Begin your career in law as a paralegal - 2020/2021
The front lines of the legal profession require practical knowledge and an ability to work with many different types of people and situations. If you've considered a career in the legal field, the Paralegal program will give you the knowledge to make your dream a reality.
You'll start by learning how to communicate effectively, and you'll work your way through different areas of the law, with courses on legal research and writing, torts and contracts, criminal matters and motor vehicle offences. You'll also learn about tenant and landlord law, tribunal practices and employment law.
Your courses will prepare you to apply to write the provincial licensing exams. You'll be able to practice in small claims court and administrative tribunals as well as provincial and summary conviction offences. You'll spend 120 hours of extensive field training to give you practical, hands-on experience in a legal environment.
You'll graduate prepared to apply for a provincial licensing exam and be able to practice as a paralegal in Ontario. You might choose to be self-employed and offer legal services directly to the public for a fee, without the supervision of a lawyer, or you might choose to work for a lawyer, or for a court system.
Fanshawe's Paralegal program has been accredited by the Law Society of Upper Canada and provides training in those areas in which a licensed paralegal may legally practice.
Admission Requirements - 2020/2021A College Diploma in a Law related area
(Note: minimum 'B' average or cumulative 3.0 GPA)
A University Degree
An equivalent qualification from another institution as judged by the College*
A combination of relevant education and work experience in a related field as judged by the College to be equivalent to the above
*Applicants may be required to submit a resume and cover letter that includes details of work experience.
English Language Requirements
Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to demonstrate proficiency in English by one of the following methods:
- A Grade 12 College Stream or University Stream English credit from an Ontario Secondary School, or equivalent, depending on the program's Admission Requirements
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) test with a minimum score of 88 for the Internet-based test (iBT), with test results within the last two years
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic test with an overall score of 6.5 with no score less than 6.0 in any of the four bands, with test results within the last two years. SDS Program Requirements.
- Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) test with an overall score of 70 with no score less than 60 in any of the four bands, with test results within the last two years
- Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE) with a minimum score of 59, with test results within the last two years
- A Cambridge English Test (FCE/CAE/CPE) with an overall score on the Cambridge English Scale of 176 with no language skill less than 169, with test results within the last two years
- An English Language Evaluation (ELE) at Fanshawe College with a minimum score of 75% in all sections of the test, with test results within the last two years
- Fanshawe College ESL4/GAP5 students: Minimum grade of 80% in ESL4/GAP5 Level 9 or 75% in ESL4/GAP5 Level 10
Recommended Academic Preparation
- A high degree of computer literacy and keyboarding skills at 40 wpm are recommended
Recommended Personal Preparation
- Students should possess excellent oral and written communication skills in the English language and have excellent analytical skills to be successful in the Paralegal program
- Students should possess a high degree of responsibility, maturity, conscientiousness, and the ability to work independently with little supervision
- Students should speak to a Paralegal to acquire some knowledge of the duties and expectations of a Paralegal
Applicant Selection CriteriaWhere the number of eligible applicants exceeds the available spaces in the program, the Applicant Selection Criteria will be:
- Preference for Permanent Residents of Ontario
- Receipt of Application by February 1st (After this date, Fanshawe College will consider applicants on a first-come, first-served basis until the program is full)
- Achievement in the Admission Requirements
Level 1 LAWS-6016 Canadian Legal System-Intro 3 This course is designed to introduce the student to the legal system in Canada. Students are introduced to the structure of the Canadian government and systems of law in Canada. An overview of the sources and division of laws set the stage for an examination of the Constitution and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Moving forward in the course, students will have the opportunity to develop a basic understanding of property law, business law, and consumer law. This course will assist learners in developing a general understanding of how laws are created, defined, implemented and interpreted while also building an understanding of legal terminology. This course is foundational and intended for learners to build upon as they continue their studies in core legal areas. LAWS-6017 Torts & Contracts 4 This course is designed to introduce paralegal students to the common law and statute law as it applies to torts and contracts. Fact scenarios are utilized to teach students to recognize when legal liability arises in tort law and in contract law and to know the appropriate legal remedies. The students are also taught to recognize applicable defences that may reduce or negate