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Paralegal Services

Acquire a solid grounding in legal theory and prepare for a career in various legal settings.

Two women are seated in front of a laptop talking.
Start Date:
Typical Length:
2 Years

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Paralegals work very closely with lawyers. They conduct research, compile documentation and help manage lawyers' work.

In this program, you acquire a solid foundation in legal theory, processes and procedures and develop and hone the skills and knowledge legal practitioners look for in one of these indispensable professionals.

If you enjoy learning about law, doing research, understand the necessity of precise language, have above-average reading and writing skills, and are detail-oriented, you will succeed in this program and graduate ready to take on a position as a paralegal, legal services technician, legal assistant or law clerk.

Work experience

  • Field experience is a mandatory credit course, providing you with the opportunity to apply your knowledge and skills outside of the classroom.
    • Opportunities are typically unpaid and last approximately 5 weeks.
  • This program is eligible for an optional cooperative education (co-op) credit course between year one and two.
    • Co-op provides an opportunity for paid, full-time employment in a field related to your program.
    • Co-op takes place in third term and must be a minimum of 12 weeks and 420 hours.
    • Our co-op program follows Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL) guidelines.
  • Transportation, accommodations and other costs related to work experience are your responsibility.
  • For more information, visit work experience opportunities.

Choose NSCC

  • You learn by performing legal research, by writing legal memoranda and by creating a variety of documents for common areas of practice, including contracts, corporate, litigation, property and wills.
  • This program provides a work placement and a practicum course at the end of year one.
  • Benefit from our expert faculty who bring years of experience to the classroom and have strong connections to the legal community.

Other info

  • This program and the related employment in this field involves a great deal of reading, writing and document management. Above-average communication skills and strong organizational abilities will be helpful to your success.

September 2024

Campus Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Ivany Campus
Full time In person
Delivered in-person. Some courses may have online elements.

Admission requirements

Program requirements

  • Portfolio development – As part of your studies at NSCC, you develop a portfolio of your work; the portfolio captures your achievements and profiles your skills to employers.


Tuition amounts are for the 2024-25 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional.

Tuition (Domestic):
Tuition (International):

Tuition, fees and program costs

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for College services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that amounts on these pages are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Career options

  • Graduates work in law firms, corporate legal departments, justice centres, government departments and community legal services offices.

Future study options

Courses may include

These are some of the courses offered in this program. It is not a complete list and courses are subject to change in advance of the academic year.

Recognizing prior learning / transfer credits
If you have previous learning (course, employment, etc...) that's relevant to your program, you may be able to apply to earn credit. Not all programs are eligible. Learn about our recognizing prior learning (RPL) process.

ACTG 1000 - Financial Accounting I
This course introduces students to the basic principles of the accounting cycle used manually in the service industry. This course is accepted toward certification with the Canadian Institute of Bookkeeping (CIB). This course is accepted as a pre-requisite for the Canadian Professional Accountant Advanced Certificate in Accounting and Finance (CPA – ACAF) program.

COMM 1205 - Communications - Workplace Foundations
Effective communication is fundamental to career success. This course will apply the communication cycle to improve the impact of written messages, presentations, and interpersonal interactions.

COMP 1026 - Document Processing for Paralegals I
This course will introduce learners in the Paralegal program to fundamental computer skills including the use of an operating system and the basics of email, internet, and file management. Learners will also learn the correct techniques of keyboarding and document processing for the profession. Practical applications will include legal forms used in the Paralegal Services program.

COMP 2026 - Document Processing for Paralegals II
This course will build upon the skills and techniques acquired in the introductory Document Processing for Paralegals I course through the use of word processing software to produce a variety legal forms and reports used in the Paralegal Services program.

COMP 2105 - Database I
This course introduces the student to the fundamentals of database management including planning, design, creation and modification. Once created, students will add, edit and delete records contained in a database. Students will create queries to obtain specific information from a database, design forms for working with database records, and design reports to print out data in various formats.

COMP 2110 - Spreadsheets I
This course introduces the student to electronic spreadsheets including their design and creation. Formulae and functions will be used to perform calculations on the spreadsheet data providing business solutions. Students will apply formatting skills to enhance the appearance and clarity of printed spreadsheets as well as using graphs to represent spreadsheet data. This course is accepted toward certification with the Canadian Institute of Bookkeeping (CIB).

COMP 3026 - Document Processing for Paralegals III
This course will build upon the skills and techniques acquired in Document Processing for Paralegals I and II through the use of word processing software to produce a variety of high-quality documents including forms and reports used in Paralegal Services.

LEGL 1000 - Canadian Legal System
The course will introduce the learner to the Canadian legal system by examining the constituent parts of that system - including its sources, its institutions and their roles, and its fundamental doctrines and principles - with a view to understanding the interrelationships among its constituent parts and, ultimately, how those parts operate as a working system.

LEGL 1010 - Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility
This course will enable the learner to identify ethical issues and apply rules from the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society Legal Ethics Handbook, both in relation to client matters and to personal conduct.

LEGL 1025 - Corporate Law
This course introduces learners to forms of business relationships including principal and agent, sole partnerships, partnerships, joint ventures and corporations with the central emphasis on corporations. It includes information on capitalization, taxation, and termination of businesses.

LEGL 1030 - Contracts and Torts
This course introduces learners to the formation and discharge of contracts including those relating to employment and agency. In addition, the learner will examine basic torts including negligence and professional negligence.

