Administrative LawThis course will provide students with a basic understanding of the foundations of Administrative Law in Canada. Concepts canvassed in this course include private and public law, procedural and substantive law, and statutory and common law. Students will learn the fundamental rules of natural justice and procedural fairness. In the course of study students will study about the main procedural statute – the Statutory Powers Procedure Act, about the Judicial Review Procedure Act and many statutes and common law rules, related to Administrative Law. Students will learn the process for reviewing the authority, form and function of administrative tribunals, and the relationship between the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Administrative Law. Many other topic about the staples and the principles on which Administrative law is based in providing of a solid foundation for the other related paralegal course in the area of Administrative Law, dedicated to the practices and procedures before selected administrative agencies, boards and tribunals.
Alternative Dispute ResolutionAlternative Dispute Resolution or ADR is an umbrella term for processes, other than judicial determination, in which an impartial person (an ADR practitioner) assists those in a dispute to resolve the issues between them. ADR is commonly used as an abbreviation for alternative dispute resolution, but can also mean assisted or appropriate dispute resolution. The main types of ADR are mediation, arbitration and negotiation. This course teaches students an outline of these methods with an emphasis on the first and on the last one. The students will also learn the basics of how to interview clients in preparation for the process of negotiations and mediations. Students are taught how to gather relevant information, how to prepare for arbitration and an overall perspective of the basic skills involved in resolving disputes using A.D.R. techniques.
AdvocacyThis course teaches students how to represent a client during a trial or a hearing and the principles and the techniques of advocacy – the art of persuasively putting forward your client’s Theory of the Case. These rules apply for civil, criminal and administrative tribunals and will be examined and applied in the Mock-Trial before the Small Claims Court, a division of the Superior Court of Canada. The students in the class are taught the basics of practice and procedure in this Court and are given the opportunity to apply in practice their newly obtained advocacy skills. In addition, they will prepare the pleadings and other court documents in the course of the civil litigation of a study case-scenario by conducting and participating in a Mock Trial, which will examine their new practice skills and knowledge in advocacy.
Contract LawThis course develops a fundamental understanding of the contracts. Modern Canadian law is now a system, comprising many different components. Where do contracts fit in? The students will learn about the doctrine of Contract law as the heart of the civil common law, which developed greatly over the centuries. However, to reflect more adequately the needs of the contemporary society in this area, some Contract concepts became codified in statutes.
The students will obtain a working familiarity and understanding of the principles and the terminology of the contracts. They will learn about the doctrines of offer and acceptance, consideration, legality, formal requirements and capacity to contract. The study in this course will permit them to draft valid contracts, to do competent interpretation of the contracts, considering the intentions of the parties, and to analyze, along with any contractual defects, if breach had occurred and what remedies would be justified in the circumstances.
Career Planning & Preparation - Level 1This module introduces tools for planning and preparing for a successful job search, so that students can maintain a career-focused approach throughout their education program. Students will learn how to research opportunities and network for industry contacts, and use appropriate etiquette when communicating with prospective employers. Students will identify their personal skills, values and preferences for the workplace, begin preparation of a professional resume, cover letter, thank you note and references. Class discussions on various self-management topics introduced in Student Success Strategies will round out this module, which is a pre-requisite for Career Planning and Preparation – Level 2.
Criminal Law & Summary Conviction LawThis course provides students with a fundamental understanding of Canadian criminal law and their scope of practice in this field as future paralegals. Students will be provided with an overview of the following subject areas:
• Fundamental criminal concepts
• The application of constitutional law to criminal matters
• The Criminal Code
• Elements of an offence
• Criminal defenses
• Criminal rules of procedure
• Pre-trial, trial, appeal procedures
• The criminal offences that the paralegals are permitted to handle by representing the defendants in court
Critical Thinking, Problem Solving & Decision MakingIn this course, students learn the elements of critical thinking, problem solving and decision making. These are all essential steps in formulating solutions that are logical, well thought-out and efficient. Students' evaluation, analysis, and interpretation skills will be challenged and honed. Also addressed is the value of understanding opposing viewpoints to help ensure best practices in future endeavors. The course will cover how critical thinking, problem solving and decision making differ and intersect.
Employment LawThis course gives students an understanding of basic employment law and principles. Students are taught the applicable federal and provincial employment and employment-related statutes and the workplace function of each. The role of the Employment Standards Act, 2000 will be examined as a “safety net” for the employees in non-unionized workplaces. The methods of enforcement of the statute and prosecuting of violations of the ESA will be connected to the knowledge obtained in the course about Provincial Offences. The function of the Ontario Labour Relations Board will be examined in its dual function – as a tribunal reviewing the decisions of the Ministry of Labour on employment disputes and as a decision-maker on labour disputes. The textbook and the course also cover “common-law” issues which arise in the employment venue, where the most significant of which is the concept of “wrongful dismissal”. Adjunctive areas of law will be examined such as human rights, equity and privacy issues in employment and the rehabilitation programs through OHSA and WSIB.