liability. Students develop legal problem solving skills so as to enable them to identify, analyze, and resolve legal issues arising in tort and in contract. This is key to an effective paralegal practice in small claims court and before various tribunals. COMM-6020 Communication & Writing 3 Students practise and enhance their legal writing skills while applying foundational writing knowledge and skills required from an earlier diploma or degree program. Students practise the fundamentals of effective professional writing for paralegals including planning, organizing, drafting, revising, and editing. This course focuses on the skills required to produce organized, clear, concise, client-centered, grammatically correct, legal correspondence and documents in plain language and appropriate legal writing style. Paralegals are required to demonstrate excellent written communication skills. Paralegals communicate in writing with their clients, other legal representatives, the courts, government, and the business community. Legal communications must be clear, concise, accurate, persuasive, and professional. They must demonstrate client-centered, plain language, modern legal writing characteristics. COMP-6053 Legal Computer Applications 2 This course provides students with a review of legal office procedures and a hands-on opportunity to learn and apply basic and advanced word processing, and spreadsheet features to a wide variety of legal office documents and precedents. At the conclusion of this course students will be able to use Microsoft ® Word to create professional legal documents using correct formatting; Microsoft ® Excel to create basic spreadsheets; Microsoft ® PowerPoint to create presentations; and Microsoft® Outlook to assist with scheduling and organizing information. Students are introduced to current legal database software for document and practice management. LAWS-6044 Legal Research & Writing 4 This course is designed to provide paralegal students with an introduction to legal research and persuasive legal writing. Students develop the legal problem solving skills required to identify and analyze simple legal problems and to complete the necessary relevant legal research using paper-based and electronic methods. Students learn how to find, update, read, interpret, and apply primary and secondary sources of law, including cases, statutes, regulations, and bills. Students draft legal correspondence and research, plan, and draft a legal memorandum. Legal citation is also introduced. LAWS-6037 Administrative Law 3 This course will introduce paralegal students to the fundamental principles of administrative law as they represent government action and delegation of powers to administrative Tribunals and Boards. The principles of administrative law will be studied in the context of government regulation in Canadian society. This course will provide an understanding of all relevant primary legislation of Administrative Law. To alleviate the burden of case load on the court system, political demand has given rise to the creation of a large number of administrative tribunals with powers to protect rights and determine claims of citizens without the traditional recourse to courts of law. This course will examine the study of how the law attempts to promote the advantages of convenience, low cost and speed provided by these tribunals while, at the same time, minimizing the encroachment upon individual rights. This course will enable students to analyze such things as the rules of natural justice that underpin administrative tribunals, and how enabling legislation creates and gives powers to tribunals. Students will have a general overview of the practice and procedures and decisions of tribunals and the right of appeal and judicial review. Further attention will be given to the applicability of Charter claims and remedies available. Paralegals could find themselves representing clients before a variety of agencies and tribunals where thousands of such entities at the municipal, regional, provincial and federal levels exist. This course is designed to help students understand the rules and procedures of these tribunals by exposing them to the mandate, philosophy, authority, practices and procedures of a variety of administrative tribunals. The course lays the foundation for upper level course work in the program. Level 2 LAWS-6024 Small Claims Court 3 This course provides step by step instruction to the paralegal student for effective representation of the client plaintiff or defendant at each stage of proceedings in small claims court from the commencement of an action through to the post-judgment enforcement. Students are also taught legal problem solving skills in order to enable them to recognize, analyze and resolve legal issues before the small claims court. The course emphasizes knowledge and application of the small claims court rules and the paralegal rules of conduct so that the student knows and understands the professional responsibilities of a licensed paralegal to the client, opposing advocates, and to the court. LAWS-6028 Criminal & Summary Conviction Procedure 3 This is a core subject introducing the legal theory and practice essential to understanding the mechanics of criminal law and, specifically, summary conviction offences and procedure. Emphasis is placed on understanding and utilizing the criminal code of Canada, as amended, as well as the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Proper ethics in the practise of law is also stressed. This course provides the student with knowledge of the law, procedure, and