Study Paralegal Courses in Canada: Eligibility, Application Process & Fees

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Mrunmayai Bobade
Updated on May 06, 2023 11:50 AM IST

Paralegal courses in Canada include diversified programmes that range from diploma certificates to online programmes. It also includes bachelor’s, master’s, and associate’s degree programmes. Many top universities offer the best paralegal programs in Canada where students can study court and tribunal procedures and acquire strong research, conflict resolution, and negotiation skills.

Study Paralegal Courses in Canada: Eligibility, Application Process & Fees

For those who want to enter the legal field decisively and are more relaxed about practising law, particularly in courts and tribunals, paralegal courses in Canada are a realistic preference. A paralegal is someone who possesses the knowledge, experience, and training required to work in the legal field. 

Paralegals need to be knowledgeable about various legal topics, record-keeping, and research. They also offer legal guidance to the defending attorneys. There is an enormous spike in the need for paralegals in Canada due to the simple fact that they are required in almost every business where legal work is undertaken. Numerous colleges and universities in Canada offer at least one type of paralegal course that addresses this demand, such as a bachelor's degree, master's degree, diploma course, certificate in paralegal studies, and more. 

A paralegal with a licence may work for a lawyer, a law firm, a government agency, or any other entity with administrative, law, or judicial legal authority. In addition to working as support personnel in law firms, paralegals can operate their own businesses as standalone legal service providers. Furthermore, they can also offer particular lawyer assistance. 

Establishing a prosperous paralegal profession requires knowing which course of study would best suit your work aspirations. If you are thinking about a paralegal career where you may provide legal advice and other legal services to your clients, it is crucial to read the following article for information on paralegal institutions in Canada.

Need Expert Help in Choosing the Best Paralegal Course in Canada?

Why Study Paralegal Courses in Canada?

Every year, about 500,000 foreign students come to study in Canada — the land of the maple leaf. It is recognised for offering top-notch education at an affordable price and for offering students an extensive period of time to return and work in the nation. 

Canada emerges as a top choice among Indian students seeking to study abroad when an adaptable standard of living and a plethora of stay-back and post-study opportunities in Canada are taken into account. Canada ranks among the top countries offering the best futuristic courses to study abroad in addition to well-known degrees like the MS and MBA, including paralegal programmes. The following points highlight some vital points regarding why you should study paralegal courses in Canada:

  • Paralegals in Canada are paid an average of CAD 72,565 annually, which is an acceptable starting compensation. However, experienced professionals can earn up to CAD 93,228 per year. 

  • In several legal specialities, such as legal research, document compilation, client consulting, processing legal records, and serving as court correspondents, Canada has a major demand for paralegals. For this reason, employment prospects are plentiful for international students who further want to opt for PR in Canada

  • Universities in Canada offer instruction for the Paralegal Licencing Exam, which leads to certification from the Law Society of Upper Canada. In such courses, students study court and tribunal processes and procedures alongside developing strong conflict resolution, research, and negotiation skills. 

Apart from these factors, Canada has consistently ranked among the best places for foreign nationals to live. Canada has drawn thousands of immigrants from other nations, particularly India, owing to its excellent and free healthcare services and high standard of living. As a result, deciding to enrol in one of the multiple paralegal courses in Canada will only prove to be favourable for prospective students.

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Top Paralegal Courses in Canada

As discussed above, graduates of paralegal courses in Canada have a variety of career prospects in the fields of law firms, real estate agencies, administrative tribunals, and legal departments, as well as they can start their own paralegal practices and more. With the demand for skilled and qualified paralegals in the country, there are hundreds of colleges and universities offering a number of paralegal programmes in the country.

Now, let us shed some light on the following universities offering top paralegal courses in Canada along with their eligibility criteria and tuition fees:

1. Paralegal Graduate Certificate Programme at Fanshawe College

The Law Society of Upper Canada has granted accreditation to the paralegal graduate certificate programme at Fanshawe College. An individual can earn a paralegal licence by passing a licensure exam after successfully completing the programme. The programme instructs a person on how to conduct themselves in a legal setting and covers the paralegal's range of practice, court procedures, and subsidiary legislation.

Tuition Fees at Fanshawe College

For international students, the total cost of the Fanshawe College Graduate Certificate Program is CAD 15,641. A student must also pay for the health and dental plan, travel costs, and other incidentals in addition to the aforementioned costs.

