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NOC Code: NOC Code: 4211 Occupation: Paralegals and Related Occupations
Occupation Description: Occupation Description:
Legal assistants and paralegals prepare legal documents, maintain records and files and conduct research to assist lawyers or other professionals. Notaries public administer oaths, take affidavits, sign legal documents and perform other activities according to the limitations of their appointment. Trademark agents advise clients on intellectual property matters. Independent paralegals provide legal services to the public as allowed by government legislation, or provide paralegal services on contract to law firms or other establishments. Legal assistants and paralegals are employed by law firms, by record search companies and in legal departments throughout the public and private sectors. Independent paralegals are usually self-employed. Trademark agents are employed by law firms and legal departments throughout the public and private sectors, trademark development and search firms or they may be self-employed. Notaries public are employed by government and in the public and private sectors or they may be self-employed. Legal assistants and paralegals prepare legal documents, maintain records and files and conduct research to assist lawyers or other professionals. Notaries public administer oaths, take affidavits, sign legal documents and perform other activities according to the limitations of their appointment. Trademark agents advise clients on intellectual property matters. Independent paralegals provide legal services to the public as allowed by government legislation, or provide paralegal services on contract to law firms or other establishments. Legal assistants and paralegals are employed by law firms, by record search companies and in legal departments throughout the public and private sectors. Independent paralegals are usually self-employed. Trademark agents are employed by law firms and legal departments throughout the public and private sectors, trademark development and search firms or they may be self-employed. Notaries public are employed by government and in the public and private sectors or they may be self-employed.

  • Click on any of the Essential Skills to view sample workplace tasks for this occupation.
  • Skill levels are assigned to tasks: Level 1 tasks are the least complex and level 4 or 5 tasks (depending upon the specific skill) are the most complex. Skill levels are associated with workplace tasks and not the workers performing these tasks.
  • Scroll down the page to get information on career planning, education and training, and employment and volunteer opportunities.

Table will display the Skill Level for the Noc specified
Essential Skills Essential Skills Levels
Reading Text Reading Text 1 2 3 4
Writing Writing 1 2 3 4
Document Use Document Use 1 2 3
Computer Use Computer Use 1 2 3
Oral Communication Oral Communication 1 2 3 4
Money Math Money Math 1 2 3
Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting 1 2 3
Data Analysis Data Analysis 1 2 3
Numerical Estimation Numerical Estimation 1 2
Job Task Planning and Organizing Job Task Planning and Organizing 1 2 3
Decision Making Decision Making 1 2 3
Problem Solving Problem Solving 1 2 3
Finding Information Finding Information 1 2 3 4
Critical Thinking Critical Thinking 1 2 3


  • The skill levels represented in the above chart illustrate the full range of sample tasks performed by experienced workers and not individuals preparing for or entering this occupation for the first time.
  • Note that some occupational profiles do not include all Numeracy and Thinking Essential Skills.

If you would like to print a copy of the chart and sample tasks, click on the "Print Occupational Profile" button at the top of the page.


Reading Text
  • Read reminders and notes from clients, co-workers, workers from legal offices and government officials. For example, legal assistants read messages in which clients confirm attendance for meetings and court dates. Law clerks read lawyers' notes about required changes to documents such as letters and statements of claim. (1)
  • Read letters, email messages and memos about a range of matters. For example, paralegals read letters about work completed by service providers such as notary publics and investigators. Commercial law clerks read detailed memos about changes required to contracts. Conveyance clerks read Letters of Condition to learn about conditions of sales and to ensure that they are lifted before their closing dates. (2)
  • Read trial records and transcripts. For example, criminal law paralegals read affidavits from witnesses, police summaries and trial transcripts to understand the evidence on which legal charges were based and to identify gaps and discrepancies. (3)
  • Read procedures and policies. For example, legal assistants read guides such as the Guide to Civil Litigation to follow the steps required for filing certificates of pending litigations. Paralegals read Rules of Civil Procedure to learn about court proceedings, timelines for the submission of statements and to understand procedures for submitting plea amendments, and filing motions and applications for appeals. (3)
  • Read short reports. For example, litigation legal assistants read clinical reports from health professionals in order to prepare legal briefs for lawyers. They read to learn about diagnoses, treatments, clients' progress and recommendations for future treatments. (3)
  • Read articles in newsletters and trade magazines. For example, read articles in newsletters of professional associations and trade magazines such as Ontario Weekly Reports. Read to keep abreast of emerging trends in case law, rulings and best practices. Trademark agents read articles about trademark infringements and recent court decisions. (3)