the requisite professional responsibilities of a licensed Paralegal in order to achieve competent and effective representation of the client in criminal summary conviction proceedings, as well as fulfill the obligations of the Paralegal to the Court. LAWS-6029 Provincial & Motor Vehicle Offences 3 Paralegals represent individuals charged under provincial statutes in Ontario and appear before various judicial bodies in doing so. The Paralegal must have a thorough knowledge and understanding of the Provincial Offences Act, and other relevant provincial statutes, to enable him or her to properly represent a client. This course is designed to familiarize students with legal issues related to provincial offences and examines the procedures involved in acting as a paralegal in provincial offences matters in Ontario. Emphasis will be on the Provincial Offences Act, its rules and statutory requirements, with special emphasis on motor vehicle offences and trials. LAWS-6031 Tribunal Practice & Procedure 3 This course examines the general practice and procedure before administrative tribunals including the burden of proof, the trier of fact, record of proceedings, documentation, the tribunal process, and the nature of evidence tendered. Students 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. Licensed paralegals are permitted to represent clients before a number of administrative tribunals. In order to competently represent clients, paralegals engaged in legal services of this nature must be familiar with the enabling and applicable legislation, the nature of administrative tribunals, the hearing process and its elements, the evidence that may be tendered, as well as the sequence of the process. LAWS-6032 Residential Landlord & Tenant Law 3 This course will provide students with knowledge of the rights and responsibilities of Landlords and Tenants in Ontario under the Residential Tenancies Act and associated Rules and Regulations. Students will gain a working knowledge of the applicable Landlord and Tenant Board forms. The forms provide for a variety of legal issues arising in the context of residential rental housing including fault grounds and non-fault grounds for termination of residential tenancies. Students also gain a thorough understanding of service requirements, time limits, rent control, process, procedure and evidence required before the Landlord and Tenant Board as well as the types of relief the Board can grant under the legislation. This course will prepare students for careers as agents representing landlords or tenants in the rental housing field. Related careers in support roles within the Board, as well as professionals in the property management business. LAWS-6018 Evidence & the Litigation Process 3 This course provides paralegal students with an introduction to the rules of evidence and the litigation process. Students will begin with an overview of the criminal and civil litigation process in Ontario, including the role of counsel and parties. The fundamentals of the adversarial process will be taught. Students will then learn and apply fundamental principles of evidence including the burden and standard of proof along with the admissibility threshold test of relevance and materiality. Exceptions to the general rules of admissibility such as hearsay, character evidence, opinion evidence, privilege, improperly obtained evidence and civil settlement discussions will be taught. Students will learn methods of presenting evidence, including forms of evidence and considerations in oral evidence including calling witnesses, examining witnesses and the role of credibility, impeaching testimony, collateral facts rule and refreshing memory. Students will learn to identify, analyze, research and solve evidentiary problems. FLDP-6015 Paralegal Field Placement-Intro 0 This course introduces students to some of the necessary skills and knowledge required for a successful field placement experience. Field placement affords students the opportunity to apply academic skills and knowledge in a workplace environment rather than inside the classroom. While on placement, students will have an opportunity to work with professionals and gain experience. This introductory course will aim to give students some understanding of the demands of the legal service field and will serve to reinforce the importance of professional conduct and excellence while on field placement. Resume writing, interviewing skills and dressing for success are some of the topics that will be covered. Level 3 LAWS-6027 Ethics & Professional Responsibility 3 This course focuses on the requisite ethics and professional responsibilities of a Class P1 Member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, also known as a Licensed Paralegal in Ontario. Students will become familiar with the history and function of the regulator of the Licensed Paralegal profession: the Law Society of Upper Canada. Students will learn how a Licensed Paralegal must comply with the laws, rules, principles and guidelines which govern same. LAWS-6030 Employment Law 3 In this course, students will learn about the multi-faceted areas of law which impact on an employment relationship. Emphasis will be placed on the specific areas of law in which paralegals have historically practiced. The course is divided into three parts to correspond to the three regimes governing employment relationships. The first part covers the application of contract law to individual contracts of employment. The second part deals with the modification of contract by way of statutory rules governing the employment