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Paralegal

Paralegals are vital and well-paid members of a legal office. In order to meet the challenges of this fast-paced career, students need a targeted legal and administrative education.

Vancouver Career College's Paralegal diploma program trains students in core administrative skills such as keyboarding and computing, as well as the Canadian legal system. Students are taught about legal documentation, procedures, and handling evidence. Students will gain legal experience through a five-week practicum in a legal workplace.

 Graduates will be prepared to enter paralegal jobs in workplaces such as government offices, private law offices, and corporate firms.
"My instructors were so nice and so helpful. They really maintain a fun atmosphere so you always feel at ease." - Ved P., Vancouver Career College Graduate
This program is 65 weeks in length.

Job Opportunities
  • Law Firms
  • Legal Departments
  • Corporations
  • Government Agencies
  • Real Estate Agencies
  • Trust Companies
  • Financial Institutions

Program Courses

The program outline below is for British Columbia.

Code Course Name Hours
  • SSSE Student Success Strategies 25

    • Students will gain a better understanding of themselves through an exploration of their personal attributes, transferable skills and learning styles. This course will introduce techniques for time, conflict, and stress management and develop interpersonal communication skills. Fundamental study and motivation skills will be covered, preparing students to excel in their program of choice. Students will also prepare a professional resume and learn how to write effective cover letters.
  • BCAE Business Computer Applications 100

    • The first component of this course is designed to introduce students to basic computer literacy through familiarization with the components that make up a computer. Students will also look at the Windows operating system to learn how to manage a computer on a regular basis. The second component of this course will teach the basic skills required to work with a variety of business documents including the following MS Office Products Word, Excel and PowerPoint. The third and final component is designed to introduce students to considerations for living online. Students will look at what the Internet is and how email has made a huge impact on communicating with others, as well as look at how to find information on the Internet and avoid risk to personal security while online.
  • B1220 Keyboarding 50

    • Using a computer is essential in today’s office environment. This module offers the students an opportunity to familiarize themselves with a standard keyboard. For the advanced keyboarder, the module focus is to increase typing speed and accuracy.
  • B1030 Business Communications 75

    • Students will learn a variety of communication methods for the modern business office. Topics include written and oral communications, grammar, spelling and the communication process. Students will practice these elements by role playing and through case studies.
  • B1075 Employment and Customer Service Skills 25

    • In the employment skills component, effective resume preparation, cover letter formats, content and phraseology will be studied and practiced. In the customer service skills component, the importance of the customer and of customer service are examined through case studies and role-playing. Students will learn relevant theories of human behaviour and how they may be applied to improve customer relations.
  • LAW1010 Introduction to the Study of Law 50

    • Students will be provided with an overview of the Canadian legal system, legal institutions and the structure of the Canadian court system. Students learn about the history of Canadian law, including an analysis of the development of the Canadian constitution. The Legal Professional Act and the Rules of the Law Society of British Columbia will be discussed with a view towards professionalism and ethics in the field. There will be an examination of the roles and responsibilities of members of the legal profession. Students will learn how to interpret statutes and will attune their skills in legal reasoning. The Doctrine of Precedent, along with current issues, and developments in Canadian law will also be overviewed in this module. The process of law reform, the Law of Equity and how to distinguish case law and Stare Decisis will also be covered.
  • LAW1020 General Legal Office Procedures and Documentation 125

    • In this module students learn about the day-to-day organization, management and procedures of a legal office. The latest developments in office technology are presented and practically applied as students draft standard legal documents (agreements, statements of claim and defense, letters and memos). Students are also introduced to the important skills of timekeeping, filing and the effective use of communication systems (telephone, fax). Law office and trust accounting concepts and procedures are covered. One of the most highly valued abilities of legal administrative assistants and paralegals is that of being able to prioritize, organize and multitask workloads. Students learn these important skills in tandem with problem solving and critical thinking skills development.
  • LAW1030 Litigation Procedures I 75

