Photo: Paralegal students conducting a mock trial at Herzing College Toronto (2019)
Quick Summary: Get key information on the structure of Herzing's Paralegal diploma program, including student reviews on the quality of the training and overall classroom experience.
Paralegal has become such a popular career in Ontario that we’ve seen dozens of training programs pop up across the province.
There are paralegal diplomas and certificates, ranging from 1-3 years, and a mix of on-campus and online training options.
Herzing College has been offering an accelerated Paralegal diploma program for several years, at campuses in both Toronto and Ottawa.
What do all the paralegal programs have in common? They are all accredited by the Law Society of Ontario. The Law Society regulates paralegal training, so schools must get approval to legally offer the program.
This means that all accredited paralegal diplomas and certificates offer the same core curriculum, as dictated by the Law Society.
But that doesn't mean all programs are identical or created equal.
Things like career services, student reviews, and graduate employment rates vary widely across paralegal programs.
Which brings us to the topic of this post. What’s it really like to take paralegal training at Herzing College? How is this program different and what can you expect in class?
Here’s what you need to know.
Be ready for fast-paced, intensive training
Herzing’s Paralegal diploma program takes just 12 months to complete. It’s one of the quickest training options out there.
Students who enrol in this program are often a bit older. Some already have some post-secondary training and are eager to get working fast.
Most graduates tell us the workload is challenging, but manageable. Students are in class 20 hours per week. Most still find time to work a part-time job while completing the program.
Recent graduate, Majeeda Khan says that despite the busy schedule, she still had time for life outside of school.
“Herzing’s Paralegal program is fast-paced, but we always had time to work on assignments in class. I was able to juggle school, work, and volunteering.
We were always learning something new, and were tested every second week to ensure we understood and stayed on track.”
Accelerated paralegal training isn’t for everyone. It’s important to know up-front that Herzing’s program moves quickly and requires hard work.
No General Education or Elective Courses
One of the reasons Herzing’s diploma is just 12 months long, is that the program doesn’t include any general education or elective courses.
This means you focus only on paralegal topics—material you need to pass the Ontario Paralegal Licensing Exam.
Public colleges (Humber College, for example) include general education and elective courses in their paralegal programs, which makes them longer than 12 months.
It all comes down to your preference. Are you interested in a broader scope of study? Or is quick, targeted training your top priority?
Herzing's Paralegal Program Includes a 4-week internship
Herzing's 12-month Paralegal diploma includes a four-week internship at a law firm or legal department. Four-week internships are standard across all Ontario paralegal programs.
The internship happens toward the end of training, so you can apply what you’ve learned in class and develop new skills on-the-job.
Students have a say in where they do the internship. If you’re really interested in a particular area of law, you can request an internship at a firm that specializes in that field.
For example, Herzing graduate, Sadique Alexander wanted to get experience in personal injury law—an area not covered in Ontario paralegal programs.
So, he requested an internship at Diamond & Diamond LLP, one of the top personal injury law firms in Toronto.
He ended up getting hired there straight after graduation.
“I chose to intern at a firm specializing in an area of law we didn't cover in the program (personal injury).
I made this decision so I could gain more knowledge, and also test how well I could adapt the knowledge and skills I'd learned at Herzing.
After graduation, I was offered a permanent position in the accident benefits department, working exclusively in the area of personal injury.”
How many graduates get hired?
This is another key area where paralegal programs differ. Every year, colleges gather data on how many of their paralegal graduates actually get hired after completing the program.
The result is called a “graduate employment rate.”
It’s an important piece of information that helps schools evaluate the effectiveness of their training. It’s also helpful for prospective students, who can compare these stats when selecting a school.
Obviously, you want to enrol in a paralegal diploma program that has high graduate employment rates. This tells you that local employers trust the quality of the training and feel confident hiring grads.
So what's the graduate employment rate for Herzing’s Paralegal program?
In 2019, our Toronto Paralegal program had an 89% graduate employment rate (based on most recent, available data).
Instructors & Classroom Experience: What do grads say?
Every college has a different school culture, instructors with different teaching approaches, and different classroom atmosphere.
Herzing College is known for small class sizes and personal attention from instructors. Student reviews often focus on the welcoming, no-pressure environment, and highly knowledgeable instructors.
The Paralegal program is no exception. Instructors are licensed paralegals, many of whom also hold advanced degrees and national certifications in related fields—such as Mediation.
In his review of the program, Sadique highlighted a very positive classroom experience:
“The instructors took a genuine interest in my education, making themselves available when necessary to explain things that were unclear.
The curriculum and methodologies used to deliver the course material made it easy to learn and remember. We went beyond theory, and had the chance to apply what we learned in real legal settings.”
Here's how Majeeda Khan described instructors and classmates in her review of the Paralegal diploma program:
“I would rate Herzing's Paralegal program a 9/10. I had 3 different instructors for the program, and each of them was knowledgeable and extremely helpful. My classmates were from all age groups and backgrounds. We ranged from approximately 19 years old to 50 years old!
My favourite part of paralegal training was working with classmates on group projects. I really learned a lot from the others. Getting their point of view on certain topics was helpful for me to understand the legal concepts.
Is Herzing’s Paralegal Diploma Program right for you?
The best way to learn more about this program is by speaking directly with an Admissions Advisor. An Advisor can guide you through the training and answer all your questions.
They will discuss your background, interests, and goals, and whether a paralegal career is a good fit for you.
Information on application requirements, tuition, and financial aid is also available through your Admissions Advisor.
Get started today! Click below to explore Herzing’s 12-month Paralegal Diploma program, and chat live with an Advisor. We’re here to help.