA+ clients.
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Durham College (DC) has been granted consent by the Ministry of Colleges and Universities to offer this applied degree for a seven-year term starting October 12, 2022. In conformity with the Minister’s criteria and requirements, DC will submit an application for the renewal of the consent for this program 12 months prior to the expiration of the consent. DC will ensure that all students admitted to this program will have the opportunity to complete the program within a reasonable time frame.
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Developed in response to the growing need for legal representation and access to the justice system, this degree program prepares students with the knowledge, skills and expertise required to work in a variety of legal fields.
The Honours Bachelor of Paralegal (HBPL) program is grounded in the entry-level competencies of a licensed paralegal in Ontario and the complex legal thinking required to practice in court and tribunal proceedings. In Canada, legal services are not exclusively provided by lawyers, there are professions that provide legal services under varying degrees of lawyer supervision, including law clerks, legal assistants and paralegals. In Ontario, Paralegal is established as a licensed and regulated profession that can work independently within a prescribed scope of practice.
Students in the HBPL program explore and examine constitutional law and the Charter, criminal and summary convictions, contracts and tort law, the law of Tribunals, the procedure and practice for small claims court, the theory and strategies of negotiations and mediation, insurance law and employment law.
Courses in this program will provide students with the legal context they require as well as the cultural competency lens to provide legal services to diverse populations including immigrants, refugees, Indigenous peoples, women and people who identify as 2SLGBTQIA+. To best serve their future clients, students will gain an in-depth understanding of human rights claims, disability applications, Immigration and Refugee Board hearings, criminal code offences involving those who have experienced inter-generational trauma and applications involving mental health, housing and financial stability issues.
Through a comprehensive mix of theoretical, research and applied courses, students will apply their knowledge in a mandatory 14-week, 420-hour experiential field placement. Students will be equipped with the knowledge and skills required to successfully apply their expertise and professional practice in a legal setting with the ability to translate theoretical learning to the actual field. DC’s Faculty of Social and Community Services is dedicated to assisting students securing their field placement and supports them throughout the process.
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, course descriptions and delivery formats are subject to change.
More than 75% 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.
Students will have the opportunity to gain work-integrated learning experience in a supervised setting through a 14-week, 420-hour mandatory field placement between the sixth and seventh semesters. Field placement is an integral part of this degree program that allows the integration of fieldwork with academic studies to enable students to better understand the practical application of methods and techniques for organizing activities and working collaboratively in the field.
Please note: There are costs associated with Electronic Student Permit Checking (ESPC), immunizations, lab tests and certifications. Be sure to keep all of your receipts for income tax purposes. These costs include:
It is required that students have completed the ESPC with Verified to be eligible for the field placement component of this program. You must (at your expense) provide:
The Honours Bachelor of Paralegal degree program will develop future practitioners who have the requirements to apply to the Law Society of Ontario (LSO) to become a licensed paralegal or apply to law school or graduate studies.
All eligible applicants to the Honours Bachelor of Paralegal degree program for the upcoming academic year, with a combined minimum non-weighted average of 75 percent and higher, will be considered to receive a first-year entrance award:
For more information, please contact Admission Services.
Dalton Burger is a lawyer and full-time Professor of Law within the Faculty of Social and Community Services at DC. In addition, Professor Burger is a Deputy Judge of the Superior Court of Justice presiding over civil actions. He is also Vice-Chair of the Social Benefits Tribunal. In this executive position, he brings a wealth of leadership and focuses on the most complex legal appeals of social justice cases in Canada. A practising lawyer of over 20 years and a Durham College faculty of over 10 years, he is a champion for access to justice through the use of technology involving virtual court hearings and is fluently bilingual holding hearings in English and French.