Herzing instructor Paula Callaghan has long been a key figure in the Ontario paralegal industry.
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Paralegal training is a massively popular program for Ontario students who want legal careers—but don't want to spend years at university and law school.Many paralegal programs can be completed in just 12 months. And paralegals enjoy a special status in Ontario: they're allowed to advise and represent clients in several contexts.
Students are attracted to the idea of running their own legal practices, taking on challenging cases, and truly helping clients who would otherwise struggle to afford representation.
Having a range of employment options is also appealing. Graduates find work in government, private practice, in-house legal teams, law firms, lobby groups, and community organizations.
So, given the benefits of becoming a paralegal, it's no surprise that this field has become quite competitive in recent years.
In order to be successful, students need certain core strengths—a natural skillset that will help them excel in training, and build strong careers over the long term.
What skills and traits do we look for in applicants to our paralegal program? Explore the top 5 and see if you're a good fit.
Updated June, 2021.
Toronto is an excellent place to start a legal career. The city is a major hub for law firms, lobby groups, community organizations and businesses, offering a wide range of employment options for a variety of legal professionals.
Becoming a lawyer is not your only option. Toronto is full of successful paralegals, law clerks, legal assistants, and immigration consultants.
Which path should you choose?
In this post, we’re breaking down the main differences between two very popular professions: paralegal and law clerk (or legal assistant).
Understand what these roles entail, and key distinctions between training requirements, job descriptions, where you can work, and licensing rules.
Get a clearer idea of which legal career is right for you and exactly how to get started.
Everyone wants to find a career that is both professionally and personally rewarding. We all want to strike that perfect balance between financially stability, and feeling inspired to go to work each day.
This is what motivates us to seek out training, find our "tribe", and apply for jobs that deliver a sense of meaning along with a steady paycheck.
If you're considering a paralegal career, you're probably aiming for that very same goal. As you flip through program brochures, or talk to people you know in the legal field, you're thinking about whether this is truly your ideal path.
Whether you open your own paralegal practice, or work under a supervising attorney, conducting client interviews will be a key part of your paralegal career.
Solid interviewing skills are crucial for several reasons. The way you prepare for and conduct each interview influences the quality of information you gather, the trust you instill in clients—and even the likelihood of earning good recommendations and referrals.
In Ontario, the paralegal profession is very attractive to students who are naturally interested in the law, motivated to help others—and perhaps have dreams of launching their own legal practice.
But other than the drive to make a difference, and an interest in our legal system, what else should students consider before choosing this training path? What other attributes, characteristics, and skills will they need to actually be successful as paralegals?
Paralegals in Ontario are non-lawyer agents who are licensed to provide certain legal services to members of the public. Paralegals can handle quite a broad range of legal matters, making this career path particularly challenging and rewarding.
According to market research conducted by the Canadian government, demand for paralegal services has increased significantly in recent years, driven by good economic growth and constant changes in legislation and related regulations.