- Ontario College Graduate Certificate
- College Code:
- Health & Life Sciences and Community Services
- Program Code:
- Accelerated Delivery:
- Academic Year:
- 2017 / 2018
About the ProgramThis graduate certificate program is designed to provide students with the specialized knowledge and skills necessary to become licensed as a paralegal in Ontario. Graduates will be prepared to be self-employed paralegals or to work in a law firm or corporation with their own file load.
This program will appeal to current students or graduates of law-related university degrees or college diploma programs. Those with at least three years of related formal work experience (see Admission Requirements below) would also benefit from the Paralegal program in order to expand their knowledge and expertise in court and tribunal advocacy.
Program InformationLength: One-year Ontario Graduate Certificate program
Delivery Sequence: Doon (Kitchener) - September/2017 - Fall | Winter
Location: Doon (Kitchener)
First-Year Capacity: 45
- This accelerated program is offered over 36 weeks spanning two consecutive semesters, a Fall semester (September to December) and an extended Winter semester (January to June), and includes a mandatory three-week field placement.
- A two- or three-year diploma or a degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum average of 70% OR three to five (3 - 5) years of related full-time formal work experience
- Applicants will be ranked based on an assessment of academic performance (grades), length of degree/diploma, level of degree, and/or degree/diploma discipline. Preference may be given to applicants with a law-related degree or diploma from a Common Law jurisdiction. Law-related degrees or diplomas may include justice-focused studies (e.g. programs in legal studies; political studies; criminology; community and criminal justice; police foundations; protection, security and investigation).
- Related full-time formal work experience may include work as a law clerk, court clerk, legal assistant, member of a tribunal, an advocate or consultant at a tribunal, or work done as a paralegal (unlicensed) before 2007.
Note re: Admission Requirements
- Applicants with documents (transcripts) from an educational institution from a country other than Canada must have their documents evaluated for equivalency at an approved provider of credential evaluation services. Applicants to this program require a Comprehensive or Course-by-Course Report. Please see How to Apply for more information.
- Applicants possessing degrees/diplomas from institutions where the language of instruction was not English will be required to provide test scores as evidence of their English language proficiency. Test scores, if required, would be a minimum of TOEFL iBT 88; IELTS 6.5 with no bands less than 6.0; CAEL 70 with no sub-test band scores less than 60; PTE Academic 58; Conestoga English Language Test (CELT) Band 6; or equivalent scores in other recognized standard tests of English.
- We offer a language program for students whose English language skills are below the standard required for admission but all other admission criteria have been met. An applicant will be eligible for admission to the graduate certificate program after completion of level 4 of the General Arts and Science - English Language Studies (ELS) program with an overall grade average of 80% and no grade less than 75%. Placement in the ELS program is determined by scores on an in-house English language test or TOEFL or IELTS.
- Submit proof of admission requirements.
- Applicants not meeting the credential requirement must submit a resume, references, and a letter of application outlining relevant experience. Please submit these documents directly to the Conestoga College Admissions Office.
- Final acceptance is based on a review of the admissions requirements.
Tuition & Fees
Tuition fee details for the 2017-2018 year are listed below. Books and supplies are additional.
Financial AssistanceThe Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) is a needs-based program designed to help Ontario students cover the cost of post-secondary education. Funded by the federal and provincial governments, OSAP is intended to promote equality of opportunity for post-secondary studies through direct financial assistance for educational costs and living expenses. These interest-free loans are intended to supplement your financial resources and those of your family. The majority of students apply for loan assistance via the OSAP website. Students can also print the application booklet through the OSAP website.
For more information, please visit Financial Services/Awards.
Graduate OpportunitiesGraduates are prepared to be self-employed paralegals or to work in a law firm or corporation with their own file load.
On average, 84% of graduates from the last three years (2013 to 2015) found employment within six months of graduation.
For more details on related occupations, job market information and career opportunities, see the Government of Canada website: http://www.workingincanada.gc.ca
Pathways & Credit TransferConestoga pathways enable students to build on their academic achievements in order to earn a degree or additional credential. Pathways are formed through agreements between Conestoga programs or partner institutions. View the transfer agreement opportunities for this program.
