This module will prepare the Paralegal students for their transition to the workforce and will also provide them with the Field Placement/Practicum to meet the Law Society of Upper Canada’s requirements to qualify to write the Paralegal Certification exam. This module is divided into an in class portion and an on-the-job field placement.
The unpaid Field Placement/Practicum will be completed in a qualified legal environment. This will provide the students with and insight of how law firms, paralegal firms or legal departments in government or corporations work. Students will be working under the supervision of experience legal personal. During this process the firm will provide the college with a description of duties the paralegal student will perform on the job. At the end of the placement, the company will provide an evaluation on the student and the student will provide the college with an evaluation on the placement.
- Legal Computer Applications
This course will provide Paralegal students the skills required to produce and edit legal documents and forms.
The paralegal student will be aware that using computers is very important to not only preparing and completing legal forms and documents, but will also be necessary for managing files and documents for the paralegal practice. Students must keep in mind that they must also have sufficient computer skills to work in a legal firm or department and most often will be required to use their computer skills in their field placement.
- Career and Employment Strategies
This course will assist students in planning, preparation, and job search execution. Students will prepare personal marketing collateral and will practice a variety of interviewing techniques.
This course will provide the students with some direction on what their role as a Paralegal really entails. They will learn about some the areas that they will be able to represent clients in. Most importantly, it will reinforce the Paralegal’s role as an advocate for his/her client. This course will provide the student with guidance on how to handle cases including research involved, preparing clients and witnesses and mock trials or hearings. Students will build on their court/tribunal skills from a variety of perspectives in courses that will go in-depth into specific aspects of client service, specific laws, preparing for and defending clients, and tribunals or court procedures.
- Practice Management/Operating a Paralegal Business
This module will teach Paralegal students all aspects of how to run and manage an office including accepting fees and appropriate advertising procedure. This course will supplement other courses that go into more depth in particular subject areas. For example, students will learn more in-depth office technology from courses that teach office computing. They will have more in-depth knowledge of financial procedure in the Legal Accounting course.
This module will be particularly valuable for students who intend to set up their own practice as they will learn to plan out their business and will develop a business plan as a major assignment. They will learn more about appropriate advertising techniques as part of the business plan development process.
- Ethics and Professional Responsibility for Paralegals
Paralegals must practice ethical behavior and work in best the interest of their clients. This course will provide Paralegal students with the background information along with rules of conduct and legal requirements they must follow in order to maintain ethical behaviour. This will be one of the important courses for the students as it is part of the Law Society of Upper Canada requirements in order to be able to apply to write the Paralegal Certification exam. In this course, students will discuss the related Laws Society of Upper Canada’s Rules of Conduct of Paralegals.
- Alternative Dispute Resolution
Litigation can be very time consuming and expensive for both parties. It is always best if conflicts can be resolved without having to use the courts system. As an alternative to litigation, both parties may choose to resolve the issues and conflicts using alternate methods.
The Paralegal can play a key role in dispute resolution. In this course, students will learn about conflict, negotiation, mediation, and arbitration methods. Through practice and role play, the student will learn the art of acting as a mediator.
- Evidence and the Litigation Process
This is one of the key courses for Paralegal students to get into some of the most challenging and rewarding functions of their work. This course covers functions that will be key to the Paralegal’s potential earnings. If they perform these functions well, they will be valuable to their clients and win many of their cases.
In this course, the students will learn proper procedures for gathering evidence including what is legal and what is not. They will also learn about the litigation process from start to finish and some valuable ways of avoiding litigation by using such measures as early settlement or mediation.
- Criminal/Summary Conviction Procedure
This course will be an overview of Ontario and Canada Criminal Code and focus on areas that are within the certified paralegals domain. Students will review various codes and determine the best means of resolution for the client.
Where the client must go to court, the paralegal will determine the best method for preparing for the court appearance and will represent the client accordingly. If the case is beyond the Paralegal scope, it must be referred to a lawyer.
- Employment Law
This course will build on a number of Employment related Acts and will help the Paralegal students understand how they can use specific Acts and legislation to represent their clients. This program will somewhat compliment on the Tribunal course, as many of the processes and procedures will be similar.
During this course the student will become familiar with the Employment Standards, Human Rights, Labour Law, Pay Equity, and Health and Safety to name a few. The Paralegal student will also learn and practice how to best resolve issues for the client by using the latest Acts and information available.
- Residential Landlord and Tenant Law
In this program the students will learn Landlord and Tenant Law (Tenant Protection Act) and how tribunals operate. They will learn to apply for an action to be heard and steps within a legal action. They will also learn about Enforcement Orders. As part of the hands on experience of this module the students will visit related tribunals and practice in class.
