Loading...

Overview

  • Duration:  2 years + 3 months
  • Format:  3 courses per term, year-round, in class delivery
  • Fieldwork: 3-week placement in a GTA law firm
  • Licensing Exam: Graduates of the Seneca program are entitled to a Licensing Exam Prep course at no extra cost
 

This certificate program provides individuals with the specialized knowledge and skills to represent or advise clients, across a designated range of legal needs including: Small Claims Court, Provincial Offences Court, Ontario Court of Justice (Summary Conviction Offences where prison term is < 6 months / 5k fine), Provincial Administrative Tribunals and most Federal Administrative Tribunals, and some immigration matters.

Licensed paralegals are fully qualified and trained legal professionals. In Ontario, paralegals fulfill work responsibilities in: 

  • Law firms
  • Government offices and the public sector
  • Insurance and banking
  • Tech, manufacturing, and other corporations
  • Own legal practice serving clients

Law Society of Upper Canada Accredited Paralegal Education

Taught by practicing lawyers and paralegals, our program is designed in accordance with the Law Society of Upper Canada's (LSUC) core competencies and prepares you to write the LSUC Licensing examination. 

Our  courses are offered in the evenings and weekends, so you can continue to work full-time while you expand your career horizons.

Whether you are changing careers or building on your skill set, Seneca College?s Part-time Studies Paralegal Certificate program can help you thrive in this dynamic field where the scope of practice is likely to expand and employment growth is expected to be strong.

Information Session

New students are invited to attend an information session.

Entry Requirements

While there are no specific entry requirements, the ability to communicate effectively is an expectation of the Paralegal. Both verbal and written communication skills are emphasized throughout the program.

Application Form

The requirements of Seneca College's Part-Time Paralegal Certificate program are set by the Law Society of Upper Canada. To apply for the program please complete the following online application form. By submitting this form you are agreeing to the Terms of Study for this program outlined below.


Filter Classes: In Class     Online     Correspondence     Hybrid     Availability   


Curriculum

Certificate Requirements

LGL150
Legal Drafting and Communication
Availability
 

This course provides students with the ability to draft legal documents clearly and concisely.




Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

LGL180
Introduction to the Legal System
Availability
 

This course introduces students to important elements of the Canadian legal system. Topics include an introduction to the nature of law, the sources of law, the legal system, the Ontario Court system, the legal professions and typology of law. The course also includes an examination of Property Law, Consumer Law, Business Law, the structure of the Canadian Government, the Canadian Constitution, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and methods of analysis including the concept of jurisdiction and legal terminology.




Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

LGL214
Computer Applications
Availability
 

Through the preparation, management and formatting of business and legal correspondence and other documents, LGL214 focuses on mastering intermediate and selected advanced skills in the use of Microsoft Word. This course is designed to further develop students' knowledge of word processing by means of assigned exercises, assignments, test and/or exam; students gain insight into the duties and responsibilities required in the modern legal office environment.




Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

LGL102
Contracts and Torts
Availability
 

Prerequisite(s):

Completion of all Module 1 Courses

This course introduces the students to two basic areas of the law, namely contracts and torts. Contracts form the foundation of commerce in today's complex society. In this segment of the course the student learns what a contract is, when it is valid, how it may end, how a party deals with breach of contract, and the role of the courts in enforcing contracts and awarding damages for their breach. In the segment dealing with torts, the student learns about various aspects of tort law, with a particular focus on negligence, liability without fault, tort damages and common statutory torts.




Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

LGL126
Administrative Law
Availability
 

Prerequisite(s):

Completion of all Module 1 Courses

This course introduces students to the general principles of administrative law and the enforcement of government legislation before designated boards and agencies. Students examine relevant Ontario legislation including the Statutory Powers Procedure Act.




Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

LGL411
Legal Research and Writing
Availability
 

Prerequisite(s):

Completion of all Module 1 Courses

This course provides students with an introduction to legal research and basic techniques of good legal writing. Students develop the skills necessary to analyze simple legal problems and to research basic legal questions. Students learn how to find and update primary sources of law using both paper and computerized sources. Students learn how to read, interpret and apply statutes, regulations and cases. Emphasis is placed on Ontario and federal law.




Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

LGL232
Employment Law
Availability
 

This course provides students with a working knowledge of the legal aspects of employment; in particular, the areas of employment standards, occupational health and safety, and workplace safety and insurance will be examined. The course also introduces the student to the administrative practices and procedures of several administrative tribunals in this area of law in Ontario.




Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

PLA301
Legal Accounting
Availability
 

Prerequisite(s):

All Module One and Two Courses

This course is designed to introduce the basics of legal accounting, including the Law Society requirements of paralegals. Students build on their knowledge through the study of Excel and PCLaw.




Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

PLE301
Evidence and the Litigation Process
Availability
 

Students learn the basic principles of the law of evidence and techniques for its introduction in the hearing process. They are first introduced to the general procedure by which a case reaches the criminal and civil courts and the trial process. They examine the various forms and purpose of seeking admissibility of evidence; the exceptions to the rules of general admissibility; the evidentiary rules relating to the testimony of witness and the introduction of real and demonstrative evidence.




Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

LGL237
Residential Landlord and Tenant Law
Availability
 

This course introduces students to residential tenancies, and covers the Residential Tenancies Act. Students are taught the law and procedures relating to the termination of residential tenancies and other common applications that come before the Landlord and Tenant Board.




Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

PLO311
Criminal Summary Conviction Procedure
Availability
 

This course introduces the substantive law and procedure related to offences under the Criminal Code of Canada, with the emphasis on summary conviction offences. Students review the limited role of the paralegal in the criminal court process. Students also learn the required procedures to apply for a pardon.




Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

PLO401
Provincial Offences / Motor Vehicle Offences
Availability
 

This course permits students to apply their knowledge of the substance and procedures of the Provincial Offences Act to specific offences, with emphasis on motor vehicle offences and trials. Students develop research and analytical skills as well as a practical knowledge of trial procedures.




Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

LGL226
Tribunal Practice and Procedure
Availability
 

This course introduces students to the general practice and procedures before administrative tribunals. Students learn to identify and interpret the enabling legislation of administrative tribunals. Students review the legislation, practice and procedures before various tribunals before which a paralegal may represent a client.




Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

PLD401
Advocacy
Availability
 

This course teaches the student the advocacy skills required in small claims court, provincial offences court and tribunals. Students prepare and present opening statements, examinations-in-chief, cross-examinations and closing arguments in class. At the end of the term, students participate in a mock trial.




Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

PLE427
Ethics and Professional Responsibility
Availability
 

Independent paralegals must be licensed by the Law Society of Upper Canada. Law Society by-laws and Paralegal Rules of Conduct - both based in the Law Society Act - set out professional and ethical obligations of Paralegals. Paralegals failing to meet these obligations are subject to the Society's complaints and discipline process. This course teaches students the permitted scope of practice of licensed paralegals and examines the Paralegal Rules of Conduct.




Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

LGL201
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Availability
 

This course deals with methods of alternative dispute resolution, that is, processes devised to resolve a dispute outside the judicial system. Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) techniques include negotiation, mediation and arbitration. In this course, students become familiar with these techniques and work on the development of negotiation and mediation skills using an interest-based approach.




Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

PLC401
Small Claims Court Practice and Procedure
Availability
 

This course introduces the student to the practice and procedures of the Small Claims Court. Topics covered include basic collection procedures, the decision to sue, the investigation of claims, and the process of commencing an action, bringing it to trial and the enforcement of judgments.




Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

PLP403
Practice Management and Business Communication
Availability
 

This course teaches the basic requirements for establishing and operating a paralegal business. The course also introduces the student to the knowledge and communication skills necessary for the successful management of a paralegal practice.




Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

LGL215
Immigration Law
Availability
 

This course provides the student with a basic working knowledge of Canadian immigration law and policy. Immigration is a comprehensive field of government regulation that encompasses diverse issues ranging from social, family and economic development considerations to the international refugee problem. The student is made familiar with the main areas of immigration policy and procedure.




Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

FPL490
Field Placement
Availability
 

Prerequisite(s):

Students must get approval of their field placement from the field placement coordinator prior to beginning the placemet. All field placements must be done under the supervision of and signed off by a licensed lawyer or paralegal.

  • Successful completion of all module courses in the Paralegal Education Certificate Program.
  • Police clearance letter: Any student who wishes to have a field placement in a court, governmental department, agency or tribunal may have to obtain a police clearance letter from the jurisdiction in which he or she resides. See "Police Clearance Letters and Security Checks," later in this outline.