relationship in the areas of health and safety, employment standards, human rights, workplace injury compensation and privacy. The final part deals with the replacement of an individual contract of employment by a collective agreement in a unionized workplace. Non-lawyers have provided advice and have acted as advocates in several areas of employment law including labour relations and workplace injury compensation. In addition, paralegals may either be employers or employees and as such should understand the basic rules of employment law. LAWS-6019 Alternative Dispute Resolution 3 This course is designed to acquaint students with alternate dispute resolution processes with an emphasis on negotiation, mediation and arbitration. It will enable students to identify factors affecting conflict as well as other factors to consider when recommending alternative dispute resolution processes for specific situations. Students will demonstrate effective client communication skills and the principled negotiation process. LAWS-6021 Practice Mgmt Operating a Small Business 3 The purpose of this course is to enable students to learn, understand and apply: (a) effective practice management and financial management techniques for professional practice and (b) the LSUCs Paralegal Rules of Conduct with respect to these topics, in the context of meeting professional obligations, responsibilities and duties as paralegals of Ontario. Students will attain success in these areas by focusing on the professional obligations and responsibilities prescribed and recommended by the Law Society of Upper Canada regarding Practice Management and Operating a Small Business, as they pertain to paralegals. The content of this course will assist students in learning skills and strategies necessary to: (a) meet the required standards of competency with respect to knowledge, skills, judgment, client service and communications, practice management and professional development; (b) comply with Law Society and regulator requirements pertaining to practice management; as well as (c) establish and maintain a financially successful paralegal practice. LAWS-6025 Advocacy 3 Students will apply and enhance the basic skills and knowledge of advocacy acquired in the 'Evidence and the Litigation Process' course. Students will participate in practical simulations of examinations, cross-examinations, and opening and closing statements in the context of tribunals and Small Claims Court. A student's experience culminates in a mandatory mock tribunal hearing or trial that will be graded and counted towards his/her final grade. Licensed paralegals may appear before tribunals and before permitted court actions in Ontario. Many gain expertise in the rules and procedures for a particular tribunal or court. Good advocacy skills, based upon a clear understanding of the principles of advocacy, as well as knowledge of the procedures and rules governing tribunal hearings and/or the applicable court, are essential for a licensed agent representing individuals in such circumstances. LAWS-6026 Legal Accounting 2 This is an introductory financial accounting course that teaches the basic principles of financial law office accounting and incorporates the use of PCLaw - a time, billing and accounting software application designed for use by businesses in the legal industry. Accounting topics include: working with debits and credits in double-entry bookkeeping, preparing a trial balance 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, disbursements, handling of trust funds, billing, collecting payment and matter management. This course also provides students with an understanding of the Law Society of Upper Canada's By-Laws and Rules of Professional Conduct as they apply to financial transactions and records and the financial management of a law practice. This course is designed to develop a required understanding of the accounting guidelines, procedures, rules and regulations of the Law Society of Upper Canada as they relate to licensed paralegals working in a legal environment. FLDP-6008 Paralegal Field Placement 3.6 Paralegal Graduate Certificate students will complete a field placement component in a work setting for a minimum of 120 hours, scheduled for four weeks at the end of Semester 2. In special circumstances and only with the approval of the field placement Coordinator, a different time frame might also be possible. A student's work experience and the scheduling of field placement will reflect the employer's needs. Assistance will be provided by the field placement coordinator to attempt to place students in a setting which matches their abilities, expectations, and interests. Should this not be possible the student agrees to accept the opportunity the field placement coordinator is able to supply. The students are evaluated by employers on completion of the placement. Students will also be given the opportunity to evaluate their field placement. Students must produce, in consultation with their field placement supervisor and field placement coordinator, midterm and final evaluation reports reviewing paralegal competencies experienced during their field placements.This course provides students with an opportunity to apply academic skills and knowledge in a workplace environment rather than inside the classroom. While on placement, students will have an opportunity to work with professionals and gain experience. This experience will impact on the students' understanding of the demands of the business world and will serve to reinforce the importance of professional conduct and excellence.
