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Alumni News

Second Career

Second Career Serving her Community

November 17, 2014

Victoria Ballah did not plan a career in law. A nurse for 13 years, the Guelph, Ontario native suffered a back injury in 2001 which led her to pursue work in another field. Not sure which direction to take, Victoria underwent aptitude training that revealed her suitability for the legal profession. Intrigued, she enrolled in Sheridan’s then-new Paralegal program, and started down a path that has led to a successful and rewarding second career.

A licensed paralegal, Victoria has been the Supervisor of Prosecutions at the City of Guelph since 2010. In the courtroom most weekdays, she handles provincial offences cases that cover the Highway Traffic Act, Liquor Licence Act, Building Code Act, Fire Protection and Prevention Act, and municipal by-law cases. Her office deals with approximately 7,000 trial matters a year in the City of Guelph.

In between prosecuting her cases, Victoria dons her administrator’s hat, managing assistant prosecutors, prosecutors and other staff, as well as the facility itself. It’s a big portfolio, but one that she takes on with pleasure and pride.

“I enjoy the work. The prosecutorial fairness issue for me is significantly important,” she says. “I look at not only the charge and the circumstances surrounding the charge, but also the public interest issues associated with each case.”

The scope of Victoria’s office has expanded greatly since municipalities first took over provincial offences prosecutions in 2000. “The knowledge base is far advanced from the time I entered the field. Our two assistant prosecutors who graduated from Sheridan within the last five years have brought this expanded knowledge with them from the program,” says Victoria, who also hired a Sheridan alumna for an administrative position. “We are like a family here supporting the City of Guelph.”

Beyond her office, Victoria finds support by networking with others in her role. “Because there are not a lot of municipal prosecutors in Ontario, we are very tight community.”

She encourages students and new alumni to investigate other areas of focus that are open to them as paralegals. “Graduates are not limited to opening a business on their own. There are other options, including specializations in immigration and prosecution.”

Overall, Victoria also urges any student to consider entering a field they hadn't thought of before. “I’m glad I ended up in this profession but I wouldn't necessarily have chosen it as a teenager or a young adult.”

Learn more about Sheridan’s Paralegal program.