4 Engaging Careers in the Legal and Criminal Justice Fields
Canadians value law, order, and fairness. But upholding those values requires different kinds of professionals who understand how to navigate the justice system and have the right skills to help handle a range of legal and criminal matters appropriately. Just look at some of the facts:
- More than 922,000 cases went through Canadian civil courts between 2012 and 2013 alone.*
- From 2011 to 2012, Canada's courts handled almost 386,500 criminal cases and more than 48,000 youth cases.*
- Canadian police reported nearly 2.1 million federal criminal offences in 2013.*
Of course, millions of other legal transactions and security incidents take place every year outside the courts and policing system. So the need for well-trained pros in law and security-related fields is always high. Here are four of the most intriguing paths you can take:
You don't have to be a lawyer in order to make positive contributions within the legal field. Most law offices and legal departments employ assistants who have specialized administrative skills that help keep cases organized and on track. In fact, whenever a lawyer succeeds, it's usually because he or she has at least one good legal assistant or law clerk who handles many of the routine (but highly important) tasks.
The average salary for Canadian legal assistants is $43,535.** And they can be found almost everywhere that lawyers practice. In Canada, about 66 percent of lawyers work in private firms, about 20 percent work in government, and a little more than 10 percent work as in-house counsel for individual companies or other organizations.***
Saving time for lawyers and money for clients is what makes the work of paralegals so valuable. They often take on many interesting and essential tasks like conducting research, gathering facts for cases, interviewing people, and drafting legal documents. It's all meant to help the lawyers they work with become as effective and efficient as possible.
And check this out: Paralegals frequently make very good salaries. In fact, the median pay in Canada for this profession is roughly $52,000 a year. And the top earners make more than $79,900.****
Getting foundational police training from a vocational college can lead to a large variety of different career outcomes. For example, it can provide extra confidence when applying for selection by the RCMP or a municipal police force. And it also opens the door to other occupations such as jail security, private investigations, shoplifting prevention, national border protection, and corporate security.
Plus, going to school for criminal justice and law enforcement can result in the opportunity to earn a comfortable income. For example, the median yearly pay of a full-time Canadian police officer is about $72,800. And for prison guards, the median is about $62,400, with many eventually earning the same as those who work in policing.****
Many people from around the world wish to move to Canada and become permanent residents. But they often find it hard to navigate the complex immigration laws, initiate the required process, and prepare the documentation they need for their applications. That's where immigration consultants come in. They represent and advise people who want to make Canada their new home. And they can make pretty good money from that work. The average salary is $48,966.**
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* Statistics Canada, website last visited on August 22, 2016.
** PayScale, website last visited on August 22, 2016.
*** CBA Legal Futures Initiative, Canadian Bar Association, website last visited on August 22, 2016.
**** Government of Canada, Job Bank, website last visited on August 22, 2016.