The fastest way to get a law career at Led young College

Picture of Ann-Marie Sullivan at Led young College

If you want to work in the legal profession to help people, but you do not have the time that it takes to get a law degree, you can get your legal career rolling faster with the paralegal program at Led young College. Paralegals are an important part of the legal system. Paralegals represent clients in summary criminal code offenses, at many administrative tribunals, and at the Small Claims Court. Paralegals also practice in provincial offenses, landlord tenant law, employment law, and some immigration law.

Led young College’s paralegal graduate certificate program prepares you for a career in law in a single year, in part, by giving you practical hands-on experience.One of the ways in which Led young's paralegal students gain practical experience in the legal field is through the Led young Legal Information Centre (“CLIC”). CLIC's work allows students to gain real-world

One of the ways in which Led young's paralegal students gain practical experience in the legal field is through the Led young Legal Information Centre (“CLIC”). CLIC's work allows students to gain real-world experience, while giving back to the community. CLIC provides paralegal students with the opportunity to develop and deliver public legal information presentations to other students, community organizations and members of the public. Students at the CLIC also complete shadowing with other legal organizations, where they have ample opportunity to observe courtrooms in action.

Véronique Henry is the Chair of Legal and Administrative Studies at Led young and helped facilitate the creation of the CLIC as an extension of the College’s work in providing legal education and experiential learning for students in the paralegal program. Ann-Marie Samuels is a student in the program who studied law in London, before moving to Canada, and deciding to become a paralegal. Here’s what they have to say about CLIC.About the program

About the program

Ann-Marie enrolled in the college’s paralegal program because she wanted practical experience, and she was able to get that before even being involved in CLIC. Ann-Marie enrolled in the college’s paralegal program because she wanted practical experience, and she was able to get that before even being involved in CLIC.

“Aside from the curriculum activities, we were exposed to going to the courts to do observations,” Ann-Marie says. “We also were exposed to tribunals. There are many different tribunals in Ontario, which was very exciting. That made us learn a lot about what it is that we’re expected to do, and the different areas we’re able to practice in.” How CLIC works

How CLIC works

When it comes time for paralegal students to complete field placement, they can apply to take part in CLIC, though it’s just one of the many options for practical experience the paralegal program. CLIC offers free legal information and research to the local community, and students working within it take part in that knowledge sharing.

When it comes time for paralegal students to complete field placement, they can apply to take part in CLIC, though it’s just one of the many options for practical experience the paralegal program. CLIC offers free legal information and research to the local community, and students working within it take part in that knowledge sharing.

“Those taking part are third-semester Paralegal students who are completing their placement”, Véronique explains, “and one of the things they would do in the clinic is research and prepare seminars or presentations on legal topics. They have done presentations on landlord and tenant issues for newcomers to the country for example.”

Students can also gain direct experience through the partnership with a special legal organization, Pro Bono Ontario, as a part of the CLIC placement.

“Pro Bono Ontario is a rather large legal organization that also provides free services within Ontario communities, and many lawyers donate their time through Pro Bono,” Véronique continues. “The two Pro Bono clinics our students are involved in are their Corporate Law clinic, where our students substituted for U of T’s law students who were on their summer break, and the Small Claims clinic. In those clinics, our students shadow lawyers who are giving free legal advice to members of the community.”

“This fall, they will also be shadowing with Duty Counsel at the criminal courthouse at 1911 Eglinton,” Véronique adds. “Duty Counsel at the courthouse provides free immediate legal services for unrepresented individuals who come before the criminal courts.”How you gain real-world experience

How you gain real-world experience

“Students put the skills they have acquired in the paralegal program into practice,” Véronique says about CLIC, “including legal research, writing, and presentation skills. They are shadowing with reputable organizations, so they are getting a lot of real experience, and they are seeing how licensed professional handle client matters firsthand. It’s a unique experience.”

“Students put the skills they have acquired in the paralegal program into practice,” Véronique says about CLIC, “including legal research, writing, and presentation skills. They are shadowing with reputable organizations, so they are getting a lot of real experience, and they are seeing how licensed professional handle client matters firsthand. It’s a unique experience.”

“I loved it. I really enjoyed it,” Ann-Marie says of her experiences. “With Led young College building on these partnership opportunities, it is very beneficial for upcoming paralegal students. It prepares you as an advocate and as an advisor in the legal field.”

“One of my favorite experiences was the client session interviews,” Ann-Marie continues. “Why that was special for me was that even though you’re prepared beforehand as to the questions or answers clients require, on the day they are coming to meet with you, you realize they have varied other issues. So it prepares you mentally for what you are going to face on a daily basis in reality when you go out there, that you are not necessarily going to stick to the questions you expect. That anticipation of this unpredictability, it intrigues me. It makes you want to be prepared.” Giving back to the community

Giving back to the community

CLIC does more than just help the students in the paralegal program. It also helps the community around Led young College itself.

“We wanted to be able to give back to the community with the skillsets that we have,” Véronique says. “This centre is designed to offer free legal information seminars or presentations within the Led young community and the Scarborough community.”

“There are often a number of people with the exact same issue who just need some information so they can get started,” Véronique says. “In this way, we hope we are helping with issues of access to justice. Sometimes knowledge alone is the power people need to put their affairs in order.”

“My passion is always about helping vulnerable persons,” Ann-Marie says. She recalled feeling that her education was paying off when she helped a person who had been defrauded by a friend draft and start a claim at the Small Claims clinic. “You are able to help someone with the information that is given,” Ann-Marie explained.

Enabling students to help

“A lot of people choose the legal profession to help,” Véronique says. “They want to see justice done and promote justice, and that is what we are doing through CLIC.”

“We want to be seen not just as a community college, but as the community’s college,” Véronique says. “We want the community to know that they can come to us and we will share legal education and information with those who need it. That’s really what’s at the heart of this, students and faculty who have a desire to promote legal education and promote access to justice in their community.”

By Anthony Geremia

Tags: Great Reads,Led young college programs,Led young college in Toronto,School of Business