The body of knowledge required to effectively perform paralegal support services can be gained from a formal education in paralegal studies. As attorneys, law offices, corporations and government agencies strive to work within an increasingly complex legal framework, the breadth of responsibilities given to the legal assistants they employ have increased accordingly. Law offices, as well as other private and public sector employers in Saskatchewan, are now more often turning to paralegals who have demonstrated competence through formal education.
Currently the Province of Saskatchewan has not implemented licensing or certification requirements for those practicing as paralegals. As a prospective paralegal this lets you off the hook for needing to research licensing laws or employment restrictions, which is good news. There are no government-mandated qualifications you must earn in order to launch your career in this field, unlike some other provinces.
However you still must contend with market competition, and fortunately there are plenty of ways to distinguish yourself from your competitors in this field, especially academically. There are several Saskatchewan-based schools offering programs related to the paralegal profession from which you can voluntarily earn competitive academic credentials. These include diplomas, certificates, and minors in fields that are pertinent to paralegal studies.
While not legally mandated, academic programs in paralegal studies can give you a leg up in this competitive profession as they often include professors with real-world professional expertise who offer constructive instruction on topics like creating a competitive résumé, locating a career-opening internship, or career-changing into a new profession as a paralegal.
Earning an academic paralegal credential not only demonstrates your willingness to go beyond the minimum to outclass your would-be competition; it can also improve your mobility options for working in different provinces throughout the country. In the provinces that do have education requirements for becoming a paralegal, there can be provisions in place to accept transfer credits from qualifying paralegal educational programs. In other words, paralegal education can mean an increase in freedom of professional mobility. This helps ensure that every Canadian gets the legal assistance and representation they’re entitled to.
We’ve compiled the following directory of academic paralegal programs throughout Saskatchewan.
Academy of Learning Career College – Legal Assistant Diploma
This 52-week undergraduate diploma program is offered from the ALCC’s Saskatoon campus. Topics covered include:
- Conflict management
- Civil litigation
- Youth justice
- Estate planning
- Legal office procedures
- Family law
- Real estate law
- Finance and credit
- Criminal law
Saskatchewan Polytechnic – Court Services Administrator Applied Certificate
Offering classes from its Prince Albert, Saskatoon, and Regina campuses, this undergraduate certificate program can be completed in 14 weeks and includes a two-week work experience segment where you have the opportunity to gain supervised on-the-job experience that can simultaneously lead to future employment prospects. You’ll earn 22 credits taking courses that cover topics like criminal law, court office procedures, and extra-judicial programs.
SBC College – Legal Assistant and Legal Administrative Assistant Diplomas
Both the undergraduate Legal Assistant and Legal Administrative Assistant diploma programs are 40 weeks each, totaling 1280 and 1040 academic hours respectively. They have multiple start dates throughout the year and are offered from SBC College’s Saskatoon campus. Both programs include an intensive focus on the study of communications and computer applications. The longer Legal Assistant diploma program additionally includes coverage of topics like legal voice transcription, court rules, criminal law, civil litigation, family law, and legal research.
University of Regina – Diploma/Certificate/Minor in Justice Studies, Certificate/Minor in Law and Society
The Department of Justice Studies at the University of Regina offers the widest range of education programs in Saskatchewan that are related to paralegal practice. In the subject of undergraduate Justice Studies, it offers a 60-credit diploma, a 30-credit certificate, and an 18-credit minor. In the subject of undergraduate Law and Society it offers a 30-credit certificate and an 18-credit minor. All programs are offered on-campus in Regina.