  • Read text in entry forms. For example, paralegals read arguments in statements of claim forms in order to present appropriate evidence and counter arguments. Trademark agents read explanations on prosecution forms to learn the reasons for opposition to trademark registrations and to develop arguments in favour of them. (3)
  • Read legal and trial briefs. For example, paralegals read legal briefs in preparation for court hearings before administrative tribunals, and small claims and other lower courts. They may read legal briefs prepared by junior paralegals before they are presented to supervising attorneys. They proofread the briefs to ensure the information is correct, concise and complete, free of spelling and grammatical errors, and are formatted correctly. (4)
  • Read case law and rulings. For example, paralegals read case law and rulings to determine their relevancy and applicability to their current case files. They read to understand the grounds, case law and Acts upon which decisions were based. (4)
  • Read legislation and regulations. For example, conveyance clerks read regulations for the management of trust accounts and transfers of real estate properties. Trademark agents read the Trades-mark Act to ensure they have a clear understanding of procedures. Title searchers read zoning bylaws and covenants such as those for slope stabilization and landscaping to understand their intent, requirements and implications for purchasers. (4)
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Writing
  • Write reminders and meeting notes for personal use. For example, paralegals write notes during meetings with clients and lawyers. They summarize key discussion points, note commitments made and flag items requiring further action. (1)
  • Write email messages and letters to clients, co-workers, supervising attorneys and others involved with cases. For example, paralegals write email messages to request doctors' professional opinions about medical reports and studies. Commercial law clerks write letters to real estate, accounting and law offices to request additional documents. (2)
  • Write reports and summaries. For example, corporate legal clerks prepare reports to summarize the resolution of share transactions. Laws clerks write status reports to describe activities completed, present new information and summarize matters requiring the attention of clients and lawyers. Paralegals in government departments write explanatory summaries to inform the public about laws, regulations and policies. (3)
  • Write lengthy entries in forms. For example, independent paralegals write accounts of accidents and incidents in statements of claim forms for small claims courts. They describe negligent acts, injuries and hardships suffered by claimants. Trademark agents write arguments for the registrability of trademark names and designs in applications for trademark registrations. (3)
  • Write legal reports. For example, paralegals write legal briefs, legal arguments, draft pleadings, motions and statements of claims for supervising attorneys. They may present their findings and offer their opinions. Trademark agents write prosecutions and responses to oppositions to trademark registrations and arguments to support clients' positions. (4)
  • Write letters of agreement and contracts. For example, commercial legal assistants write partnership agreements. They describe terms and conditions of partnerships, structures for shares and responsibilities and authority levels for management teams. (4)
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Document Use
  • Locate data in forms. For example, real estate and commercial law clerks locate conditions and terms of sales, closing dates, purchasing prices and other data in sales agreements and offers of purchases. Trademark agents locate transfers of rights, titles and conditions of transfers and usages in assignment of trademark forms. (2)
  • Enter data into tables. For example, paralegals enter clients' identification codes and brief statements about legal services into spreadsheets so that they can track billable hours. Paralegals enter titles of documents into tables of contents of case files. (2)
  • Interpret and locate data in a variety of drawings and maps. For example, real estate law clerks locate features such as fences, roads, houses and other structures on property surveys. Trademark agents may evaluate distinctiveness of trademarked designs by comparing differences in shapes and sizes on scaled drawings. (3)
  • Locate data in tables. For example, commercial paralegals locate details about organizations, share holder structures and finances in spreadsheets. Litigation paralegals locate dates, treatments and names of physicians and other health professionals in tables showing the chronology of illnesses and injuries. Real estate law clerks scan schedules to locate conditions of sales, outstanding tasks and closing dates. (3)
  • Examine organizational and process flowcharts. For example, corporate legal assistants study organizational flowcharts to understand management structures. Paralegals study process flowcharts of legal proceedings to locate filing instructions for legal documents. (3)
  • Interpret graphs. For example, litigation legal assistants may interpret graphs, which display data on recovery rates and times of various injuries. Corporate paralegals may interpret graphs, which display data on revenue, expenses, liabilities and assets. (3)
  • Enter data into forms. For example, conveyancers complete forms such as land transfers, title search forms and sales agreements. Paralegals complete statement of claim forms for small claims courts. Commercial legal assistants enter clients' names and addresses, disbursement fees, additional costs and tax adjustments into statements of adjustment. (3)
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Computer Use