Often applicants have earned credits from another college or university that may allow a student to be granted advanced standing or exemption. Learn more about credit transfer opportunities at Conestoga.
Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR)Conestoga recognizes prior learning of skills, knowledge or competencies that have been acquired through employment, formal and informal education, non-formal learning or other life experiences. Prior learning must be measurable at the required academic level and meet Conestoga standards of achievement for current courses. Challenge exams and portfolio development are the primary methods of assessment. Other methods of assessment may be available depending upon the nature of the course objectives. Successful completion of the assessment results in an official course credit that will be recorded on the student's Conestoga transcript. PLAR cannot be used by registered Conestoga students for the clearance of academic deficiencies, to improve grades or to obtain admission into a program.
Learn more about PLAR.
|Course Code||Course Title and Description|
|COMM8107||Communication and Writing
Description: The student will develop the writing skills necessary to communicate competently and professionally with clients, courts and tribunals, and others in the course of practice
Description: In this course, students will learn to construct comprehensive business reports and to develop effective presentations to communicate the results of their research. They will also learn to construct appropriate business communications that will permit them to professionally present themselves and their position.
|COMP8020||Legal Computer Applications
Description: The student will learn the basic principles of legal office procedures. Particular emphasis is given to basic and advanced word processing and spreadsheet applications. The student will also work with e-laws and online forms, complete documents relating to these areas and produce a portfolio of documents including a final resume.
|LAW8100||Introduction to Law and the Legal System
Description: The student will receive an introduction to the structure of the Canadian government/political system, to the Canadian law and the legal system by becoming familiar with the language of the law and terminology used throughout the administration of justice. Recognition of how “law” is established through judicial and legislative authority will be gained and the concepts and principles which form the structure of both civil and criminal law will be learned. The foundation of all government authority will be examined through an introduction to the Constitution Act, 1982, including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Completion of this course will serve as the framework for the more practical applications of law developed in a number of other courses.
|LAW8120||Ethics and Professional Responsibility
Description: This course focuses on the Law Society of Upper Canada's (LSUC) Paralegal Rules of Conduct as well as ethical issues faced by individuals as citizens and as professionals. It will assist students in clarifying a value system, establishing a framework for ethical decision making, and applying the LSUC's Paralegal Rules of Conduct to practice as Court and Tribunal Agents/Paralegals.
Description: The Student will understand the general principles of administrative law, including the duty of fairness, jurisdiction, discretion, bias, and natural justice. As well the student will explore the role of Administrative Law in the Canadian justice system.
|LAW8177||Torts and Contract Law
Description: This course is an introduction to the legal system which governs personal and commercial relationships in Canada. As such, it will provide the student with knowledge of the basic legal concepts, in order to gain insight into judicial reasoning, and develop the skills necessary for legal inquiry and analysis. Areas covered include: contract law, tort law, sales of goods and consumer protection
|LAW8180||Evidence and the Litigation Process
Description: The student will analyze the laws of evidence using scenarios. Different types of evidence and factors that affect the admissibility of evidence will be examined. Evidentiary issues will be integrated into an examination of the litigation process, in both the civil and the criminal contexts. In addition, the different stages of litigation will be analyzed so that the student develops an understanding of the roles of the parties, disclosure, leading evidence, the stages of a proceeding, giving notice, and making submissions.
|LAW8200||Legal Research Writing
Description: Legislation of one type or another affects most aspects of our daily lives, and regulates how we conduct our affairs. Federal and provincial statutes, regulations, bylaws and judge-made law must be complied with if penalties are to be avoided. In order to prepare graduates for employment in the professional field, in the commercial field, or in the field of government it is imperative that they are able to locate, interpret and apply the law, relevant to their occupation.