Careers - 2020/2021
Career OpportunitiesGraduates should be prepared to apply for the provincial licensing exams and upon successful completion of the Licensing exam process and attainment of licensed paralegal status, will be eligible for employment as a Licensed Paralegal in Ontario in various legal environments and/or may act in a self-employed capacity and offer specified legal services directly to the public for a fee without the supervision of a lawyer.
More Information - 2020/2021A One-Year Ontario College Graduate Certificate ProgramProgram Code: PLG1
Campus Code: LC (LC - London)
15 week terms
Academic Calendars available at www.fanshawec.ca/academicdates
ContactSchool of Public Safety: 519-452-4222
The Paralegal program is designed to provide students with the specialized knowledge and skills required to work as licensed Paralegals in Ontario. It is designed for those seeking licensing in accordance with the Law Society Act and under the Law Society of Ontario to become a practicing paralegal and for those who wish to upgrade their skills and broaden their areas of knowledge and expertise in authorized areas of practice.
Provincial legislation requires Paralegals to be licensed to practice in the areas of Small Claims Court, Provincial Offences, Summary Conviction Offences and Administrative Tribunals in Ontario. This program has been accredited by the LSUC and designed in accordance with LSUC curriculum requirements and core competencies and provides training in those areas in which a Licensed Paralegal may legally practice.
There is an extensive field training component of 120 hours to provide students the opportunity to gain practical hands-on experience in a legal environment.
- Licensing Requirements:
As of May 1, 2007, Paralegals are required to be licensed by the Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC). Fanshawe College's Paralegal program has been accredited by the LSUC. To obtain a Paralegal license, an individual will need to graduate from an accredited program, pass a licensing examination and be of good character. Please refer to the LSUC's website at www.lsuc.on.ca for information about the requirements for Paralegal licensing.
The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:
1. Analyze and synthesize the fundamental elements of Canadian and Provincial governments, legal systems, and court structures, including principles and laws related to permitted areas of practice and rules for procedure and evidence in each court or tribunal.
2. Articulate and adhere to the general principles of law, legal ethics and business practices, specifically related to paralegal rules of practice.
3. Utilize the applicable structure, process, and jurisdictional authority of courts and administrative tribunals to successfully resolve disputes and appeals within the permitted scope of paralegal practice in the legal system.
4. Develop and assess strategies which adhere to established principles of ethics and codes of conduct, and enhancement of professional competence.
5. Select, evaluate, and compose effective advocacy techniques, including oral and written legal presentations, using accurate legal terminology.
6. Employ effective human relations, interpersonal, and intervention strategies in alternate dispute resolution to assist in resolving conflicts.
7. Select appropriate and use diverse legal research tools to research, interpret, analyze, synthesize, and update cases, legislation, and legal literature, and write persuasive, accurate, legal documentation and memoranda using appropriate legal citation.
8. Apply legal research findings, the legal problem solving method, and ethical and practice guidelines to analyze case studies and client scenarios.
9. Develop an effective case management strategy for court, administrative tribunals, or other representation and execute it efficiently.
10. Analyze and evaluate the limitations on representation for paralegals and conduct all work within areas of permitted practice.
11. Utilize information technology resources and current industry computer software.
12. Manage a paralegal practice and operate a small business, including client service, communication, and accounting principles, in compliance with the Paralegal Rules of Conduct, the ethical and professional responsibilities of Paralegals, and the principles of effective business management.
- Licensing Requirements: