College education is about practical training; less ivory tower musings and more shop floor details. This type of education appeals to employers who require employees ready to hit the ground running as part of a business. This is particularly important in paralegal programs where graduates need to be up to speed on the administrative details of private practice. This contrasts with law school, which caters towards theory and leaves the practical training to future employers (generally through articling student programs).
Teachers in paralegal programs need both the theory of law and the experience of private practice. Like many lawyers, these teachers wear many hats (or at least many suits). Surrey lawyer David Halkett, who practices family law at McQuarrie Hunter LLP, also teaches at Vancouver Community College’s paralegal training program. The broader legal community will benefit as more practitioners get involved in legal education.