How to Become a Paralegal in Newfoundland and Labrador - NL

The 2006 Canadian census found 260 paralegals at work in Newfoundland and Labrador, a 13% increase from the 2001 level. The census also found higher-than-average levels of employment for paralegals in Newfoundland and Labrador, with fewer paralegals unemployed than workers in other professions.


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As Newfoundland and Labrador do not regulate the paralegal profession, there are no license or certification requirements for paralegals. The law does require that paralegals be supervised by lawyers. Paralegals are also prohibited from giving legal advice.

Lawyers may delegate substantive legal work to paralegals in their employ. A paralegal’s job duties may include performing legal research, interviewing clients and witnesses, drafting legal documents, and writing correspondence.

Education

In Newfoundland and Labrador, paralegals may be able to find employment without having completed a paralegal education program. However, having a certificate, diploma or degree in paralegal studies can make entry level job candidates more competitive. For someone who is already working as a paralegal, completing an educational program can help advance their career.

Newfoundland & Labrador

  • Average salary for paralegals in Newfoundland and Labrador: $26,771
  • 2009 labor market agreement projects 65% of new Canadian jobs will require post-secondary education
  • 2003-2008, unemployment rate in Canada dropped by 3.3% making the unemployment rate the lowest in 25 years
  • 2009 labor market agreement identifies all Canadian job growth since 2003 has been in full-time employment

Working students may find that paralegal certificate programs allow them to continue working full-time while simultaneously furthering their education. Certificate programs may offer evening and weekend classes, and online classes that students can access remotely. Most certificate programs can be completed in one year.

Paralegal diploma programs prepare students for entering the paralegal profession or increase the skills of those also working in the legal field. Diploma programs typically require two years of coursework focused on paralegal studies, without many general education classes.

Graduates of paralegal degree programs earn bachelor’s degrees. Degree programs incorporate general education classes like history, English and mathematics with coursework focused on paralegal studies. Degrees take approximately four full-time years to complete.

Paralegal Associations

Te paralegal community in Newfoundland and Labrador is still too small to support a professional paralegal association. However, paralegals that are interested in the benefits of association membership may choose to join one of the two national associations: the Canadian Association of Paralegals (CAP) and the Paralegal Society of Canada (PSC).

CAP members can leverage the association’s advocacy work to help develop the paralegal profession as it grows in Newfoundland and Labrador.  CAP already has members who live in the Maritimes. It strives to represent them at the national level and to help develop networks within the larger legal community of the region. CAP also offers its members scholarships, access to a job bank, continuing education opportunities and a professional network.

The PSC works at a legislative level to advocate for the paralegal profession. It also serves a self-regulatory function, demanding high levels of professionalism from its members and responding to consumer inquires and complaints.

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Law Firms

Because law firms employ a majority of paralegals, they are good resource for investigating paralegal jobs and job requirements. Newfoundland and Labrador’s largest law firms include:

  • Cox & Palmer
  • Stewart McKelvey
  • McInnes Cooper

Important Contacts for Paralegals

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