Paralegals and Related Workers

(NOC 4211)

in All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

People who work in this group assist members of the legal profession or act as officers of the court. Paralegals are employed by law firms, by record search companies and in legal departments throughout the public and private sectors. Independent paralegals are usually self-employed. Notaries are employed by government and in the public and private sectors or they may be self-employed. Trademark agents are employed by law firms and legal departments throughout the public and private sectors, trademark development and search firms or they may be self-employed.

Job Outlook

Good

Read more

  • Estimate Strong growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 175 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2016

Compared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

  • Estimate Moderate growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 4880 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2016

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “good”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is better than average when compared to other occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a moderate sized occupation in Nova Scotia so some job opportunities may occur through turnover. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow significantly over the next few years, which will provide additional opportunities for employment. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Paralegals and Related Workers most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are typically permanent positions.

The median employment income for 71% of Paralegals and Related Workers who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $44,400. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$14.00

Minimum

$24.00

Median

$34.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$12,571

Minimum

$41,109

Median

$59,309

Maximum

Compared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

Hourly Pay

$14.00

Minimum

$26.88

Median

$46.15

Maximum

Annual Pay

$5,616

Minimum

$44,335

Median

$92,599

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

People who work in this group assist members of the legal profession or act as officers of the court. Paralegals are employed by law firms, by record search companies and in legal departments throughout the public and private sectors. Independent paralegals are usually self-employed. Notaries are employed by government and in the public and private sectors or they may be self-employed. Trademark agents are employed by law firms and legal departments throughout the public and private sectors, trademark development and search firms or they may be self-employed.

Job duties

Paralegals perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Assist lawyers by interviewing clients, witnesses and other related parties, assembling documentary evidence, preparing trial briefs, and arranging for trials.
  • Assist lawyers in preparation for mediation and judicial dispute resolutions.
  • Prepare wills, real estate transactions and other legal documents, court reports and affidavits.
  • Research records, court files and other legal documents.
  • Draft legal correspondence and perform general office and clerical duties.
  • Independent paralegals represent clients in small claims court and in other lower court proceedings, at tribunals and before administrative bodies; and advise clients and take legal action on landlord and tenant matters, traffic violations, name changes and other issues within their jurisdictions.

Notaries public perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Administer oaths and take affidavits and depositions.
  • Witness and certify the validity of signatures on documents.
  • May draft contracts, prepare promissory notes and draw up wills, mortgages and other legal documents.
  • May arrange probates and administer the estates of deceased persons.

Trademark agents perform some or all of the following duties:

  • 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.
  • Advise on the registrability of trademarks, trademark licensing requirements, transfer of intellectual property and protection of existing trademark rights.
  • Represent clients at proceedings before the Trade Marks Opposition Board and in related proceedings.
  • May represent clients internationally in consultation with foreign associates and attorneys.

Sample job titles

  • criminal law paralegal
  • family law clerk
  • labour law clerk
  • land titles clerk
  • law clerk
  • legal researcher
  • notary public
  • paralegal
  • real estate law clerk
  • trademark agent
  • wills and estates law clerk

Skills

For this type of work, you should be interested in the legal profession. Accuracy and the ability to understand and follow instructions are important. You must be tactful and have good interpersonal skills for dealing with clients. Excellent oral and written communication skills are also necessary.

Job requirements

  • Paralegals in law firms require a bachelor's degree in law or a law college diploma and in-house training from a law firm or other legal establishment.
  • Independent paralegals require knowledge of legal principles and procedures usually obtained through industry-sponsored courses and through experience, or through completion of a community college paralegal program.
  • Notaries public are appointed after examination and certification of their qualifications by the governing judiciary in their province or territory. All appointments have specific limitations on the activities they can perform and for specific periods of time.
  • Notaries public require a provincial licence.
  • To be licensed, trademark agents are required to work in the area of trademark law, including the preparation and prosecution of trademark applications for registration, for two years and to successfully complete the examination conducted jointly by the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada and the Registrar of Trade-Marks, Canadian Intellectual Property Office or either one of the above and to be a lawyer entitled to practice in Canada.
  • Trademark agents require registration with the federal Trade-Mark Office.

Other considerations

Notaries public usually receive in-house training and perform their duties in rural or remote areas or in the business offices in which they are employed.

By the numbers

Quick look

690

employed in 2016

93.8%

employed full-time

2.2%

self employed

91.3%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
8.7%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
39.6

median age

Compared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

55,420

employed in 2016

79.3%

employed full-time

6.5%

self employed

64.0%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
36%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
43.5

median age

Where will I likely work?

64.0%

Halifax

12.7%

Northern

10.7%

Annapolis Valley

7.3%

Cape Breton

6.0%

Southern

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

83.5%

Professional Business Services

9.4%

Public Administration

1.4%

Other Professional Services

1.4%

Information, Culture & Recreation

1.4%

Utilities

What is the age of Employment?

30.3%

25-34

27.3%

35-44

15.2%

45-54

12.1%

55-64

9.1%

15-24

6.1%

65+

Compared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

36.6%

35-44

29.3%

45-54

24.4%

55-64

4.9%

25-34

4.9%

65+

Top levels of education

56.1%

College certificate or diploma

$29,651 median annual income
22.3%

Bachelor's degree

$35,229 median annual income
8.1%

High school

$19,067 median annual income
4.7%

University certificate or diploma

$31,119 median annual income
4.1%

University advanced certificate or diploma

$31,897 median annual income

Compared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

29.2%

Bachelor's degree

$43,533 median annual income
21.5%

College certificate or diploma

$28,183 median annual income
17.2%

Master's degree

$35,978 median annual income
14.3%

High school

$25,801 median annual income
4.6%

Doctorate

$60,991 median annual income

Education & training

Law (LLB, JD, BCL)

This program is typically offered at the university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals for the independent professional practice of common or civil law, for becoming a Quebec notary, for taking bar examinations, and for advanced research in jurisprudence. These programs include courses in the theory and practice of the legal system, including the statutory, administrative, and judicial components of civil and criminal law.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

Legal assistant/paralegal

This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to perform research, drafting, investigatory, record-keeping and related administrative functions under the supervision of a lawyer or court. These programs include courses in legal research, drafting legal documents, appraising, pleading, courthouse procedures, and legal specializations.

Institutions providing this program

Maritime Business College - Dartmouth

45 Ochterloney Street, Suite 100

Dartmouth, NS B2Y 2N6

(902) 463-6700

Eastern College - Halifax

6940 Mumford Road, Suite 111

Halifax, NS B3L 0B7

(902) 423-3933

Success College

800 Sackville Drive

Lower Sackville, NS B4E 1R8

(902) 865-8283

Island Career Academy

721 Alexandra Street

Sydney, NS B1S 2H4

(902) 564-6112

Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus

PO Box 550, 1 Main Street

Springhill, NS B0M 1X0

(902) 597-3737

Nova Scotia Community College - Waterfront Campus & Aviation Institute

80 Mawiomi Place

Dartmouth, NS B2Y 0A5

(902) 491-1100

Employment requirements & contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile

Contacts

Canadian Intellectual Property Office
Place du Portage I 50 Victoria Street, Room C-229
Gatineau, QC K1A 0C9
Tel: (866) 997-1936
Fax: (819) 953-2476
Canadian Association of Paralegals
2606, avenue Adhémar-Raynault
L'Assomption, QC J5W 0E1

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.

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