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How to become a lawyer in Canada?

Updated: Mar 23

I prepared a summary of validating your law studies and law license in Canada.

Learn about the process to follow to validate your law degree in Canada.

There are two ways to become a lawyer in Canada, which, for this article, we will call:

  1. Route from Zero.

  2. Accreditation Route.



Route from Zero

You can't start studying law in Canada just by having a high school diploma. You must first obtain a Bachelor's degree in any discipline.


These studies must take three to four years in a recognized university worldwide.


Once you have graduated with undergraduate studies, it is time to take the first step in starting your legal career in Canada.


But, before you must take a mandatory test to be admitted to a law school in Canada, this is known as LSAT.


What is the LSAT?

It is an admission exam for law schools in Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico. It is administered by the Law School Admission Council(LSAC).





What is the LSAT?

It aims to assess reading comprehension, logic, analysis and writing in English. It does not test legal knowledge, and it is meant to test your abilities to succeed in law school, including analyzing arguments, making deductions, strategic reading, and understanding formal logic.




What happens after the LSAT?

You should search for a law school according to the province where you want to practice as a lawyer, etc. For more information, you must read: https ://www.lsac.org/


Accreditation Route

It is the best path for practicing lawyers from any jurisdiction worldwide who plan to move to Canada and continue their professional careers as lawyers.


It is highly recommended that before starting this process, you confirm your chances of migrating to Canada.


Now, the details for the equivalency process through the so-called Accreditation Route:


You can choose between taking a Juris Doctor degree or requesting the accreditation process with the National Committee on Accreditation (NCA) of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada.




What is a Certificate of Qualification?

It is not the same as a law degree. The NCA issues show that your knowledge of Canadian law is similar to that of someone who earned a law degree from a Canadian law school.


Sometimes, depending on the country where you have graduated and practiced as a lawyer, the NCA can grant you a Certificate of Qualification. This can exempt you from taking a JD or LLM, or only make it mandatory that you take some subjects.


Sometimes, they can direct you to start your process from Route Zero, previously exposed.


It is mandatory, in the case of lawyers with a license and international studies (outside Canada), to have the Certificate of Qualification to begin their registration process to practice as a lawyer. This is mandatory in any of the provinces or territories of Canada (common law jurisdictions), except Quebec.


To practice as a lawyer in the province of Quebec, you must follow a different procedure, in this link, you have the information: https://www.barreau.qc.ca/en/



What is a Juris Doctor (JD) Degree?

It is a grad for those who become lawyers. It takes an average of three years to earn a full-time Juris Doctor degree. If you need to attend law school part-time, it can take four to five years.





What is an LLM?

It is a postgraduate degree to broaden knowledge and study a specialized area of law in Canada.

Those seeking an LLM must have obtained a professional law degree or an equivalent credential allowing entry into the practice of law in their home country.





How is the accreditation process with the Federation of Law of Canada (NCA)?


You must enter this web page: https://nca .legal/ to create your account, and enter your personal information, studies, and work experience; you must pay the amount of 500 Canadian dollars so that the NCA can start the process once you have submitted all the documentation as requested.


All documents must be translated into English or French by a certified translator from Canada or your country.


The original documents must be sent together with the certified translated copies.


We hope that this article has been helpful to you; if you want to talk to me to guide you through this process, write to me at alejandro@mevoyacanada.net 





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