Eligibility Criteria for Fanshawe College

The following criteria must be met in order for an international applicant to be admitted to Fanshawe College:

  • A university degree or its equivalent qualification from a recognised institution.

  • A college diploma in a relevant field of study.

  • Minimum TOEFL iBT score of 88.

Course Duration: One year

2. Graduate Certificate in Paralegal at Centennial College

Centennial College is one of the top research universities in the country. Known for its field placement rate of around 80%, Centennial College offers a one-year Graduate Certificate in Paralegal. It is a full-time study programme where students can practise being paralegals in mock trials and moot court competitions using the institution's on-campus facilities like the mock courthouse. Here’s what you should know about one of the top paralegal courses in Canada.

Tuition Fees at Centennial College

The estimated cost of the programme for international students is CAD 23,078.25. Moreover, a fee of CAD 2,133.86 is payable for the institution's support services and co-curricular activities.

Eligibility Criteria for Centennial College

The following are the eligibility criteria which applicants must satisfy for admission to Centennial College:

  • A minimum of two years of professional experience in law or a closely related discipline.

  • A student must have successfully completed a two-year college degree or diploma in any field from an accredited university with a first-class result.

  • For the TOEFL paper-based test, the student must receive a minimum TOEFL score of 580, and for the TOEFL iBT, the minimum TOEFL score must be 88 or above. Or, the student must have an overall IELTS score of 6.5 bands, with no section scoring less than 6.0 bands.

Course Duration: One year

3. Bachelor of Paralegal Studies at Humber College

The four-year Bachelor of Paralegal Studies degree at Humber College integrates legal theory with real-world applications. The course covers consumer law, advocacy, contract law, employment law, tort law, insurance law, ethics and professional accountability, negotiation and mediation, and so on. International students may be eligible for scholarships and bursaries financed by the college to help pay for their education.

Tuition Fees at Humber College

International students need to pay a tuition fee of CAD 19,615 which includes the student union fee, auxiliary fees, and co-op or placement fees.

Eligibility Criteria for Humber College

Admission to one of the top paralegal courses in Canada typically begins in September. The following criteria must be met by the applicants to get admission at this college:

  • High school completion certificate with at least 65%

  • Grade 12 Grade English with a minimum of 65%

  • Minimum IELTS score of 6.5 bands with no section below 6.0 or overall TOEFL iBT score of 84 and minimum 21 in each section

Course Duration: Four years

4. Paralegal Ontario College Graduate Certificate Program at Algonquin College

The three-semester Paralegal Ontario College Graduate Certificate programme helps candidates qualify for the Law Society of Ontario (LSO). The LSO aids students in expanding the area of paralegal work that is required to become a licenced paralegal. The programme, one of the top paralegal courses in Canada covers legal jargon, small claims court procedure, alternative dispute resolution (ADR), practice management or running a small business, as well as provincial offences.

Tuition Fees at Algonquin College

For international students, a total of CAD 20,557.90 is the expected programme fee for the three semesters at Algonquin College. Additionally, textbooks might cost up to CAD 1,000 per semester, excluding travel and other incidentals fees.

Eligibility Criteria for Algonquin College

Algonquin College's graduate certificate programme has the following qualifying prerequisites:

  • A degree/advanced diploma from an Ontario college or its equivalent qualification.

  • Minimum TOEFL iBT score of 88, with 22 in each section or IELTS overall score of 6.5 with 6.0 in each section.

Course Duration: One year

5. Diploma in Paralegal (PARA) at Loyalist College

Training in substantive law and legal procedure is available through the two-year Ontario College Diploma programme. In order to qualify for employment in administrative tribunals or legal departments, students must complete four semesters of coursework in a variety of fields. These include legal research, legal accounting, writing memos and reports, the evidence and litigation process, tenant board matters, residential landlord and tenant law, etc.

Tuition Fees at Loyalist College

Two semesters of this programme will cost you CAD 16,468.50 in total. This comprises a tuition fee of CAD 14,332.50, a full-time auxiliary charge of CAD 1,536, and CAD 600 for annual health insurance.

Eligibility Criteria for Loyalist College

The following requirements must be met in order for a student to be admitted to one of the top paralegal courses in Canada:

  • Completion of high school or Grade 12 with an overall 50% or above, Or

  • A bachelors degree with less than eight backlogs from a recognised institution.

  • Grade 12 English (C) level or higher.

  • An overall IELTS score of 6.0 bands with no band less than 6.0 across all four sections.

