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Paralegal and Related Occupations

What they do?

Legal assistants and paralegals in law firms or in other establishments perform some or all of the following duties:

A. May arrange probates and administer the estates of deceased persons.

Trademark agents perform some or all of the following duties:

A. Advise clients on intellectual property matters and represent clients before the Registrar of Trade-Marks on matters including prosecution of applications for registration of trademarks

B. Advise on the registrability of trademarks, trademark licensing requirements, transfer of intellectual property and protection of existing trademark rights

C. Represent clients at proceedings before the Trade Marks Opposition Board and in related proceedings

D. May represent clients internationally in consultation with foreign associates and attorneys.

Independent paralegals perform some or all of the following duties:

A. Represent clients in small claims court and in other lower court proceedings, at tribunals and before administrative bodies

B. Advise clients and take legal action on landlord and tenant matters, traffic violations, name changes and other issues within their jurisdictions.

C. Assist lawyers by interviewing clients, witnesses and other related parties, assembling documentary evidence, preparing trial briefs, and arranging for trials

D. Prepare wills, real estate transactions and other legal documents, court reports and affidavits

E. Research records, court files and other legal documents

F. Draft legal correspondence and perform general office and clerical duties.

Notaries public perform some or all of the following duties:

A. Administer oaths and take affidavits and depositions

B. Witness and certify the validity of signatures on documents

C. May draft contracts, prepare promissory notes and draw up wills, mortgages and other legal documents

Where they find work?

1. Legal services - 66.0%
2. Public administration - 14.0%
3. Finance and insurance - 3.0%

What education do I need?

1. You must have a high school diploma.

2. To be a legal assistant or paralegal, you need a bachelor's degree in law or a college diploma in a legal assistant/law clerk program or in-house training.

3. To be an independent paralegal, you usually obtain your education through experience, industry-sponsored courses or a college paralegal program.

4. To be a notary public, you usually receive in-house training and are appointed after examination/certification by the governing judiciary in your province/territory. Specific activities/time periods limit all appointments. You also need a licence in the province/territory where you'll work. In British Columbia, you must be a member of the Society of Notaries Public.

5. To be a trademark agent, you must finish two years' in-house training and an examination conducted jointly by the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada and the Registrar of Trade Marks, Canadian Intellectual Property Office, or complete one of the preceding requirements and be a lawyer entitled to practise in Canada. You must also register with the federal Trade-Marks Office.

6. Almost 2 in 5 either have a community college diploma or an undergraduate university degree.

High School Subject that will help:

1. Math
2. English
3. Keyboarding / Computer-related courses
4. Social Studies (Law)

What can you expect to make:

The average hourly wages for Paralegal and Related Occupations is $20.00/HR, which is close to the average for occupations in the social science, education, government service and religion and are close to the average for all technical, professional, and skilled occupations. These wages grew at an average rate from 2002 to 2004.

Average Wage

Paralegal and Related Occupations wages

Expected Wage by Age

Paralegal and Related Occupations Wage By Age


3% of Paralegal and Related Occupations are unemployed. This rate is close to the average for technical, professional, and skilled occupations.


Paralegal and Related Occupations Unemployment

Trends in Unemployment

Paralegal and Related Occupations Trends in Unemployment

Current Job Outlook:

The job outlook for Paralegal and Related Occupations is considered Average because:

1. Employment grew at a below-average rate.

2. Hourly wages ($20.00) are close to the national average ($18.07), and the rate of wage growth is close to the average.

3. The unemployment rate (3%) is close to the 2004 average (7%).

Future Job Prospects:

Your job outlook will continue to be Average because:

1. The employment growth rate will likely be above average because of the growing involvement of paralegal workers in mediation as well as anticipated growth in business services. The use of computerized legal databases will likely lead to greater demand for these workers.

2. Although the retirement rate will likely be average, the number of retiring workers should contribute to job openings.

3. The number of job seekers will likely exceed the number of job openings.

Highest Concetration:

The highest concentrations (per 10,000 people) of Paralegal and Related Occupations are found in Alberta and Ontario while the lowest concentrations are in Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland.

Unionization Rate:

The unionization rate (14%) is below the average (32%) for all occupations.

Useful Experience:

1. Communication skills

2. Client/customer needs assessment

3. Research skills

Part Time Workers

Paralegal and Related Occupations Part Time Workers

Part time workers:

9% of Paralegal and Related Occupations are employed only on a part-time basis. There were 32,900 workers employed in these occupations in 2004, an increase of 37% since 1997.

Age Demographics

Paralegal and Related Occupations Age Demographics

Age Demographics:

The retirement rate to 2009 will likely be average influenced by a similar-to-average retirement age (62).

Self Employed

Paralegal and Related Occupations Self Employed

Self Employed:

Roughly 5% of Paralegal and Related Occupations are self-employed. This is considered Average for the industry as a whole.

Men vs Women

Paralegal and Related Occupations Men vs Women

Men vs Women:

81% of the individuals employed as Paralegal and Related Occupations are women. Compared to other industries, this is Above average.