  • Use word processing software to carry out writing, editing and text formatting tasks. Use software features to create tables of contents and footnotes, and to import graphs and tables from other software. (2)
  • Use databases. For example, paralegals conduct queries and searches of on-line legal libraries. Trademark agents locate trademarks in trademark registries. Real estate law clerks enter data and information into land registry databases. (2)
  • Exchange email and attachments with clients, co-workers and colleagues, and maintain distribution lists. Use calendar features to track dates for submissions of legal documents, court appearances, meetings and appointments. (3)
  • Use spreadsheets. For example, self-employed paralegals may create and modify spreadsheets to collect and organize data to manage clients' files, track billable hours and analyze financial data. They create macros, insert functions, merge cells, and import and export data. They also prepare graphs, tables and charts to display data. (3)
  • Use the Internet. For example, search government websites for electronic versions of registered trademarks, trade names and property titles. Manage bookmarks for commonly used sites. Use the organization's intranets to access and post policies, procedures and other work-related documents. (3)
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Oral Communication
  • Discuss ongoing work with co-workers, colleagues, service providers and clients. For example, real estate clerks ask colleagues in other organizations for land surveys and other documents. Litigation law clerks discuss findings with private investigators. Paralegals discuss job task assignments and priorities with their supervisors. (2)
  • Give directions to workers you supervise. For example, paralegals discuss job task priorities with legal assistants and other office workers and give them instructions for preparing and filing court documents. (2)
  • Coach clients and witnesses for appearances and presentations before legal and administrative bodies. For example, paralegals prepare claimants for small claims court. They describe procedures and provide guidance on answering questions. (3)
  • Participate in discussions of legal cases. For example, paralegals offer their findings and opinions on evidence, case law and Acts to supervising attorneys. Legal clerks may negotiate settlements with opposing parties in matters before small claims courts. (3)
  • Discuss the law and provide advice to clients on legal matters. For example, litigation paralegals explain legal procedures and developments to clients. They explain the procedure for legal actions, discuss strategies, conditions and settlements, and offer opinions. Trademark agents advise clients on procedures for obtaining, maintaining and protecting trademarks. They offer their opinions about the registrability of trademarks to help clients decide to proceed with or oppose trademark applications. (3)
  • Present cases before lower courts, selected boards, tribunals and other administrative bodies. For example, paralegals represent clients in small claims and traffic courts. They offer evidence to support and defend their clients' interests and positions. They cite case law, jurisprudence, legislation and relevant rules and regulations to argue the validity of their cases. Trademark agents represent their clients before the Registrar of Trade-marks to defend or prosecute applications for registration of trademarks. (4)
  • Interview witnesses to gather information and details about cases. Use a wide range of communication techniques to build rapport and trust quickly with witnesses. Listen carefully to adjust questions to probe for more details without biasing potential testimonies. For example, independent paralegals interview potential witnesses for cases before small claims courts. Paralegals employed in law firms may conduct initial interviews with witnesses to learn about their knowledge of events and to gather details about cases. (4)
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Money Math
  • Calculate expense claim amounts. Calculate reimbursement for travel using per diem amounts for meals and per kilometre rates for the use of personal vehicles. (2)
  • Prepare invoices and statements of accounts. For example, legal assistants prepare account statements and invoices of clients. They calculate costs of lawyer and paralegal services using hourly rates and add other expenses such as costs of administration, realtors' commissions, courier services, database searches and photocopies. They also apply sales taxes and surcharges for late payments. (3)
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Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting
  • Prepare financial summaries such as statements of income and expenses. For example, estate paralegals calculate the net worth of estates using data such as values of properties and investments. Independent paralegals calculate claim amounts for injuries sustained during car accidents. They forecast expenses using estimates of lost incomes and future medical costs. (3)
  • Manage trust and bank accounts. For example, law clerks may reconcile records of financial transactions with financial summaries such as bank statements and trust account statements. (3)
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Data Analysis
  • Interpret data on and statistics which describe health problems, injuries and finances. For example, litigation paralegals interpret statistics which describe monthly medical costs and recovery rates from injuries in order to forecast medical costs and loss of income. Wills and estate paralegals interpret statistics about inflation rates and rates of returns in order to better develop trust funds and plan investments for estates. (3)