    • The focus of this course is on civil litigation. Students learn the steps for opening and maintaining a litigation file and the British Columbia court litigation stages and procedures. Familiarization is built with different types of damages and claims as well as the procedures for proving a claim. Students gain experience preparing all relevant documents (for pre-trial and trial proceedings). Proceeding to trial is also covered, along with the procedure for actions (in Provincial Court and Civil Division). Mediation and settlement are introduced.
  • LAW1040 Family Law Procedures 75

    • This course introduces the family court system in British Columbia. Students become familiar with Provincial and Supreme Court documentation and procedures used to bring issues of marriage, separation, divorce, custody/access, child welfare, adoption, maintenance and property to resolution using the legal system. The Family Relations Act and the Divorce Act are covered. Students gain experience in completing a contested divorce file. Child Support guidelines are also covered.
  • LAW2010 Real Estate Law and Conveyancing I 75

    • This course focuses on the substantive law of real estate. Students are introduced to basic conveyancing procedures. The registration system in British Columbia is covered, along with other forms and documents related to transfer/deed, charge/mortgage, and discharge of charge/mortgage. The structure of a real estate sale is illustrated. Students also learn the requirements when acting for the vendor or acting for the purchaser. Students also gain knowledge about closing a real estate transaction.
  • LAW2020 Corporate and Commercial Law 50

    • Students are introduced to the incorporation and organization of a British Columbia company. There will be an overview of the British Columbia Business Corporation Act (by which the BC Company Act was repealed), the Society Act, the Canada Business Corporations Act and the Canada Corporations Act. Guidelines and procedures for selecting a corporate name are covered. Student understanding of corporate by-laws and corporate structure is built, along with the typical requirements of corporate meetings, minutes, resolutions and the duties of directors and officers. Students use legal precedents to prepare articles of incorporation and corporate by-laws. Experience is gained with routine filings and resolutions. Students learn how to set up and maintain corporate records (Records Book as well as the transitions to the new Business Corporations Acts). Corporate securities, records and changes are also covered.
  • LAW2030 Criminal Law and Evidence I 50

    • In this introductory course, students learn about the nature, purpose, scope, sources and basic principles of criminal law. The Criminal Code of Canada and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms are discussed. Students review the basic elements of a criminal offence and the practical procedures utilized throughout a client’s arrest, trial, sentencing and appeal. Jurisdictional issues are presented, along with the process for jury election. There will also be a discussion of evidence.
  • LAW2040 Wills and Estates Planning I 50

    • In this foundation course, students learn about wills and estates planning, estate succession, testacy, intestacy, requirements of a valid will and execution procedures. There is an introduction to the roles of the Executor and Trustee. Students learn about the Notice to Beneficiaries, Living Wills, Power of Attorney and Representations Agreements. Assets, inheritance and estate inventory are also presented.
  • LAW3010 Torts 100

    • This course is an overview of the laws of negligence and various types of torts including false imprisonment, assault, battery, defamation, nuisance, recovery of pure economic loss.
  • LAW3020 Contracts 100

    • Students learn about the formation of partnerships and general concepts underlying incorporations. The fundamental principles of contract law and various types of contacts are overviewed including an offer, acceptance, certainty, intention, consideration, privity, capacity, public policy, frustration, breach, misrepresentation, mistake and remedies.
  • LAW3030 Insurance Law 50

    • This course provides students with an overview of Canadian insurance law including the structure of the industry, insurable interests, valuation, subrogation, contribution and indemnity and duty to disclose. Agents’ duties and responsibilities, form and formation of the insurance contract; the claims process and British Columbia Auto Insurance issues are also covered. This course also focuses on personal injury practice and relevant substantive law and procedures required to manage a personal injury file.
  • LAW3040 Legal Research and Interviewing 75