LEGL 1040 - Property Law I - Principles of Property Law
The course will introduce learners to the common law principles of property law. It will acquaint them with the language of the law of property and with fundamental concepts and processes that will provide a foundation upon which to study the law of conveyancing, landlord and tenant, wills and estates and corporate and commercial law.

LEGL 1050 - Legal Research I - Introduction to Legal Research
The course will introduce the learner to the principles of legal research, including the doctrine of stare decisis, and will lay the foundation for a systematic approach to the legal research process.

LEGL 1080 - Litigation I
This course introduces learners to methods of commencing actions and applications in the civil litigation process. It analyzes pre-court considerations such as capacity, jurisdictional issues, and limitations.

LEGL 2025 - Commercial Law
This course introduces learners to commercial transactions such as sales of goods, the uses of negotiable instruments, methods of securing transactions, including consideration of the PPSA, transferring businesses as going concerns, enforcement of creditors rights, and bankruptcy.

LEGL 2035 - Accounting for the Legal Profession
The Accounting for the Legal Profession course introduces learners to accounting practices and issues specific to the legal office. Learners will develop skills in tracking and billing hours.

LEGL 2040 - Property Law II - Introduction to Real Estate Conveyancing
The course will introduce learners to the principles of survey law, the deed registry system, the land titles system, title searching, and the law and procedures of real estate conveyancing.

LEGL 2050 - Legal Research II - Legal Research Process
The course will build upon the skills learned in Legal Research I and will require the learner to begin to integrate those skills into a coherent problem-solving approach to legal problems. The course will include requiring the learner to produce a legal memorandum.

LEGL 2080 - Litigation II
This course builds upon skills obtained in Litigation I by exploring the importance of information gathering and disposition of cases without trial. Procedures are discussed for Small Claims Court, chambers matters and trials.

LEGL 3010 - Paralegal Services Practicum
This course encompasses the learning from prior paralegal courses and builds upon them to provide hands-on, practical application of legal office knowledge. Students will be introduced to skills necessary to work in a professional legal office. Skills relating to operating office equipment, maintaining record keeping systems, supporting a legal team to produce legal documentation and time management are taught and practiced in a model office environment.

LEGL 3040 - Property Law III - Conveyancing Practice
The course will present the learner with a series of hypothetical conveyance files, each incorporating a different aspect of conveyancing practice, thus providing an opportunity to apply the principles and procedures of conveyancing law in a variety of circumstances. The course will also examine the law of mortgages in a more detailed way.

LEGL 3045 - Wills and Estates
The learners develop an understanding of the substantive law of wills and demonstrate a working knowledge of the law and procedures involved in drafting wills. Learners will also prepare documentation for probate and administration of estates.

LEGL 3050 - Legal Research III - Legal Analysis & Memorandum Writing
In this course the learner will further develop the research skills learned in Legal Research I and II. It will take the learner beyond the processes of finding the law and the methodologies that are involved in making sense of the law and conveying that sense in a legal memorandum.

LEGL 3080 - Litigation III
This course focuses on the conduct of a personal injury case from commencement to appeal, with special consideration of insurance matters. Methods of enforcing and structuring settlements are also examined.

LEGL 3205 - Legal Applications
During the income-producing years, most communicative time is spent within an organization. As a Paralegal, the learner will have a variety of responsibilities. A Paralegal will be required to gain an understanding of the objectives of legal interviewing and counseling and the factors which motivate clients to participate fully in these processes.

LEGL 4040 - Property Law IV - Remedies in Property Law
The course will examine common problems that arise in respect to ownership and conveyance of land and how such problems may be resolved, primarily through court applications. The learners will become familiar with methods of resolving common conflicts in property conveyancing along with the procedures and documentation required. In addition, the law of landlord and tenant, commercial leasing, planning law, and expropriation will be examined.

LEGL 4070 - Criminal Law
This course introduces learners to various aspects of criminal law including but not limited to definition of crime and offences, analysis of levels of court, and various dispositions.

LEGL 4080 - Litigation IV
The study of court procedures is expanded into family law. Examination of family law issues will include separation, divorce, custody, access, and maintenance as well as enforcement of maintenance orders.

LEGL 4205 - Conflict Resolution for Paralegals
This course will develop the learner's mediation, negotiation and arbitration skills, create an awareness of conflict resolution, and develop employment skills. Conflict resolution, negotiation, mediation, and arbitration will be explained.

LEGL 4995 - Work Experience II
The Work Experience course provides learners with the opportunity to apply the skills developed within the Paralegal Services program. Learners gain valuable experience and may receive employer references through the completion of this course. Learners will also benefit from a feedback session to take place at the end of the 5 week period. This is a course of 175 hours spread over five weeks.

SAFE 1000 - Introduction to WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems)
This course offers learners basic overview of WHMIS principles and establishes a solid foundation to support workplace-specific training on the safe storage and handling of controlled/hazardous products. Upon successful completion of the course, students receive basic WHMIS certification.

SAFE 1001 - Introduction to NS OH&S Act
This course offers students an introduction to the Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) Act of Nova Scotia, which is required by any person employed in a Nova Scotia workplace. This is a generic, introductory course that provides basic knowledge of the Act for students and is considered to be the basis from which more specific training can be given.

In addition to their required courses, learners will complete four credits of directed elective credit in a LEGL, COMM, COMP, ACTG, or MGMT subject area, or as approved by the Academic Chair and in line with their program of study.

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