Ethics and Professional ResponsibilityIn every career path you choose, you will face ethical issues in the practice of law. This course introduces students to the defining ethical issues that individual paralegals face in various practice settings as well as some of the larger ethical issues in the legal profession. Some of the issues addressed include the self-regulation of the legal profession, access to justice and issues in the paralegal-client relationship such as competence, confidentiality, conflicts of interest and ethics in particular contexts such as criminal practice, litigation and office management. The approach in this course will be a combination of case analysis, examination of the Paralegal Rules of Conduct and problem-based learning. The course introduces students to the ethical issues faced by paralegals through the use of various problems, case studies and textbook exercises.
Evidence & the Litigation ProcessThe study of the Law of Evidence is not merely the study of a set of rules which exclude facts from the consideration of the fact finder. It is much more. It also requires a detailed examination of the panoply of opportunities for the skillful advocate who is able to persuasively demonstrate and articulate an argument for the admissibility or inadmissibility of facts which are helpful or harmful to her or his client's cause.
In this course, the focus of the study of the law of evidence will be a concentration upon the applicable rules (whether common law or code). It will include both discussion of the rationale for exclusion as well as admission of relevant and probative evidence, within both the evidence rules and the rules of professional ethics.
Days 7 – 9 of the course concentrate on the litigation process in Ontario. Topics covered will include the manner in which proceedings are commenced, the importance of the Limitations Act, 2002, capacity of the parties, litigation guardianship necessity, the types of issues dealt with in applications and motions, the procedure for initiating them and successfully completing this step in the litigation process, the proper disposition of a trial with the issues about the costs, including the assessment hearings and the final submissions. The basis for appeals will be reviewed in the context of Evidence Law.
While specific examples will be introduced by the instructor, they will serve only to illustrate the topic or point in discussion; the thrust of the course will focus upon a theoretical overview of the subject areas.
The course will conclude with a comprehensive examination on Day 10. The examination will cover both the Law of Evidence and the litigation process in Ontario.
Group DynamicsThe course explores human dynamics and its importance in both groups and the workplace. Students will learn the importance of groups and group work on decision making and productivity, as well as the different qualities found in leaders and the various leadership principles. Also covered is controversy, how it effects groups, when it can be a positive thing, and how negative controversy can be diffused.
Immigration & Refugee LawThis course will provide students with an introduction to Immigration and Refugee Law. Students will explore the relevant immigration statutes, international and federal Canadian laws, and rules for applying to become a Canadian citizen and the regulations concerning the protection and admission of refugees to Canada. Students will be exposed to the functions of the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) as well as the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) legislation that affects how cases are managed and processed under Canada’s immigration and refugee systems. The course will provide the tools students need in order to develop the knowledge and skills needed to stay up-to-date with case law, rules and regulatory acts surrounding immigration and refugee law in Canada.
Introduction to the Legal SystemThis course will provide students with a fundamental understanding of the Canadian government and political system. Concepts canvassed include private and public law, procedural and substantive law, and statutory and common law. Students will learn the organization of the court system and the jurisdiction of the courts of first instance. Students will also demonstrate an understanding of our Constitution, its impact on federalism and the precepts of the Charter.
Residential Landlord and Tenant LawThis course focuses on residential tenancies and the administrative machinery required for dealing with landlord/tenant disputes. The Residential Tenancies Act (the governing legislation), and the Rules of Practice and various Interpretation Guidelines governing the Landlord and Tenant Board are studied. Students will be given an opportunity to prepare Applications alleging violated tenant/landlord rights and to draft the accompanying documents before the Board. Students will study in details the rights and obligations of the landlords and those of the tenants and the methods of claiming and/or enforcing these rights before the special administrative judicial body, created for this purpose – the Landlord and Tenant Board as a part of the Social Justice Tribunals in Ontario.
Legal AccountingThis course is designed to provide the basics of legal accounting, including the Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC) requirements of paralegals. Students will learn how legal accounting helps to manage most aspects of a firm’s business. The course explores the core features of PCLaw using simple, typical scenarios, and basic exercises. Students are shown basic legal office accounting procedures including the creation and operation of ‘general’ and ‘trust’ accounts. The course offers a basic understanding of such concepts as ‘fees’, ‘bank accounts’, ‘trust receipts’, ‘disbursements’, ‘petty cash’, GST/HST, and ‘client billing’. Students will grasp the understanding of bylaws as they relate to bookkeeping and record-keeping in accordance with the LSUC.
Legal Computer ApplicationsThis course is designed to provide legal students with the skills and knowledge they need to use Microsoft Office applications effectively in all aspects of their personal and professional lives. Students will learn how to create, edit, format, and print Word and Excel documents. Students will begin the class learning the Office applications in a generic context, and as mastery is gained the content is targeted for the production of legal documents.
Legal Communication & WritingCommunication skills are essential to your practice as you will be required to communicate with a wide range of parties. Learning to develop superior communications techniques can assist your practice by increasing customer satisfaction through the prevention of communication misunderstandings and errors. This course provides an introduction and overview of effective listening, speaking, and written skills.
Legal Research & WritingThis course provides students with a fundamental understanding of legal research within the Canadian legal system. Students will learn how to identify legal issues from a set of facts, and draft a legal memorandum based on facts and law. Students will learn how to access and use secondary sources of law, from the Internet and Quicklaw. Students will also learn how to identify and access primary sources of law including statutes, regulations and case law. Skills demonstrated by students will include online and print source legal research, case briefing and memo drafting.