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Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate times required to complete job tasks. For example, paralegals estimate times required to complete research, to prepare motions, statements and legal briefs, and to represent clients. Although there are past examples to guide these estimates, they also consider variables such as additional investigations, appeals, motions and court appearances. (2)
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Job Task Planning and Organizing
  • Paralegals and related workers receive assignments of case files and are responsible for managing associated job tasks. They may schedule time to assist lawyers with court procedures, prepare and ensure timely submission of legal documents and meet and interview clients and others involved in cases. They often need to reschedule job tasks when unexpected assignments arise. Paralegals and related workers may plan job tasks of junior paralegals and office workers. They plan activities and assign tasks to other office employees to accommodate workloads for different cases and files and to ensure deadlines for submissions are met. They may increase their supervision when working with new workers and on cases with tight deadlines. (3)
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Decision Making
  • Choose job tasks for junior paralegals and office workers. For example, litigation paralegals assign the preparation of legal briefs to more experienced paralegals and the organizing of case files to less experienced workers. They consider the skills and training required and the individuals' skills, personalities and experience. (2)
  • Choose to subcontract work on activities such as typing, data entry, review of financial documents and land title searches. For example, paralegals may select accountants to review financial documents for litigation claims. They consider factors such as accountants' prices and their knowledge of relevant legal matters. (2)
  • Choose matters to investigate in preparation for legal proceedings. For example, paralegals investigating the accuracy of police radar equipment may choose to request maintenance checklists, calibration records, user manuals for radar equipment and other police records. They consider cost and the usefulness of the information to these cases. (3)
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Problem Solving
  • Clients and lawyers cannot be reached to get critical information, decisions and approvals. For example, law clerks are unable to reach lawyers to verify details of cases with immediate deadlines for legal applications and motions. They seek signatures from those in the office with signing authority or may file for adjournments. (2)
  • Documents contain errors and omissions so legal actions cannot proceed. For example, real estate law clerks find discrepancies between different surveys of the same property. They discuss errors with realtors and take steps to determine the accuracy of the surveys. (2)
  • Find that co-workers are delaying the preparation of reports and filing of legal applications. For example, paralegals may find co-workers are late in filing motions and legal applications because files are not being maintained and updated. They remind co-workers of procedures for managing case files, implement additional control features and increase the monitoring of cases. (3)
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Finding Information
  • Find information about legal cases and applicable law. Speak to clients and others such as co-workers, colleagues and expert witnesses involved in legal cases. Read trial transcripts, eyewitness statements and reports from police, doctors, and other professionals. Search for relevant legislation and regulations in legal databases and read judicial interpretations and articles in professional newsletters and legal journals. Examine evidence such as photographs and drawings for clues. (4)
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Critical Thinking
  • Judge the completeness of applications and legal documents before submitting them. For example, real estate law clerks evaluate the completeness of applications for land transfers. They check that supporting documents such as lists of covenants, easements and rights of way have been included in the appendices. (2)
  • Evaluate the quality of evidence. For example, litigation paralegals read testimonies, statements, trial transcripts and other documents, examine physical evidence and seek expert opinions in order to identify inaccuracies and inconsistencies in the evidence presented by opposing parties. (3)
  • Assess the merits of claims. For example, trademark agents assess the registrability of designs and names of trademarks using established criteria for originality and uniqueness. They compare proposed designs and names against those registered to identify key components that differentiate them and to determine the likelihood of trademark confusion. (3)
  • Assess the credibility of witnesses' accounts. Ask questions in several ways to check for internal consistency and compare answers with evidence. Also use established criteria to assess the character of individuals. (3)
  • Evaluate the appropriateness and applicability of case law, legislation, regulations and jurisprudence. For example, litigation paralegals may examine the relevance of case law to disputed partnership agreements. They gather information about cases by reviewing trial transcripts and other relevant documents. They may cite Partnership Acts, laws of equity and case law to support clients' claims against business partners. They also use financial records to demonstrate partnership relationships and determinations from past cases to show precedents for favourable interpretations. (3)
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