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abridgel

Paralegals?

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Hey I am just wondering if anyone here is actually working as a paralegal or if anyone has completed their degree. p.s I heard that students who graduate from Humber's degree program have good chances of getting in to law school in England for 2 years!

As Diplock mentioned there are two questions.

I graduated from Humber's Court and Tribunal Agent program, which is a two year diploma, and I am currently working as a paralegal. I went back to school while working part-time and just finished my B.A. I applied this cycle to law school but did not get in due to a weak lsat. I plan on rewriting and applying again next cycle.

As for the second half, I do not believe that U.K schools will recognize the diploma program to be equivalent to a U.K B.A in order to complete the 2 year accelerated law degree. If you opt the get a paralegal degree at Humber, it is a four year program. I also believe it is a Bachelor of Applied Arts, not a regular B.A. I am not sure how law schools view a BAAs in Canada or overseas for that matter so its something you should look into before considering the program. If you want to go to law school and practice here than the traditional route seems the best way to do it (4 year BA from Canadian University then apply to Canadian schools). If your goals are to work elsewhere than consider going to school there.

I'm not saying it can't be done. Look at the Foreign thread for more info about those who have done it if you're interested in that.

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As Diplock mentioned there are two questions.

I graduated from Humber's Court and Tribunal Agent program, which is a two year diploma, and I am currently working as a paralegal. I went back to school while working part-time and just finished my B.A. I applied this cycle to law school but did not get in due to a weak lsat. I plan on rewriting and applying again next cycle.

As for the second half, I do not believe that U.K schools will recognize the diploma program to be equivalent to a U.K B.A in order to complete the 2 year accelerated law degree. If you opt the get a paralegal degree at Humber, it is a four year program. I also believe it is a Bachelor of Applied Arts, not a regular B.A. I am not sure how law schools view a BAAs in Canada or overseas for that matter so its something you should look into before considering the program. If you want to go to law school and practice here than the traditional route seems the best way to do it (4 year BA from Canadian University then apply to Canadian schools). If your goals are to work elsewhere than consider going to school there.

I'm not saying it can't be done. Look at the Foreign thread for more info about those who have done it if you're interested in that.

 

I am also a licensed paralegal and have practiced since early 2010 in Toronto.  I graduated in 09 from Seneca and prior to that I graduated from the law clerk program they have there as well.  What I think is particularly good from Seneca is that Australian universities do actually go to Seneca to try to get graduates from these two programs to transfer into their australian law schools after graduation.   I always wanted to go to lawschool so the lawclerk and the paralegal programs were for me a way of getting my feet in the water to see whether or not the legal field was for me.  I was still very young so waiting until the age of 26 to apply under the mature category was out of the question for me, so I needed to go get a B.A to go to law school.  I inquired, having finished my paralegal at seneca, into the applied B.A at Humber.  Unfortunately the vast majority of law schools do not recognize it as a valid B.A (I did inquire.)  I think only the university of alberta recognized it at the time.  I know for a fact that the majority of the law schools say that, although recognized by the ministry of colleges and universities as a B.A, it is not a "recognized" B.A in terms of reputation.  So I did end up going to an actual university to do my B.A.  I applied to law school for this upcoming cycle and depite my lower overall gpa of 3.59 I am convinced that my background as a paralegal did help me to get into law school. 

Edited by HopingHopper

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Hello all,    

 