Students are required to complete field placement in a legal work setting to apply the theory and skills they have learned in the program, and to gain work experience. Field placement promotes the concept of "learning by doing". The student must successfully complete field placement of 120 hours to graduate from their program.
The Law Society of Upper Canada requires a minimum of 120 hours of Field Placement/Practicum work experience.




Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

20 Courses for the Paralegal Certificate, the credential required to write the Law Society Licensing Exam.

Program Progression

The Paralegal Certificate Program has 2 intakes per year – Fall (September) and Winter (January). To apply for this program students need to complete the Online Application Form and register in the first module courses.

Students must complete all modules in the order presented and take all 3 courses in each module in the same term. Prerequisites will be strictly enforced. Students need to commit to taking all 7 modules consecutively, one term after another without any interruption in study. This means one cannot take a term off and then restart the program. It is essential that students start the program with a cohort and proceed through the program with the same cohort.

Failure to follow the module progression will result in a student being withdrawn from the program and thus risk incurring academic or financial penalties.

If a student fails a course they need to consult with the Academic Program area to determine when it will be offered again.

Field Placement

The Field Placement time requirement, mandated by the Law Society of Upper Canada ["LSUC"], is 120 hours. You may register for the Field Placement component of your program any time after the commencement of your 6th module. However, your placement must be completed by no later than the last day of your 7th module.

Pre-approved, self-arranged field placements do not necessarily require placement hours to be consecutive, provided you have prior approval of both the Field Placement Coordinator as well as your placement host and further provided the arrangements do not conflict with overall competency expectations set by the LSUC. Students are encouraged to expose themselves to a business environment one might reasonably expect to encounter in ordinary, private legal practice. A placement comprised of 120 consecutive hours offers a beneficial continuity of experience and therefore it is strongly recommended.

A Field placement arranged at your request by Seneca College must be fulfilled over 120 consecutive business hours subject to very exceptional circumstances and entirely dependent upon the approval of the Field Placement Coordinator and the agreement / availability of the placement host.

If you have any questions about the foregoing, please contact the Field Placement Coordinator by email at this address: Richard.Gasparini@senecacollege.ca. Every effort will be made to reply to emails within 24 hours

Program Outcomes

As a graduate, you will be prepared to reliably demonstrate the ability to:

  • Articulate and adhere to the permitted scope of paralegal practice and the Paralegal Rules of Conduct and complete all work in compliance with the ethical and professional responsibilities of a Paralegal.
  • Manage a paralegal practice and operate a small business, within the Paralegal Rules of Conduct relevant to these matters by effectively utilizing administrative and business management skills.
  • Describe the fundamental elements of the Canadian government and legal system, including the Constitution Act, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the organization of the Canadian court system, and the basic principles of property, business and consumer law.
  • Articulate and adhere to the basic principles of tort and contract law.
  • Conduct legal research and write legal memoranda and reports.
  • Adhere to the civil litigation process, within the permitted scope of paralegal practice, and apply procedural and evidentiary rules related to proceedings in the Small Claims Court.
  • Describe the principles of criminal law, and adhere to the rules relating to proceedings under the Criminal Code before a summary conviction court.
  • Describe the principles of the law of provincial offences, and adhere to the rules relating to proceedings under the Provincial Offences Act before the Ontario Court of Justice.
  • Make effective client representation before courts and administrative tribunals within the permitted scope of paralegal practice.
  • Compare and contrast various alternate dispute resolution mechanisms, select an appropriate mechanism as required, and explain to the client the potential consequences of the dispute resolution mechanism.
  • Adhere to the basic principles of administrative law, and of general practice and procedure before administrative tribunals.
  • Articulate and adhere to the principles of employment law, and the practice and procedure related to the administrative tribunals that deal with employment matters.
  • Articulate and adhere to residential landlord and tenant law, and the practice and procedure before the Landlord and Tenant Board.
  • Draft all necessary documents in a clear, concise and accurate manner.
  • Apply basic accounting principles, terminology, and operations to all paralegal obligations related to trust accounts, and the Law Society's requirements for book and record keeping.
  • Select and use the appropriate computer software necessary to produce correspondence, spreadsheets, memoranda and legal documents.
  • Prepare an employment resume in accordance with professional legal standards.