    • Research and analytical skills are developed in this course. Students gain an understanding of research design, data gathering, analysis and reporting. The studies of primary and secondary research materials are covered, along with how to correctly cite sources, case law, statutes, regulations and legislation. Students will prepare a legal research memorandum, read case briefs and legal documents, use encyclopedias, annotated reports, law reviews and case comments. Internet research is also covered extensively, along with how to locate decisions and statutes. Students learn about various types of interviews and increase their expertise in conducting interviews. Students also learn about how laws and statutes are made (first reading, second reading), hone their legal reasoning and legal problem solving skills.
  • LAW3050 Litigation Procedures II 50

    • In this course, a continuation of Litigation Procedures II, students learn about the enforcement of judgments, the use of precedents in litigation and further their understanding and knowledge of alternative dispute resolution. Students deepen their understanding of the law-making process, the use of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and procedures in Small Claims Court and Supreme Court of British Columbia. This course also prepares students to draft motion of notice and affidavit.
  • LAW3060 Corporate and Commercial Law II 50

    • This course advances student understanding and knowledge of the differences between reporting and non-reporting companies. Students analyze agency relationships, liabilities and methods of securing financial transactions and acquiring assets. Different types of financial arrangements, the nature of security, credit devices, priorities and assignments are covered. There is also a review and consolidation of the structure of businesses, their creation and the requirements for their transfer. The procedures involved in various commercial transactions from the opening of a file to the closing are presented. Students become familiar with typical documentation dealing with a variety of commercial transactions: commercial leasing, commercial financing of real and personal property, and commercial sales.
  • LAW3070 Real Estate Law and Conveyancing II 50

    • The nature of mortgages, features, legal and equitable interests, principles of interest, priorities, assignment, extinguishment, insurance issues, and payout strategies are covered in this course. A continuation of Real Estate Law and Conveyancing I, property law concepts, the land title system, undertakings, conflict of interest, contract of purchase and sale, and tax issues are also covered. Students also learn about the Personal Property Securities Act, validity of security agreements, rights of parties and theory, concepts, procedures and forms. Students also gain knowledge of commercial conveyancing matters and the role of the conveyancing assistant.
  • LAW3080 Criminal Law and Evidence II 50

    • This course, a continuation of Criminal Law and Evidence I, covers interviewing techniques and investigation procedures with regards to criminal offenses, examination techniques (direct and cross), the creation and maintenance of a criminal file. This course also includes the gathering of information, obtaining a retainer, completing documentation, billing and reporting. There is also a review of law of evidence and the evidentiary statement.
  • LAW3090 Wills and Estates Planning II 25

    • An overview of The Wills Act and the Administration of Estates Act are covered. This course also covers the roles of the Executor and Trustee.
  • LAW4010 Intellectual Property 50

    • This course provides an overview of common law, legislation, and international treatises and conventions impacting intellectual property (focusing on copyright, patents, and trademarks). Students are also introduced to the concepts, practice underlying the management and enforcement of intellectual property rights.
  • LAW4020 Credit and Collection Procedures 50

    • This course presents the laws and procedures related to debtor’s and creditor’s rights. Students learn about builders' liens, applicable statute law and provincial legislation. The procedural rules to bring a simple debt action, file a debt action and file a writ of enforcement are overviewed. Students review the means of enforcing a judgment and realizing on personal property security. Both Provincial Court and Supreme Court procedures are analyzed. Students learn about the process for garnishing wages and bank accounts.
  • L1035 Practicum 125

    • This module is for course credits but has no grade. Students will be placed in actual work places related to their field of study and will be expected to act as regular employees for five weeks in order to gain the valuable “real world” experience that so many employers seek. Students are encouraged to find their own work experience placement; however, once placed, continuation in that placement is mandatory. This in an unpaid experience.
  • CESE Career and Employment Strategies 25

    • Students will have the opportunity to review and discuss the final practicum placement. Theory that has been presented throughout the program will be revisited and students will complete review assignments and a final competency exam. Simulated practice will be given in panel interviews as well as practice scenarios for job interviews. Students will update their resumes and cover letters. Students will have use of a Job Search lab which has unlimited Internet access, a job search resource library and a fax machine and phone for contacting prospective employers.

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