            I am a paralegal student at Humber college.  I have read a few posts here and thought I might be able to add some of the information I have acquired . I am still not sure what area of law I would like to pursue, but I think that the paralegal profession is very competitive.  I think a degree is definitely a  huge plus when searching for a job.  I looked into a "degree to diploma" program at a few universities. Once you have achieved a Paralegal,Law clerk, Legal Administration,or Court and Tribunal agent diploma, you can apply to UOIT the University of Ontario Institute of Technology that offers a "bridge" program.  The applicant must take four courses, Legal Research Methods,Public Law, Legal Theory, and Research Methods. You must score a minimum of 2.7 GpA on a 4.3 scale overall with no class under a 2.0 GPA in order to apply to the program.  It is competitive so a 70% is a minimum and probably won't cut it.  Once you achieve this you can apply to the Legal research program at UOIT and if accepted you will enter into the third year of a four year Bachelor of Arts in Legal studies.  There are also a few minors or concentrations you can add. I am planning on the Mediation and arbitration concentration. I hope for those of you interested in the paralegal career that this was helpful.  One other thing, I really feel that Humber, Seneca, and Sheridan have well rounded programs, those private colleges are great for those of us that can learn at a highly accelerated rate. I called Trios college and made inquiries, I couldn't get much information about the program, but they were very aggressive when it came to getting me in there to see if i qualify for their financial aide to pay the $14,000 they wanted for a one year program. Humber is a little over $3000 a year and then books.  The program so far is great.  Food for thought !!!

Edited by Deanna

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Hi Deanna,

 

If your goal is to attend law school after completing the diploma and BA then I think the opinion of the majority will be to do a BA that you can get the highest grades possible in. Usually this means doing something you'll enjoy. Don't assume that a BA in Legal studies will get you into law school.  

 

Now if you would like to practice as a paralegal, that's a different story. A degree will probably make you more attractive to employers when you go up against those who only have the diploma.

 

I'm glad you're enjoying the program. Good luck with your studies!

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Thank you P1ylion2,

 

                              I want to be a paralegal, I am 45 and this is a career change for me. I wanted to be a lawyer when i was young, but I chose to raise my three sons first. I had a job that made me great money and it was part time.  I find my time for education is limited.  I love the idea of a private paralegal practice someday. I feel that a few years with a Law firm would be valuable experience.  I think the Legal studies program will also be very valuable to have.  I am finding that I compare my 2 yr program with that of the extensive schooling a lawyer completes, and I worry my diploma won't be enough.  I realize that as a paralegal I will have a much more limited scope of practice than a lawyer, but I want to feel competent enough to represent my clients or work within a law firm as a team member and contribute with confidence.

 

   Bottom line I guess is , you can never learn too much.  That is my motivation for a BA. I am not interested in pursuing law school.  To all those that are, I wish you all the luck and enjoy every moment!! I should have attempted it when I was young! 

 

 

Deanna.

Edited by Deanna

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Hey Deanna.  Stick around and let us know how things are going.  No matter that there's a range of opinions out there over whether it was the right move or not, paralegals are a part of the fabric of legal services now in Ontario, and signs point to other provinces following our lead.  I happen to think it's a good thing, and I'd like to see paralegals participating here also.  You bring an important perspective, and will even moreso when you are licensed.

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Thank you P1ylion2,

 

                              I want to be a paralegal, I am 45 and this is a career change for me. I wanted to be a lawyer when i was young, but I chose to raise my three sons first. I had a job that made me great money and it was part time.  I find my time for education is limited.  I love the idea of a private paralegal practice someday. I feel that a few years with a Law firm would be valuable experience.  I think the Legal studies program will also be very valuable to have.  I am finding that I compare my 2 yr program with that of the extensive schooling a lawyer completes, and I worry my diploma won't be enough.  I realize that as a paralegal I will have a much more limited scope of practice than a lawyer, but I want to feel competent enough to represent my clients or work within a law firm as a team member and contribute with confidence.

 

   Bottom line I guess is , you can never learn too much.  That is my motivation for a BA. I am not interested in pursuing law school.  To all those that are, I wish you all the luck and enjoy every moment!! I should have attempted it when I was young! 

 

 

Deanna.

 

From what I gather (correct me if I misread) you are currently in a paralegal program, and want to do a B.A. upon completion? If so, and if your reasoning for this is because you think it will get you a leg up on the competition for paralegal jobs, I have to say that your time (and money) would be better spent volunteering and getting mentored by a senior paralegal in the area of law you are interested in (the paralegal scope is very limited compared to a lawyer - which is a good thing considering the standards of admission and schooling are less than becoming a lawyer).

