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Paralegals do independent legal work under the general supervision of lawyers. They perform routine legal and administrative functions and assist lawyers with more complex matters.

  • Avg. Salary $68,510.00
  • Avg. Wage $36.59
  • Minimum Education 2 years post-secondary
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed 3,800
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Administrative Support Personnel, Office Personnel

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Legal Assistants and Paralegals in Law Firms (4211.1) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Paralegal and Related Occupations (E211) 
  • 2011 NOC: Paralegal and related occupations (4211) 
  • 2016 NOC: Paralegal and related occupations (4211) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

Average Wage
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Interest Codes
The Paralegal is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Legal Assistants and Paralegals in Law Firms

Interest in compiling information when searching for and studying records and documents


Interest in assisting lawyers by interviewing clients, witnesses and other related parties, and arranging for trials


Interest in researching records, court files and other legal documents, and assembling documentary evidence

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Updated Jan 31, 2017

Under the direction and supervision of one or more lawyers, paralegals may:

  • draft legal documents such as pleadings, wills, real estate documents, interlocutory applications and corporate documents
  • draft and follow up on correspondence
  • submit documents for registration with appropriate agencies (for example, Corporate Registry, Land Titles, Provincial Court)
  • conduct tax, land title and other legal searches
  • assist with real estate, mortgage, estate administration, corporate, tax and intellectual property transactions
  • assist in various aspects of personal injury litigation, civil litigation and family law
  • organize documents, as well as create and maintain file management and storage systems
  • attend pre-trial and trial proceedings to assist lawyers with document management and retrieval
  • assist in preparation for and, in some cases, attend business transaction closings
  • interview witnesses and assemble documentary evidence for trials
  • act as a liaison between clients and lawyers when lawyers are unavailable
  • develop office procedures and computer functions to improve efficiency
  • perform related administrative functions (for example, take meeting minutes).

Some paralegals may specialize in specific areas, such as corporate law, litigation, securities, trademarks and patents, reals estate, environmental law, immigration, family law, bankruptcy, entertainment law or intellectual property law.

Working Conditions
Updated Jan 31, 2017

Paralegals work in an office environment. They usually work a standard work week but must be prepared to work overtime to meet deadlines.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Jan 31, 2017

Paralegals need to possess:

  • excellent interpersonal, written and oral communication skills
  • the ability to think logically and analyze information
  • the ability to organize work and co-ordinate other people's activities
  • the ability to pay careful attention to details
  • the ability to handle deadlines and periods of stress
  • the ability to work with a minimum of supervision.

Since much of their work concerns clients' private affairs, paralegals must be honest, trustworthy and have a sense of responsibility and respect for the confidentiality of client information.

They should enjoy compiling information, working with people and exploring things in depth.

Educational Requirements
Updated Jan 31, 2017

Paralegals need related post-secondary education or equivalent experience. Strong keyboarding, writing, editing, word processing and computer skills are required. Training in the Corporate Registry computer System (CORES) may be required for paralegals working in corporate services areas.

Students may be required to submit a criminal record check prior to practicum placement.

Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Academy of Learning - Calgary South

Academy of Learning - Edmonton Downtown

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Calgary City Centre

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Calgary North

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Calgary South

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Edmonton City Centre

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Edmonton North

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Edmonton South

Grant MacEwan University

Red Deer College

Reeves College - Calgary City Centre

Reeves College - Calgary North

Reeves College - Edmonton

Reeves College - Lethbridge

Reeves College - Lloydminster

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

Sundance College - Edmonton

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Prior to enrolling in a formal training program, prospective students should contact the program(s) of their choice, the Law Society of Alberta, the Canadian Bar Association (Alberta Branch), the Alberta Association of Professional Paralegals or a sampling of law firms and other potential employers to investigate the suitability of specific programs and current employment prospects for graduates.

The Legal Education Society of Alberta (LESA) offers professional development courses for those who are already employed in legal support staff positions.

Certification Requirements
Updated Jan 31, 2017

There is currently no provincial legislation regulating this occupation in Alberta.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Jan 31, 2017

Paralegals work under the supervision of lawyers in law firms, in court systems and in the legal departments of large organizations. Graduates of legal assistant paralegal education programs usually are hired as legal assistants. Full paralegal status and responsibility usually requires additional work experience.

Advancement opportunities are limited in this occupation. However, with considerable experience (for example, a minimum of 5 years and a paralegal diploma), paralegals may work independently rather than under the direction and supervision of one or more lawyers. In such positions, they may assist with routine legal services (for example, providing assistance to self-represented litigants or working as independent consultants to law firms) but cannot give legal advice.

Paralegals are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 4211: Paralegal and related occupations. In Alberta, 79% of people employed in this classification work in the Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (PDF) industry.

The employment outlook (PDF) in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the Professional, Scientific and Technical Services industry)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 6,400 Albertans are employed in the Paralegal and other related occupations occupational group. This group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.5% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 96 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover. Note: As paralegals form only a part of this larger occupational group, only some of these newly created positions will be for paralegals.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Jan 31, 2017

Salaries for legal assistants and paralegals vary considerably depending on location, employer and the person's qualifications.

Paralegal and related occupations

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $18.46 $41.54 $28.30 $27.66
Overall $22.46 $51.92 $36.59 $35.21
Top $26.00 $62.31 $44.38 $44.45

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.

Industry Information
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
Public Administration
Health Care & Social Assistance
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Leasing

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years


Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties


Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months


Vacancy Rate

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Clerical and Administrative Support
Other Sources of Information
Updated Jan 31, 2017

Alberta Association of Professional Paralegals (AAPP) website:

Legal Education Society of Alberta (LESA) website:

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Jan 31, 2017. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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