Description: The student will learn the basic principles of financial law office accounting and incorporates the use of PCLaw–a time, billing and accounting software designed for use by business in the legal industry. Accounting topics include: working with debits and credits in double-entry bookkeeping, and preparing and understanding financial statements. PCLaw is used to apply the principles of accounting to complete a client accounting cycle for a law office. Particular emphasis is given to time entries, billing, disbursements, trust funds and matter management. This course also interprets the Law Society of Upper Canada's (LSUC) Paralegal Rules of Conduct as they apply to financial management of a paralegal law practice.
|LAW8110||Small Claims Court
Description: This course prepares the student to litigate a Small Claims Court case effectively. The student will learn the Rules of Civil Procedure as they relate to Small Claims Court. The documents that are required to protect the client's interest at different stages of the proceeding will be prepared. The student will prepare a case for trial in Small Claims Court, taking into account the stages of the proceeding, the documents required, the applicable laws of evidence, strategies including alternative dispute resolution, and presentation of evidence and argument in court.
Description: The student will learn to present a case in court, from the initial interview with the client to presentation of the case in court. The student will learn to gather information, plan the strategy for the case, and plan and execute the strategy for court.
|LAW8155||Residential Landlord and Tenant Law
Description: This course focuses on the rights and obligations of residential landlords and tenants through a detailed analysis of residential landlord and tenant law, namely the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006. Students will, through group discussions and the study of fact situations, gain understanding and advocacy skills with respect to protecting the rights and enforcing the obligations of residential landlords and tenants. Students will also acquire an understanding of a number of legal issues and concepts including the different types of residential tenancies, how and when a tenancy can be terminated, assignments of leases and sub-leases, and the procedural and documentary requirements under the Residential Tenancies Act
|LAW8160||Provincial Offences and Motor Vehicle Offences
Description: This course is designed to provide the student with a familiarity with the Provincial Offences Act. The student will learn the types of offences typically prosecuted by a municipality, the general principles which apply to prosecutions, procedure under the Provincial Offences Act, advocacy skills, common defenses, and evidence issues.
|LAW8190||Tribunal Practice and Procedures
Description: The student will receive an introduction to the general practice and procedure for appearing before administrative tribunals. Identification of such concepts as the burden of proof, the trier of fact, record of proceedings, documentation, the tribunal process and the nature of evidence tendered will be gained through mock representation before a tribunal. The student will develop the ability to identify and interpret enabling legislation of administrative tribunals and will demonstrate an understanding of the tribunal hearing process and sequence of proceedings
|LAW8210||Criminal and Summary Conviction Procedures
Description: The student will examine the procedures involved in acting as a Court and Tribunal Agent/Paralegal in provincial offences and summary criminal code matters in Ontario. Emphasis will be on the Provincial Offences Act and the Criminal Code of Canada, their amendments and regulations. This course is designed to familiarize students with the particular legal issues and procedures associated with summary conviction and provincial offences from a policing perspective to assist the student in understanding both defending and prosecuting such offences.
Description: Paralegals will interface with employment laws from different perspectives: as employee, as employer and as advocate. The student will explore the issues, processes, offences, defences and boards/tribunals/commissions of each of the statutes that affect the employment relationship
|LAW8230||Alternative Dispute Resolution
Description: The student will learn the fundamentals of such the alternatives to dispute resolution as mediation, negotiation and arbitration. Alternative Dispute Resolution techniques and processes used in mediation, negotiation and arbitration will be analyzed and applied to both professional and personal settings.
|LAW8240||Paralegal Studies Practicum
Description: The three week block placement at a local law or paralegal office exposes the student to all aspects of the practice of a licensed paralegal. Students will be expected to employ academic and procedural knowledge of legal concepts and procedures within the role of the paralegal by effectively using legal precedents, resources and files in accordance with the Law Society Rules of Conduct and the standards of a licensed paralegal. During the practicum, students will be required to participate in on-line guided discussions related to their practicum experience, problems they encounter and to describe to fellow students how they are applying the capabilities developed in the program. Duties of the student while on placement will be at the discretion of the field placement host.
|LAW8250||Topical Law Seminar
Description: Students will practice the skills of reading and analyzing legal materials, primarily case law. Specific, relevant, cases will be identified at the start of each year's seminar. These materials will be prepared and presented by students for discussion in class, with feedback provided by the instructor. This is a student-led seminar that focuses on current and precedent legal cases relevant to paralegal practice.