 

Feel free to PM me for more info on this, but from my perspective of paralegal work (in the GTA) is that most firms, companies, or paralegal offices who are looking to hire a P1 aren't necessarily requiring a B.A., but instead that they have 2-3+ years experience in a specific (P1) area. You are required to do 120 hours of field placement, but I recommend doing more. Join the paralegal groups on Linkedin, get involved and get a membership, and ask to shadow some P1's in different areas. If you have a good idea of the area of law that you enjoy doing, seek a placement in that type of office. Get some solid work experience. That, coupled with a smart network could mean a paying job after being licensed. I also recommend that you do some research and get a feel of whether there is a market for the type of law you want to practice; you may have to hang your own shingle.

 

Just going to school and getting a degree isn't enough anymore. You have to back it up with experience, passion, and a solid network.

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Hi,

Once you have completed your b.a. At humber, london and asutralia accept it! Coming back to canda you have to do a few tranfser credits and you can work here. To the people who work as a Paralegal. Is the rate of pay good? How much do you make a year and what are the hours like? I know a paralegal who made $110 an hour as a starting position. All the paralegal firm owners who I have spoken to, said they would rather paralegals have a degree than the diploma. The degree teaches you a lot more in detail about all the areas of law.

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I have a hard time taking the above post seriously.

 

susanparalegal - It sounds as if you aren't a paralegal from your questions, yet your forum name implies you are... I'm confused by your questions about the pay and hours of a paralegal, when you seem to know quite a few. Couldn't you ask them?

 

I'm not a licenced paralegal, but I do know many. I find it really unlikely that a jr paralegal could make $110/hour in an entry level job. Your friend must be really talented and lucky. However, that kind of position is not the norm. Readers, please don't take susanparalegal's claim as gospel and run to sign up for the next paralegal program you see. Spend time and research the profession, various colleges, and the job market.

 

Also, in the first part of your post you seem to be referring to going to law school in England and Australia, then returning to Canada to practice as a lawyer. I've been around this forum long enough to know that what you are talking about is a whole lot more complicated than the two sentences you've used. This may not be the best topic to discuss in a "paralegal" thread. There are many (informative and reliable) threads on that process if you, or anyone else, is interested.

 

P.S. You name drop Humber's program a lot. Hmmm... :|

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I'm not a licenced paralegal, but I do know many. I find it really unlikely that a jr paralegal could make $110/hour in an entry level job. Your friend must be really talented and lucky. 

 

Perhaps she charges $110/hour?

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Perhaps she charges $110/hour?

 

Perhaps. From the post I can't be sure. I still caution readers to not rely on that information alone.

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I have a hard time taking the above post seriously.

 

susanparalegal - It sounds as if you aren't a paralegal from your questions, yet your forum name implies you are... I'm confused by your questions about the pay and hours of a paralegal, when you seem to know quite a few. Couldn't you ask them?

 

I'm not a licenced paralegal, but I do know many. I find it really unlikely that a jr paralegal could make $110/hour in an entry level job. Your friend must be really talented and lucky. However, that kind of position is not the norm. Readers, please don't take susanparalegal's claim as gospel and run to sign up for the next paralegal program you see. Spend time and research the profession, various colleges, and the job market.

 

Also, in the first part of your post you seem to be referring to going to law school in England and Australia, then returning to Canada to practice as a lawyer. I've been around this forum long enough to know that what you are talking about is a whole lot more complicated than the two sentences you've used. This may not be the best topic to discuss in a "paralegal" thread. There are many (informative and reliable) threads on that process if you, or anyone else, is interested.

 

P.S. You name drop Humber's program a lot. Hmmm... :|

 

With respect to the Australia thing I think she may have mafe reference to the agreements in place between Seneca and Bond which, upon completion of either the lawclerk or paralegal program, you are elegible for entry into lawschool at Bond University.  I saw the recrutements myself.  There are other Australian and universities from New Zeleand but I can't recall whichones exactly. 