- Court/Tribunal Practice
This module is intended to provide the students with practical court and tribunal experience. While there will not be formal lectures in this course, students will learn through the use of field trips and gain experience by attending various court and tribunal procedures. While some court or tribunal visits will be related to specific courses, the students will also do general court and tribunal related field trips.
The college’s objective is to ensure that the students have real hands-on experience when they complete their program. Part of that experience comes from seeing court proceedings and tribunals in action. The college wants to ensure that when the students graduate that they are familiar with what they will have to do to perform their job duties.
Part of this module will consist of mock trials where students will take different perspectives, for example by acting as the defendant or the judge in a case.
Students will discuss their experiences in class after each court or tribunal visit. Students will pass this program by participating in the required field trips and related class discussions.
Please note, this course is represented as three blocks of 20 hours spread throughout the program.
- Small Claims Court
During this module student will learn about Small Claims Court and where it fits in the scheme of our legal system. Student will learn about the limits of Small Claims Court, how to file a case and how to argue the case on behalf of their clients. This is one of the areas that Paralegals can excel in, as usually the amounts being claimed are relatively small and therefore clients will not likely want to hire higher priced lawyers to represent them. Students will practice Small Claims cases in class and will also visit the courts as part of the program.
- Torts and Contracts
This course will teach the Paralegal student about Contract Law. During the course the Paralegal student will learn how a contract is developed, executed and enforced. They will also learn about contractual defects and breaches and steps that can be taken to remedy the contractual obligation.
In cases where the parties are in breach of contract, the student will learn about Torts and Liabilities and how they will prepare to represent clients whether they are the plaintiff or defendant. The students will spend a considerable amount of time studying case law and how it applies to torts.
- Provincial Offences and Motor Vehicle Offenses
This practical program will give paralegal students an overview of the Provincial Offences Act. Many of the areas of law reviewed in the POA are covered in other subjects that are specific to particular parts of the law including the Highway Traffic Act.
In this course, the students will focus on court procedures and case analysis. Students will learn the steps required to prepare and file cases and will be prepared to defend cases in court. Part of the learning process will include a court visits and a review/discussion of the cases held.
- Tribunal Practice and Procedure
This course is an area of practice that can be very rewarding for the Paralegal Practitioner. Often Paralegals will specialize in fields such as WSIB claims. Students will learn about various tribunals and how they work. They will learn the rules and procedures for representing clients in tribunals along with how to prepare.
Students will learn motions, applications, hearings, and decisions. They will also learn to prepare clients and cross examination procedure. Along with classroom theory and practice, students will also attend tribunals to see how they work firsthand.
- Introduction to Paralegal Accounting
This course covers the day-to-day manual recording of transactions for a Paralegal business organization. This includes general journal transactions, special journals, posting to the general ledgers and subsidiary ledgers, preparing a trial balance, payroll registers, operating a petty cash fund, and reconciling bank statements.
While students will be learning generally Accepted Accounting Practices (GAAP), during this module, students will become familiar with the Law Society of Upper Canada’s By-Law 9 pertaining to accounting practice with particular attention to the treatment and maintenance of Trust Accounts.
- Administrative Law
Administrative law is one of the areas of public law dealing with the relationship between government and its citizens. Administrative law ensures that the activities of government are authorized by Parliament or by provincial legislatures and that laws are implemented and administered in a fair and reasonable manner. Administrative law is meant to protect citizens who are affected by unlawful acts of government officials and must have effective remedies if the Canadian system of public administration is to be accepted and maintained.
Paralegals can play an important role in Administrative Law as they can help their clients resolve issues with government and public agencies. In this program, students will learn the various related laws and effective methods of resolution.
- Legal Research and Writing
Students will become familiar with specialty books and newspaper archives, and will master the use of libraries and the Internet for legal research. In the second portion of this program, students will learn legal writing skills including the preparation of a variety of legal documents. They will also learn to prepare court documents using templates.
- Communication and Writing - College English
This course is designed to provide the students with the basic written communication skills they will need. The course will provide them with the foundation necessary to prepare business correspondence such as letters, memos, and emails. In addition, it will prepare them for the reports and assignment that they will be required to complete for other courses. This course is also a good prerequisite to the written communication course that they will take later in the program.
- Introduction to the Legal System
This is the first introductory legal course the Paralegal student will take. It will provide an overview of Canadian and Ontario law. Some aspects of this module will be expanded upon in other more specific and in-depth modules. This course will give the students a general understanding of the legal system and touch on some specific aspects such as Charter, Constitution, Property, Business and Consumer Laws. This module will also introduce an overview of the court system.