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Paralegal (graduate certificate)

Paralegal (graduate certificate)

Paralegal (graduate certificate)

Passion and integrity gets the job done

When somebody who is dealing with a legal matter goes searching for help, their first choice is somebody as dedicated to their case as they are. Whether you offer paralegal services on your own or work under the supervision of a lawyer, your passion and integrity combined with extensive knowledge of the legal system, make you the perfect candidate to help those dealing with legal matters.

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Program Description

This program is designed for students with previous education. Please see the entrance requirements section of this page for more detail. It is accredited by The Law Society of Upper Canada (Law Society) and meets its rigorous competencies for paralegals.

This program will prepare you for the Law Society’s paralegal licensing examination, which graduates are eligible to write. It is designed to provide the specialized knowledge and skills required to independently provide legal services as a professional licensed paralegal in
authorized areas of law, or work as a paralegal in law firms under the supervision of a lawyer. An exciting legal career awaits!

The graduate certificate program is also designed specifically for individuals who have a degree or diploma consisting of law related courses or three to five years of legal-related experience. Upon licensing by the Law Society, you will be able to provide legal services within authorized areas of practise.

Please note: All licensed paralegals must be members of the Law Society, the regulatory body governing paralegals in the province.

Provincial legislation authorizes licensed paralegals to independently provide legal services in the areas of:

  • Administrative tribunals in Ontario
  • Immigration and refugee law
  • Provincial offences
  • Small claims court
  • Criminal Court, Summary conviction offences
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Admission Requirements

  • Legally related college diploma (Law and Security Administration; Law Clerk Advanced; or Police Foundations) or university degree (criminology; legal/justice studies; or public policy) with minimum 2.7 grade point average (GPA)


  • Non-legal related diploma or degree including minimum three legally related courses with minimum 2.7 GPA


  • Three to five years of related experience (including resumé and references) and an Ontario Secondary School Diploma or equivalent

If you do not have the requisite undergraduate diploma or degree, you will be required to submit the following in order to be considered for entrance:

  • At least one reference letter from someone you have appeared before (e.g. judge, justice of the peace, adjudicator, etc.)
  • At least one reference letter from someone you have appeared against (e.g. crown attorney, agency counsel, licensed paralegal or lawyer)
  • Career portfolio which may include past employment certificates; continuing education certificates; evidence of professional training and development; and any other items in support of your employment training as is deemed relevant
  • Letter of interest
  • One reference letter addressing your character and suitability for the program
  • Original transcripts (if applicable)
  • Resumé
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Career Options

Licensed paralegals are authorized to provide legal services in the following areas:

  • Administrative tribunals in Ontario such as the Human Rights Tribunal, WSIB, Ontario Labour Board, etc.
  • Small claims court litigation.
  • Provincial offences.
  • Summary conviction criminal offences; and Immigration.

 As a result of the range of matters on which licensed paralegals may provide legal services, our graduates find employment with law firms, paralegal firms and government, and they may also open their own paralegal businesses.


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Program Costs

YEAR ONE FEESDomesticInternational
Compulsory Ancillary$1,057$1,617
Program Incidental$25$25
Total Fees:$4,666$14,713

Please note: fees are based on the 2014-2015 academic year and do not include textbooks. For more information please see Other fees to consider.

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Field Placements

Pursuant to the accreditation of paralegal programs, a significant training segment of Durham College’s Paralegal program is the completion of 120 hours of field placement at the end of your second semester. The successful completion of a field placement in a legal environment under the supervision of a licensed lawyer or paralegal is an integral part of the program. 

Applicants should be aware that some field placement hosts require a clear CBC when accepting a student or hiring. In addition, the Law Society of Upper Canada has a good character component when considering applications to write the Licensing examination. Please refer to the law society’s website at for more information.

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Centre for Integrated Justice Studies

The Centre for Integrated Justice Studies (CIJS) is a training function of the School of Justice & Emergency Services. CIJS offers unique seminars and workshops to give DC/UOIT students and the public a competitive edge in preparing them for job searching and interviews. For more information please visit the CIJS website.

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Opportunities For Degree Completion Or Additional Credentials

Qualified graduates can go on to take Durham College’s:

Qualified graduates may also be eligible to apply their academic credits toward further study through Durham College’s partnerships with many Canadian and international colleges and universities. 

Please visit the Transfer Guide for more information.

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  • Program length: One-year
  • Credential awarded: Ontario College Graduate Certificate
  • Location: Oshawa
  • School: School of Justice & Emergency Services (JES)
  • Domestic tuition: $3,584 (CDN)
  • Intake Statuses
    • Program intake status is Open Open: September 2015
  • International Intake Statuses
    • Program intake status is Closed Closed: September 2015
  • code: CTAP
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