Provincial Offences and Motor Vehicle OffencesThe area of quazi-criminal offences is one of the most popular areas for practice of paralegal professionals. This course introduces students to the procedures for initiating of any provincial offences’ charge (quazi-criminal) and the procedures before and during the trial at the Ontario Court of Justice. Thus the students will become familiar with the court rules and practices in order to represent defendant on charges of regulatory offence (quasi-criminal case), laid under the procedural Provincial Offences Act. The module is designed to examine all requirements, set by the Provincial Offences Act (POA), to bring a quasi-criminal matter before the court. Students explore this statute of general application in the provincial court system, followed by the substantive legislation and more specifically – the Highway Traffic Act, which establishes the majority of the charges, laid in the Ontario Courts of Justice.
The goal of this module is to prepare students to assist in the court representation of clients charged under any law – provincial, municipal or federal; statute, regulation or by-law which creates offences under the POA, with a focus on traffic offences. Students are required to manage a precedent file and give consideration to procedural aspects, as well as answering legal questions using their knowledge of statute law, case law and common law.
Practice Management/ Operating a Small BusinessThis course will provide students with a guide as to how to operate a paralegal practice. This will include a review of the appropriate Law Society of Upper Canada rules and directives, statutory law and regulations and fundamentals of managing a business including the proper administrative methods and procedures for creating, running and closing down the practice.
Small Claims Court IThis module is a prerequisite to Small Claims Court II. In this module, students will learn about the processes involved in preparing and presenting cases in Small Claims Court. Students will work collaboratively under the guidance of their instructor to initiate legal proceedings before the court and learn how to draft legal documents used in the course of civil litigation. The module covers topics such as; Introduction to Small Claims Court, Paralegals and their Clients, Acting for the Plaintiff: Preliminary Considerations, Commencing the Action, Default Proceedings and Acting for the Defendant. This module lays the ground work for Small Claims Court II, where students will further the knowledge and skills they have developed in Small Claims Court I in order to be successful as paralegals in the profession.
Small Claims Court IIThis module is a continuation of Small Claims Court I. In this module, students will learn about the procedures involved in a civil action that is brought before the Small Claims Court in Ontario in claiming of some kind of damages. The paralegal students are trained to represent clients in court and for this reason they need to learn how to prepare civil litigation documents. The module covers topics such as; Motions, Offers to Settle and Settlement Conferences, Trials and Assessment Hearings, Motions for New Trial and Appeals, and Enforcing Small Claims Court Judgments.
In order to participate fully in the class activities and to be better engaged in the study, the students are strongly recommended to read the assigned chapters of the textbook in advance for each class.
Student Success StrategiesThis course stresses the importance of developing non-technical skills to enhance personal, academic and career success. This includes understanding learning styles and honing practical study skills, such as memory, reading, note- and test-taking techniques. Personal exercises will focus on teamwork, decision making and problem solving skills, setting goals and maintaining a positive attitude techniques for managing change, stress and conflict will also be explored.
Tort LawThis course is about one of the fundamental disciplines in civil law – Torts. Although the concepts of law and justice are very ancient, the concepts of Tort Law evolved recently. Negligence, now the most important of all tort doctrines, emerged only in 1932 in a British case-law about a snail. The law went a long way before distinguishing clearly between tort and crime. Nowadays crime is regarded as a wrong against the society as a whole, while tort is regarded only as a “civil wrong”. Although tort does not deserve such denunciation by the society as crime, those who commit tort are liable for the consequences of their acts and ought to remedy the affected parties. The students will learn about the extra-contractual duty of care and about the standards this duty has to be carried out in order to avoid unreasonable harm to others. Tort law addresses a wide variety of wrongs and a wide range of damages (categories of harm) that flow from that wrongs. Before exploring that range the students will learn about the fundamental elements of a cause in action in tort and at the end of the course will be able to determine the damages and the respective remedies in tort, together with identifying the major categories of tort and the potential defences. Thus the students will be prepared to litigate claims in tort in the Small Claims Court and to assist parties in both capacities – as plaintiffs or defendants.
Tribunal Practice & ProcedureCanadian Administrative Law addresses the actions and operations of governments and governmental agencies, their rules and practice in the administration of our society. Students learn the specifics of the procedures before selected and most popular administrative agencies and tribunals and thus – the advocacy skills necessary to effectively represent clients in the area of Administrative Law. This course will provide the students with much necessary ability of appreciating the steps that lead to professional conduct of a case before administrative bodies, associated with the inevitable research of their rules of practice and procedures and any accessory information. In addition, students will learn the principles according to which courts review the decisions of administrative decision-makers such as boards, tribunals, commissions, agencies and government ministers.
In this course students learn basic practical aspects of Administrative Law as well as the nature, function, practice and procedures of selected administrative tribunals. Several provincial and one federal administrative tribunal are examined. The enabling statutes, regulations, and applicable policies and/or procedures for each is discussed in detail and exercised.