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From Legal Office Skills Certificate to Paralegal, Derek Hall is on the path to achieving his career dreams

Derek Hall is a student in the Office Administration: Legal Office Skills Certificate. His dream of becoming a paralegal is becoming a reality through the knowledge he is gaining in the Office Administration program. Here is his story. 

"Changing to a new career, I was looking for different things than when I was younger. I was seeking work that I could physically perform for the next 20-30 years and that also aligned with my interests and previous skills. My hope for a career as a paralegal is to find a role that interests me, while allowing for a good work/home life balance.

Starting in the Legal Office Skills Certificate gives me a good head start into the more in-depth learning involved in the Paralegal program. As someone who does not live in the Vancouver area, there are very few options for continuing education without uprooting one's family or spending months or years away from home. Having the ability to take this program 100% online was a large factor in why I pursued this program over other career paths.

When I was applying to colleges, I ran into several roadblocks. While many places will say they accept 'x' prerequisite or 'equivalent work/life experience' for admission into a program, they seem to have no actual interest in anything but their required prerequisites. By contrast, the program coordinator at VCC was approachable and gave me the opportunity to show how my previous experiences applied to the entry requirements for this program. Now I am upgrading with the Legal Office Skills courses before moving onto the Paralegal Certificate program. Without this support, I would not be where I am now.

I have taken the Civil Litigation, Corporate, Family Law, and Conveyancing courses in the Legal Office Skills Certificate. These courses were a great introduction to the style of learning involved in the next level of courses. Having no previous knowledge or experience in several of these areas, these courses provided familiarity with the subjects that I have been able to bring into my current studies.

I’m excited to keep learning. I enjoy the consistency of Canadian law and looking into the little details of how a law is applied. Being able to research the 'why' of a law or legal decision is very interesting to me, and it’s why I’m happy to be on my career path to becoming a Paralegal."