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VTLawyer

Query - opportunities in a Law career in Canada for an International lawyer

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Hello Everyone,

I am a practicing advocate in the Supreme Court of India. I have done my graduation B.A.LLB (H) from a reputed college from India with a CGPA 6/10. I want to become a legal practitioner in Ontario, Canada, reason being better quality of life and diverse opportunities.

 As per my research I will have four options - 

 1. LLM

2. Paralegal

3. Law Clerk

4. Mediation - Alternate Dispute Resolution

 Query - What will be the best course to choose from the above mentioned options for a better career as well as securing a job in Canada? 

 My observation and analysis -  

 1. LLM will prove to be general course and I will not be able to study Canadian law modules, which means I will not be able to study subjects like family Law, real estate law, administrative law, torts, tenancy laws, etc. After completing LLM I may not be able to even clear the Canadian Bar examination (Barrister Examination and Solicitors Examination conducted by Law Society of Upper Canada). 

 2. Paralegal - I think this is the best option for me as I will be eligible and sit in the Paralegal Licensing Exam to receive accreditation by the Law Society of Upper Canada. I will also have the opportunity subjects like Criminal laws, Business laws, Immigration and Employment laws, etc. which may further help me in clearing the Canadian Bar Exam. Also, colleges like Algonquin, Durham offer mandatory field placements.

My only concern is that are there plenty of Paralegal Jobs available in Ontario, and based on my profile would I have the chances of securing one?

 3. Law Clerk - I am not really interested in this course, reason being that even a Paralegal can do a law clerk's task but not vice versa.

4. Mediation ADR - I think this also a good option as after completing this I will be able to become a mediator and a negotiator. 

I request all of you to give your views on my above mentioned queries and also the best city and colleges to choose from.

I will be highly grateful to you.

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2 hours ago, VTLawyer said:

Hello Everyone,

I am a practicing advocate in the Supreme Court of India. I have done my graduation B.A.LLB (H) from a reputed college from India with a CGPA 6/10. I want to become a legal practitioner in Ontario, Canada, reason being better quality of life and diverse opportunities.

 As per my research I will have four options - 

 1. LLM

2. Paralegal

3. Law Clerk

4. Mediation - Alternate Dispute Resolution

 Query - What will be the best course to choose from the above mentioned options for a better career as well as securing a job in Canada? 

 My observation and analysis -  

 1. LLM will prove to be general course and I will not be able to study Canadian law modules, which means I will not be able to study subjects like family Law, real estate law, administrative law, torts, tenancy laws, etc. After completing LLM I may not be able to even clear the Canadian Bar examination (Barrister Examination and Solicitors Examination conducted by Law Society of Upper Canada). 

 2. Paralegal - I think this is the best option for me as I will be eligible and sit in the Paralegal Licensing Exam to receive accreditation by the Law Society of Upper Canada. I will also have the opportunity subjects like Criminal laws, Business laws, Immigration and Employment laws, etc. which may further help me in clearing the Canadian Bar Exam. Also, colleges like Algonquin, Durham offer mandatory field placements.

My only concern is that are there plenty of Paralegal Jobs available in Ontario, and based on my profile would I have the chances of securing one?

 3. Law Clerk - I am not really interested in this course, reason being that even a Paralegal can do a law clerk's task but not vice versa.

4. Mediation ADR - I think this also a good option as after completing this I will be able to become a mediator and a negotiator. 

I request all of you to give your views on my above mentioned queries and also the best city and colleges to choose from.

I will be highly grateful to you.

Check out the information from the National Committee on Accreditation. This will give you information on what you need to do to become a lawyer in Canada. You may or may not be required to do an LLM. 

https://flsc.ca/national-committee-on-accreditation-nca/

If your goal is to get a salaried position I would not take the paralegal course. In Ontario there are relatively few paralegal jobs that provide you with a guaranteed salary. Most paralegals are in a sole practice or they are working in an "eat what you kill" model. That is, their income is based on the files they work on and how much business they generate. 

If you want to work as a law clerk, take the law clerk course. Do not take the paralegal course with the idea that you can also work as a clerk. In theory anyone can work as a clerk. Law clerks are not licenced or regulated in Ontario. However, the paralegal course will not teach you enough about clerking for you to be useful to a lawyer or law firm. 

I don't have a lot of experience with Mediation/ADR, but my sense is that a lot of this work is entrepreneurial in nature and comes through your network and connections in the legal field. Something that may place you at a disadvantage. 

Good luck with your future endeavours. 

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9 hours ago, OWH said:

Check out the information from the National Committee on Accreditation. This will give you information on what you need to do to become a lawyer in Canada. You may or may not be required to do an LLM. 

https://flsc.ca/national-committee-on-accreditation-nca/

If your goal is to get a salaried position I would not take the paralegal course. In Ontario there are relatively few paralegal jobs that provide you with a guaranteed salary. Most paralegals are in a sole practice or they are working in an "eat what you kill" model. That is, their income is based on the files they work on and how much business they generate. 

If you want to work as a law clerk, take the law clerk course. Do not take the paralegal course with the idea that you can also work as a clerk. In theory anyone can work as a clerk. Law clerks are not licenced or regulated in Ontario. However, the paralegal course will not teach you enough about clerking for you to be useful to a lawyer or law firm. 

I don't have a lot of experience with Mediation/ADR, but my sense is that a lot of this work is entrepreneurial in nature and comes through your network and connections in the legal field. Something that may place you at a disadvantage. 

Good luck with your future endeavours. 

Thanks OWH, in that case would you suggest me a 1 year law clerk program or a two year one?

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8 hours ago, VTLawyer said:

Thanks OWH, in that case would you suggest me a 1 year law clerk program or a two year one?

I am not familiar enough with the law clerk programs to advise you. However, I would suggest that you take a program at one of the community colleges (government run). I would not advise going to a private career college. Their tuition is much more expensive and I don't think their academic standards are as high as the community colleges. 

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Two comments, first I would make sure you are properly advised on the immigration issues. Immigrating to Canada is not a simple process. Second, the legal field is very dependent on language and your English is quite awkward. The legal market in Canada is not particularly kind to minorities in your situation. 

 

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I deal with mediators from time to time in my area of practice and we have never hired one who didn't have many years of legal practice under their belts. It can be a difficult area for even senior members of the bar to break into.

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