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With respect to the Australia thing I think she may have mafe reference to the agreements in place between Seneca and Bond which, upon completion of either the lawclerk or paralegal program, you are elegible for entry into lawschool at Bond University.  I saw the recrutements myself.  There are other Australian and universities from New Zeleand but I can't recall whichones exactly. 

 

... Isn't anyone with a pulse and a bag of money eligible for entry there?

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hi i was wondering if anyone here has received a paralegal diploma from sheridan college. i plan on getting the diploma and then adding in a year or two to receive a paralegal degree as well from sheridan. i would also like to know what the avg starting salary would be since i handle my own expenses. i just need an overview of what i am heading in for. i also know a couple friends who have their paralegal firms, so is that beneficial to me in any way? 

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Hello all,    

 

            I am a paralegal student at Humber college.  I have read a few posts here and thought I might be able to add some of the information I have acquired . I am still not sure what area of law I would like to pursue, but I think that the paralegal profession is very competitive.  I think a degree is definitely a  huge plus when searching for a job.  I looked into a "degree to diploma" program at a few universities. Once you have achieved a Paralegal,Law clerk, Legal Administration,or Court and Tribunal agent diploma, you can apply to UOIT the University of Ontario Institute of Technology that offers a "bridge" program.  The applicant must take four courses, Legal Research Methods,Public Law, Legal Theory, and Research Methods. You must score a minimum of 2.7 GpA on a 4.3 scale overall with no class under a 2.0 GPA in order to apply to the program.  It is competitive so a 70% is a minimum and probably won't cut it.  Once you achieve this you can apply to the Legal research program at UOIT and if accepted you will enter into the third year of a four year Bachelor of Arts in Legal studies.  There are also a few minors or concentrations you can add. I am planning on the Mediation and arbitration concentration. I hope for those of you interested in the paralegal career that this was helpful.  One other thing, I really feel that Humber, Seneca, and Sheridan have well rounded programs, those private colleges are great for those of us that can learn at a highly accelerated rate. I called Trios college and made inquiries, I couldn't get much information about the program, but they were very aggressive when it came to getting me in there to see if i qualify for their financial aide to pay the $14,000 they wanted for a one year program. Humber is a little over $3000 a year and then books.  The program so far is great.  Food for thought !!!

Deana,

 

What did you end up doing?

 

I am curious... I'm 41 and doing a career change!

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Deanna last logged in two and a half years ago. You could try messaging her privately but I wouldn't hold your breath on a reply :)

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I am also a licensed paralegal and have practiced since early 2010 in Toronto.  I graduated in 09 from Seneca and prior to that I graduated from the law clerk program they have there as well.  What I think is particularly good from Seneca is that Australian universities do actually go to Seneca to try to get graduates from these two programs to transfer into their australian law schools after graduation.   I always wanted to go to lawschool so the lawclerk and the paralegal programs were for me a way of getting my feet in the water to see whether or not the legal field was for me.  I was still very young so waiting until the age of 26 to apply under the mature category was out of the question for me, so I needed to go get a B.A to go to law school.  I inquired, having finished my paralegal at seneca, into the applied B.A at Humber.  Unfortunately the vast majority of law schools do not recognize it as a valid B.A (I did inquire.)  I think only the university of alberta recognized it at the time.  I know for a fact that the majority of the law schools say that, although recognized by the ministry of colleges and universities as a B.A, it is not a "recognized" B.A in terms of reputation.  So I did end up going to an actual university to do my B.A.  I applied to law school for this upcoming cycle and depite my lower overall gpa of 3.59 I am convinced that my background as a paralegal did help me to get into law school. 

So glad I found your post, which University did you end up at? Were your credits from Paralegal at Seneca transferable? How many courses did you need to take to complete your B.A? Which Law school did you end up at? 

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So glad I found your post, which University did you end up at? Were your credits from Paralegal at Seneca transferable? How many courses did you need to take to complete your B.A? Which Law school did you end up at? 

 

 

I went to York and they gave me 24 advanced standing credits so a full university year.  I then had to just do another two years (48 credits) of university to complete my undergrad. I just graduated from the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law and stayed in the city for articling. 

Edited by HopingHopper

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