Graduation

If you meet all program requirements and become eligible for a Certificate, Diploma or Degree you must inform the Registrar by completing a Graduation Application form and paying the fee. Forms are available at the Registration office and online.

Certificates and diplomas are issued twice a year: Fall (October) and Spring (June). Graduation Application forms must be received no later than July 31 (for Fall Convocation), November 30 or March 31 (for Spring Convocation).

Minimum Performance for Graduation

Students will only be eligible to graduate with a Seneca College certificate or diploma if they have maintained an overall good standing in their current program of study. Students in degree programs will be eligible to graduate when they have obtained an average of C (2.5 GPA) in courses in the main field of study, and an average of C (2.0 GPA) in all other courses.

Note:

Students should consider applying for graduation while in their last term of studies in order to meet with the Law Society of Upper Canada's examination dates. Please see Licensing Information for additional information.

Licensing Information

Note: Regarding Law Society of Upper Canada Licensing Procedures

The Law Society has an annual Paralegal Licensing Cycle in which there are three opportunities within that cycle for the Paralegal Licensing examination to be written by college graduates. The application process usually becomes available on the Law Society website in the fall of every year.

To be eligible to write the licensing examination the student must have applied to the Law Society, met all of the Law Society's requirements and have graduated from an accredited Paralegal program. It is incumbent on every student to be aware of the Law Society application criteria, deadlines for submission of documents and fees. Please refer to the Law Society of Upper Canada Paralegal Licensing Process for detail information.

Paralegal students are expected to submit an official request for a transcript (via Registration) to be sent to the Law Society in time to meet the Law Society's Licensing Examination date deadline.

The Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC) website provides information on the examination dates and deadlines regarding licensing requirements

Request to Graduate forms must be received no later than July 31 (for Falll Convocation), November 30/March 31 (for Spring Convocation). For more detailed information on Seneca's deadlines, please refer to the Convocation website.

For more detailed information on the Law Society's deadlines, please refer to their website or to the following documents.

Further Studies

Starting September 1, 2015 the Paralegal Certificate is the credential that students require to apply to write the Law Society of Upper Canada Licensing examination, and upon successful completion it is the final component in attaining paralegal status.

Students may also continue their studies to attain a college diploma.

The pre-requisite for the diploma will be completion of the Paralegal Certificate plus 7 additional courses:

Students must successfully complete four general education courses with at least two different course codes

Note: that CAN271 Law and the Citizen, LOA101 Introduction to Legal Office Applications, CAN106 Canadian Politics, and CAN190 Canadian Political Systems cannot be used as General Education credits in this program.

Faculty Profile

Richard Gasparini

In 1974, I obtained a B.A. degree (with distinction) from Carleton University. I entered law school at the University of Ottawa earning a Juris Doctorate in 1977 and was called to the Ontario Bar in 1979. After obtaining my credentials, I eventually became a senior litigation partner at Lang Michener (now McMillan). I have worked as an instructor at the Law Society of Upper Canada Bar Admission as well as Ryerson University. I was also the former national Vice President of the Alzheimer Society of Canada.

In 2015, I obtained an LL.M. (Master of Laws) from Osgoode Hall, and I am working toward an M.B.A. from Bradford University in the U.K. Currently, I am a lecturer at York University and an Academic Paralegal Program Manager/Field Placement Coordinator for Seneca Part-time Studies' Paralegal Program.

After being an instructor for over five years, I have learned the mark you can make on someone's life is the most rewarding aspect of teaching. I always admire the students in my classes who make untold personal and professional sacrifices to pursue their dreams to the best of their abilities. William Ward once said, "The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires." I keep those words in mind every time I walk into a classroom.

Richard Gasparini teaches or has taught in the following courses:

  • LGL180 Introduction to the Legal System
  • LGL113 Legal Entities and Relationships

Program Contacts

Contact us via this form or using the phone number(s) below it.





Dedra Profitt
Program Assistant
Dedra.Profitt@senecacollege.ca
416-491-5050 ext.22635


Karen Skeaff
Academic Program Manager
Karen.Skeaff@senecacollege.ca
416-491-5050 ext.26626


Information Session

New students are invited to attend an information session.