Paralegals and Related Workers

Occupation:Paralegals and Related Workers
Category:Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

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

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.

Labour Market Information

Work Prospects:Good

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)

OccupationEstimated employment in 2018Estimated change in employment between 2017 and 2019Estimated openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019Estimated rate of unemployment in 2018 Estimated hourly earnings in 2015 (learn more)Estimated annual earnings in 2015
Paralegals and Related Workers690Strong growth175Low
Minimum: $14.00
Median: $24.00
Maximum: $34.00
Minimum: $12,571
Median: $41,109
Maximum: $59,309
Occupations in Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services55,420Moderate growth4,880Low
Minimum: $14.00
Median: $26.88
Maximum: $46.15
Minimum: $5,616
Median: $44,335
Maximum: $92,599
Paralegals and Related WorkersCompared to: Occupations in Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services
Percent employed full-time94%79%
Percent self-employed13%6%
Where will I likely work?
Area of EmploymentParalegals and Related WorkersCompared to: All NS Occupations
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Cape Breton7%x13%$32,974
Annapolis Valley11%x13%$32,958
What are the workers like?
AgeParalegals and Related WorkersCompared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services
% Employed% Employed
Median Age4044
GenderParalegals and Related WorkersCompared to: Occupations in Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services
% Employed% Employed
EducationParalegals and Related WorkersCompared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Less than high schoolN/A$8,0412.8%$11,346
High school8.1%$19,06714.3%$25,801
Trades certificate1.4%$29,7024.2%$35,678
College certificate or diploma56.1%$29,65121.5%$28,183
University certificate or diploma4.7%$31,1192.6%$35,967
Bachelor's degree22.3%$35,22929.2%$43,533
University advanced certificate or diploma4.1%$31,8973.4%$47,801
Master's degreeN/A$46,26617.2%$35,978
Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometry1.4%x0.2%$83,456
Wage Disclaimer

Hourly earnings data are from the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada. Data are not available for all occupations. Hourly earnings are calculated based on usual hours worked per week. This is how an annual salary, for instance, gets converted to an hourly rate. The data include full and part-time workers along with new and experienced workers. Self-employed workers are excluded.

Annual employment income data reported in the Work Prospects section, are from the 2011 National Household Survey by Statistics Canada. Much of the data (around 70%) came directly from tax records. The data relates to the year 2010 and includes total wages and salaries and net income from self-employment.


Employment Requirements & Contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile
Useful 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

Training Paths & Education

Program Name:Law (LLB, JD, BCL)
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the university level.
Program Description:
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.
See all institutions providing this program+
Dalhousie University
Office of the Registrar
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
(902) 494-2450
Program Name:Legal assistant/paralegal
Education Level:This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.
Program Description:
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.
See all 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
Additional resources:

There are no additional resources for this occupation.