|LAW8270||Legal Simulation Lab
Description: This course provides students with opportunities to integrate and apply key aspects of paralegal practice through active learning. Through structured activities, students will use legal knowledge, theory and practice skills in simulated legal proceedings, such as mock trials and tribunals. These may involve guest speakers and active practitioners of the legal profession.
|MGMT8210||Practice Management and Operating A Small Business
Description: The student will learn about starting up and operating a small business. The various types of a small business that would be appropriate for a paralegal will be examined. The requirements of operating a paralegal business that complies with the Paralegal Rules of Conduct, including file management, accepting retainers, rendering accounts, maintaining proper records, and supervising staff, will be analyzed. The student will develop a business plan for his/her own paralegal business that complies with the Paralegal Rules of Conduct
|OHS1320||Safety in the Workplace
Description: This course focuses on developing awareness and skills for the student to safely manage and conduct him or herself within a variety of employment settings. Through the nine units of the course, participants will have the opportunity to enhance their understanding and knowledge of General Health and Safety guidelines, including WHMIS, Fire Safety and Workplace Violence. The unit on Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act will instruct the student on the requirements for Accessible Customer Service and Integrated Accessibility Standard Regulations. General information on Safe Driving, Privacy of Information and Hand Washing will be addressed as well. The course also provides participants with critical information regarding their insurance coverage (WSIB or other) while employed. As well as guidelines to follow in the event of an injury. Participants will receive a printable Record of Completion upon successful conclusion of this course, in order to demonstrate awareness of safe working practices to their employers.
- Work within areas of permitted practice and articulate limitations on representation for paralegals
- Integrate the professional and ethical requirements of the Paralegal Rules of Conduct
- Research, analyze, interpret and apply the provisions of statute and case law to client situations
- Conduct trial and tribunal advocacy in accordance with the permitted scope of practice of a paralegal by utilizing the applicable structure, process, and jurisdictional authority of courts and administrative tribunals.
- Employ effective human relations, interpersonal, and intervention strategies to assist in resolving conflicts.
- Develop a coherent case management strategy and execute it effectively.
- Utilize information technology resources and current industry computer software.
- Communicate effectively and persuasively, both orally and in writing, using accurate legal terminology.
- Construct documents required for use by clients and on behalf of clients.
- Utilize paralegal business practices competently and effectively
- Apply time management and organizational skills to meet the time lines and limitation periods within a legal environment.
Program Advisory CommitteesThe College appoints Program Advisory Committee members for diploma, degree, certificate and apprenticeship programs. Committees are composed of employers, practitioners and recent program graduates. College representatives (students, faculty, and administrators) are resource persons. Each committee advises the Board on the development of new programs, the monitoring of existing programs and community acceptance of programs.
For a list of the current members, please visit our Program Advisory Committees.
Apply NowDomestic students should apply online at www.ontariocolleges.ca or by phone at 1-888-892-2228.
60 Corporate Court
Canada N1G 5J3
Detailed steps on the application process may help you to apply.
International students should apply online using the Conestoga College International Application Portal. Please note: not all programs are open to international students. Interested students should check the listing of open programs on our international students web page before applying.
The College reserves the right to alter information including requirements and fees and to cancel at any time a program, course, or program major or option; to change the location and/or term in which a program or course is offered; to change the program curriculum as necessary to meet current competencies in the job market or for budgetary reasons; or to withdraw an offer of admission both prior to and after its acceptance by an applicant or student because of insufficient applications or registrations, over-acceptance of offers of admission, budgetary constraints, or for other such reasons. In the event the College exercises such a right, the College’s sole liability will be the return of monies paid by the applicant or student to the College.
Students actively registered in cohort delivered programs who take longer than the designed program length of time to complete their studies are accountable for completing any new or additional courses that may result due to changes in the program of study. Unless otherwise stated, students registered in non-cohort delivered programs must complete the program of study within seven years of being admitted to the program.