Alberta Association of Professional Paralegals
Frequently Asked Questions

What are the criteria for membership?  
A resident of Alberta and graduate from a Diploma/Certificate program recognized by Alberta Education* or equivalent of post-secondary and job experience working under direct supervision of a lawyer, judge or justice.  *See Occupational Profiles at

How do I choose what college/university program to take?
Contact staffing agencies in the City where you plan on working as they know what program employers prefer.

What can I expect for a salary ?

Pay scales are tied to level of education, degree of skill and responsibility needed and years of experience.  Alberta Learning, staffing agencies and internet salary tools are good resources.

What is the difference between a legal assistant and paralegal?
Legal assistants assist in the administration of the law practice while paralegals assist on the legal side.  Legal assistants receive instruction from both the lawyer and paralegal.  Usually legal assistants do not bill their time to clients while the paralegal does.

What continued education is available after graduation?
The Legal Education Society of Alberta (LESA) and local Colleges offer continuing education courses that your employer may pay for.  In-house training is also available.

I am currently a legal assistant.  How do I become a paralegal?

Paralegal = years of experience + education + establishing a trust level with your lawyer/law firm.  Due to the variance in criteria across different legal offices, it is best to discuss with your HR manager or Lawyer.

I am a Licensed Paralegal in Ontario. What are my chances of employment in Alberta? What additional qualifications do I need to practice in Alberta?

Paralegals are not regulated by statute in Alberta and work under supervision of a lawyer or justice/judge.  Contact a staffing agency in the City you are moving to in order to determine your employability and education qualifications.

I am a paralegal in my home country.  What do I need to do to have my qualifications recognized in Alberta? Directions for Immigrants is an excellent resource.

Providing assistance and support for Alberta's Paralegals