Paralegal And Related Services Job Outlook In Canada
Paralegals are part of the legal services industry. Lawyers may drive the car, but paralegals are the gasoline that insures the car can continue to barrel down the road at a high rate of speed. Without gas, a car doesn’t get very far. Sure, you can push it, but that isn’t the best way for a car to move. Gas is.
The same is true of the legal services industry. Lawyers could do it all themselves, but they would severly limited their ability to take cases. The law of supply and demand would kick in, and lawyers rates would skyrocket. Nobody wants that.
Now that we have established the importance of the paralegal in the legal marketplace, would it be possible to take a guess as to whether or not they will still be necessary in the years to come? Yes. According to servicecanada.gc.ca:
Over the last few years, employment in the paralegal and related occupations has increased significantly. Constant changes in legislation and related regulations, the requirements of the rules of evidence, and good economic growth can explain this major increase. As these trends are expected to continue, employment in the paralegal and related occupations is expected to increase significantly over the coming years.
As the quote states, legal services aren’t ending anytime soon. Anyone who thinks people and corporations will begin to require less legal services as time goes forward is either eternally optimistic or has lost touch with reality; it just isn’t true. As more legal work is required, more paralegals will be required to help the lawyers meet that demand.
Now May Be A Good Time To Look At Becoming A Paralegal: Paralegal Education
If you find yourself asking what do paralegals do you are not alone. A lot of confusion exists between paralegals, legal secretaries, legal researchers, and other occupations in the legal sector. Once we pinpoint what a paralegal does, it’s time to look at education.
In some countries, like the United States, it can be as simple as finding an accredited paralegal program to attend. The American Bar Association in the US regulates american law and has a list of approved programs for paralegals that they feel meet the standard the industry requires.
In Canada, however, it’s slightly different. According to statistics, about 27% of paralegals in Canada hold a bachelor’s degree per the 2006 cencus numbers. To go straight into a paralegal position in Canada, a Diploma of Collegial Studies (DEC) as a paralegal is generally required. Additionally, many law graduates go into paralegal positions to gain more experience prior to stepping into new roles as full-fledged lawyers.
Who Are The Paralegals?
Currently, about 81% of the paralegal positions in Canada are held by women. This trend has been rising, and should continue to rise, considering that of the graduates with a DEC as a paralegal are about 85% women. Why this is a woman-dominated career is a fairly complex question, however it most certainly is. The average stated for a paralegal is about $41,321 according to salaries recorded from the 65% of paralegals who worked full-time in a two year span.
In the US, however, it is slightly different. The average paralegal salary in the US is slightly higher.
Being a paralegal may be a wise decision for the coming decade. Paralegals will see steady job growth opportunities and job security with. For every percentage point the economy grows, paralegals grow by 1.5%. Any occupation growing faster than the economy must be a good one.