Course Duration: Two years

It should be noted that the eligibility criteria for any one of the top paralegal courses in Canada will be determined by the universities offering the programmes. Candidates are advised to check the individual requirements for international students before applying for their dream course at their desired institute.

Admission Process for Paralegal Courses in Canada

The admission process for top paralegal courses in Canada for international students is the same as the admission process for any other programme in Canada. However, before applying, candidates must take exams such as the IELTS exam or TOEFL exam as Canadian universities require students to demonstrate their English language proficiency. The following is a general admission process for paralegal courses in Canada:

Step 1: Research the universities in Canada providing the best paralegal courses and choose programmes of your choice as per the availability.

Step 2: Proceed to your desired college's website to complete the International Education Application Form. You will be required to apply to Canadian colleges either directly or via the OUAC portal.

Step 3: Scan and mail your official academic transcript, English proficiency test results, and other required documents to the International Admissions Team in or nearby your residential area.

Step 4: Wait for the university to send you an acceptance letter or offer letter, and deposit the required tuition fees before deadlines.

Step 5: Apply for a Canada student visa and sit for the visa interview as per the procedure.

Step 6: Complete your on-campus registration once your study visa has been approved.

It should be noted that you can monitor the status of your application online or by approaching a member of the regional admissions team using your email address and password. Additionally, the admission process, primarily the selection process, will differ from institute to institute. Therefore, refer to the admission guidelines for paramedical courses in Canada, outlined by the desired institutions.

To sum up, mandated field placements are another aspect of paralegal courses in Canada that allow students to obtain vital relevant work experience and get a sense of what their future careers will involve. Top law companies like McCarthy Ttrault, Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP, Goodmans LLP, etc. are top organisations where a paralegal in Canada can work.

Need more assistance in understanding how to enrol or, got queries to ask about the best paralegal courses in Canada? Let us know at abroad@collegedekho.com. and we will answer your questions as soon as possible!

What is the Best Paralegal School in Canada?

FAQs

How long does it take to become a paralegal in Canada?

It takes four years to become a paralegal in Canada. This is because a paralegal bachelor's degree requires four years to complete and includes extensive study in legal writing, legal research, and other facets of the legal system. Only those who have received the necessary accreditation from the Law Society of Ontario are permitted to enrol in paralegal programmes in provinces like Ontario.

Is opting for paralegal courses in Canada a good career choice?

Definitely, opting for paralegal courses in Canada is a good career choice. According to the most recent job market data from the Canadian government, demand for economical legal services has generated stable work for Ontario paralegals over the previous few years, and this trend is anticipated to continue.

What is the difference between a legal assistant and a paralegal in Canada?

The difference between a legal assistant and a paralegal in Canada is that a paralegal does fewer administrative responsibilities than a legal assistant. These may include filing, word processing, and attending phone calls are just a few such tasks. For paralegals, the majority of the time is spent on doing more research on the lawyer and the caseload.

What is the average salary of a paralegal in Canada?

The average salary of a paralegal in Canada is CAD 30.10/ hour or CAD 58,696 annually. Those who are just starting out can expect to earn CAD 44,963 a year, while those with extensive experience can expect to earn CAD 75,227 a year.

What are the highest paying jobs for paralegals in Canada?

The following are the highest paying jobs for paralegals in Canada:

  • Paralegal Manager

  • Legal Project Manager

  • Intellectual Property Paralegal

  • Nurse Paralegal

  • Employment and Labor Law Paralegal

  • Government Paralegal

  • Senior Paralegal

  • Corporate Paralegal

  • Public Defender Paralegal

  • International Law Paralegal

  • Personal Injury Paralegal

  • Family Law Paralegal

  • Freelance Paralegal

  • Litigation Paralegal

  • Litigation Support Analyst

For detailed information, check out our article on the Highest Paying Jobs in Canada for International Students.

Do you need a law degree to be a paralegal in Canada?

Yes, it can be said that you need a law degree to be a paralegal in Canada or a diploma in the law field or any certification that is relevant to this field of study. Law firms need paralegals to have a bachelor's degree in law or a diploma from a law school as well as on-the-job training from a law company or other legal institution. Independent paralegals must possess an understanding of legal principles and practices, which is typically acquired through a community college.

Can independent paralegals become licensed in Canada?

Yes, independent paralegals can become licensed in Canada through The Law Society of Upper Canada. When performing specific legal tasks, such as representing companies and individuals in court as allowed by their licence, paralegals are no longer required to work directly under the supervision of a lawyer once they have obtained their licence.

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