Law School Discussion

Requirments to be a lawyer in Canada


Requirments to be a lawyer in Canada
« on: September 21, 2011, 04:43:53 PM »
I've heard that if you enter Canada with an ABA JD you still have to do another year at one of their schools and an externships in Canada before you can be licensed. Is this true?

Re: Requirments to be a lawyer in Canada
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2012, 09:14:08 AM »
ABA is basically meaningless in Canada (the "A" stands for American, after all). Canada has only about 2 dozen law schools and they're run with strict control by the Law Societies (equivalent to Bar Associations) and provincial governments. Canadians view legal education quite differently than Americans - there are no private law schools or bottom-tier schools where no one can get a job - and even the lowest ranked law schools in Canada require about a 160+ and 3.4+ for admissions.

Yes, anyone with a foreign degree who wishes to practice law outside of Quebec must go through the NCA process wherein your credentials are evaluated, and based on your marks, professional experiences, and course selection in law school you have to take a certain number (it changes significantly from applicant to application) of NCA exams and courses. For example, practically every US law graduate would be required to take Canadian Constitutional Law.

Following completion of the NCA process, one still needs to article in order to be called to the bar, though depending on the province this may be waived if you have 5+ years of experience as a lawyer in your home country.

In Quebec the process is completely different. I'm not sure there even is an accreditation program for Quebec, but if there is, it would require you to learn a completely new legal system (Quebec uses Civil Law instead of Common Law) and knowing La Belle Province, I'm nearly certain that you'd have to be fluent in French to even apply.

Hope this helps.

Re: Requirments to be a lawyer in Canada
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2013, 01:27:01 PM »
Yeah, I agree with the previous answer. The NCA/articling process is actually pretty long and difficult. I know people that took over 3 years to do all the NCAs, the bar exams, and then article. It's a long fight when you're making an articling student salary...

Re: Requirments to be a lawyer in Canada
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2013, 06:44:34 PM »
Interesting their is a disparity between Civil and Common Law in Canada just like in American with Louisiana. As to the actual question I don't know the answer, but for specific licensing questions your best bet is to contact the provincial bars any advice given from anonymous internet posters means nothing.

Good luck.