I'm currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Paralegal Studies. I have always been passionate towards law and advocacy; choosing this program has given me the opportunity obtain the knowledge and skills necessary to become a paralegal and serve my community.
The most important thing that I have learned about my work and career is relationship building. Building professional relationships is crucial to developing your career. The advice and personal experiences that my colleagues shared gave me a new understanding of navigating the public sector post-graduation and allowed me to form meaningful connections. At the end of the day, professionals in the field understand what it's like to be starting out and want to see you succeed.
The most valuable thing I learned about myself was my ability to learn quickly and explore multiple career paths. Before my placement, my focus was solely towards a law firm work environment, but I learnt there are many careers that are supported by paralegal skills such as policy development or being a privacy officer. Conducting privacy assessments was an entirely new skill set that advanced my knowledge of privacy law and technology.
My placement advisor posted the WSIB student co-op opportunity in our online portal and worked with the WSIB to ensure my 120 hours of in-scope paralegal work was incorporated into the position.
I would recommend future students take opportunities that are outside their comfort zones; this placement allowed me to grow as a paralegal student but also gain meaningful knowledge and skills within crucial areas of all corporations and institutions. I think tunnel vision in terms of a career path can only hinder your growth, always be open to new possibilities.
During my time with The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), my responsibilities varied depending on the area I worked in. Within the Privacy and FOI Office, I responded to Freedom of Information access request appeals, conducted Privacy Assessments for internal changes and projects and worked on corporate policy development. Within the Legal Division I worked with in-house counsel; conducting legal research for advisory, drafting legal documents and assisting in preparation for discovery. Within the Corporate Compliance Branch, I conducted legal research to ensure the WSIB is up to date with legislative and/or regulatory changes for overall compliance and assisted in developing testing procedures to ensure business procedures are aligned to the WSIB's statutory obligations.