LLM or Legal Assistant/Paralegal Diploma?


Milo
Dear all,

I am a foreign qualified lawyer from an Asian civil law country. I have earned an LLM from a good UK university 3 years ago, received Canadian permanent residency and plan to move to Canada next year. I have 7 years working experience in consulting and legal businesses.

Having read some threads about career perspectives for foreign qualified lawyers in Canada on this forum, I understand the limited choices and the long path for us to practice law in Canada. I am considering a more realistic approach with the aim to find a job as soon as I can to settle down upon my arrival.

I have a few questions as below.

1. Do you think I would be able/qualified to work for a law firm in Canada in a legal assistant position? I think that would be the highest I can aim when I first arrived.

2. Would a Canadian LLM significant enhance employability in a law firm? A law firm generally has the positions of assistants, paralegals and lawyers. From my perspective, legal assistant and paralegal positions require other specific diplomas other than an LLM. Lawyer positions, of course, require a different path of taking the bar. I can hardly see the value and roles of a general LLM in this context.

3. I've seen a lot of job ads for legal assistant positions at law firms and they require a "secondary legal assistant certificate/diploma". I tried to look for courses in Canada to obtain that diploma but the info was so confusing. Do you think taking a legal assistant course would be worth it? Do you have any recommendations as for a college running such course in Toronto or Vancouver?

Thank you.
Dear all,

I am a foreign qualified lawyer from an Asian civil law country. I have earned an LLM from a good UK university 3 years ago, received Canadian permanent residency and plan to move to Canada next year. I have 7 years working experience in consulting and legal businesses.

Having read some threads about career perspectives for foreign qualified lawyers in Canada on this forum, I understand the limited choices and the long path for us to practice law in Canada. I am considering a more realistic approach with the aim to find a job as soon as I can to settle down upon my arrival.

I have a few questions as below.

1. Do you think I would be able/qualified to work for a law firm in Canada in a legal assistant position? I think that would be the highest I can aim when I first arrived.

2. Would a Canadian LLM significant enhance employability in a law firm? A law firm generally has the positions of assistants, paralegals and lawyers. From my perspective, legal assistant and paralegal positions require other specific diplomas other than an LLM. Lawyer positions, of course, require a different path of taking the bar. I can hardly see the value and roles of a general LLM in this context.

3. I've seen a lot of job ads for legal assistant positions at law firms and they require a "secondary legal assistant certificate/diploma". I tried to look for courses in Canada to obtain that diploma but the info was so confusing. Do you think taking a legal assistant course would be worth it? Do you have any recommendations as for a college running such course in Toronto or Vancouver?

Thank you.
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Clark 804
I believe that when they mention certificates / diplomas, they're probably referring to education at the college level, which I believe is more akin to a trades degree or an associates level program. Something that would be the 'bridge' between secondary school and either a job or university level study.

An LLM, generally speaking, is a second law degree (after an LLB or a JD). Whether this would help you get a paralegal job is an interesting question. I would guess that most people applying for these positions don't have this level of education - typically most would pursue their first law degree, maybe practice law for a bit, then pursue a specialization through an LLM, before returning to practice.

In that sense another law degree might be beneficial, but the firms might also be a bit curious to as why you're applying to be a paralegal or legal assistant. Maybe send feeler resumes out to the firms you're interested in?
I believe that when they mention certificates / diplomas, they're probably referring to education at the college level, which I believe is more akin to a trades degree or an associates level program. Something that would be the 'bridge' between secondary school and either a job or university level study.

An LLM, generally speaking, is a second law degree (after an LLB or a JD). Whether this would help you get a paralegal job is an interesting question. I would guess that most people applying for these positions don't have this level of education - typically most would pursue their first law degree, maybe practice law for a bit, then pursue a specialization through an LLM, before returning to practice.

In that sense another law degree might be beneficial, but the firms might also be a bit curious to as why you're applying to be a paralegal or legal assistant. Maybe send feeler resumes out to the firms you're interested in?
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