Conversion to Law Degrees in Canada


Hi!

I hold a BA degree and Masters from UK universities not in the law discipline.

I was going to do a CPE/GDL (normally a one/two year degree converting to law for postgraduates) in the UK.

However, I like the look of emigrating Canada. I saw that I would have to take further years of studying in Canada in order to train as a lawyer if I received this qualifcaiton over here in the UK.

I'm asking if anyone knows if a CPE/GDL equivalent for postgraduates is offered at any Canadian university and if so which ones?

Or would my CPE from the UK be enough for me to apply to the National Committee on Accreditation?

Or would my best shot be doing a J.D. or L.L.B. from scratch, from your esteemed knowledge? :)

Thanks!
Hi!

I hold a BA degree and Masters from UK universities not in the law discipline.

I was going to do a CPE/GDL (normally a one/two year degree converting to law for postgraduates) in the UK.

However, I like the look of emigrating Canada. I saw that I would have to take further years of studying in Canada in order to train as a lawyer if I received this qualifcaiton over here in the UK.

I'm asking if anyone knows if a CPE/GDL equivalent for postgraduates is offered at any Canadian university and if so which ones?

Or would my CPE from the UK be enough for me to apply to the National Committee on Accreditation?

Or would my best shot be doing a J.D. or L.L.B. from scratch, from your esteemed knowledge? :)

Thanks!
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While this is a slight oversimplification, law degrees in Canada are generally all second degrees and there is no equivalaent of the CPE/GDL. As you stand now, if you wanted to practice in Canada you would have to go through three years of law school to get an LL.B. or J.D. and your existing degrees would not provide you with any sort of advanced standing. I'm not sure what the requirements would be *after* you did a CPE/GDL in the UK, but it is very likely the NCA would require you to do at least another year at a Canadian law school because they generally require you to "have graduated from an accredited law school with a full-time three (3) year law degree with English as the medium of instruction" (see http://www.flsc.ca/en/foreignLawyers/guidelines.asp for more information on getting qualified in Canada as a foreign attorney). If you are serious about emigrating to Canada, I would recommend applying to Canadian law schools and avoiding the CPE/GDL process entirely. It may end up being slightly more time in school, but the lack of administrative issues on the back end should more than make up for it. Plus, you'll have a far easier time getting a job in Canada as a graduate of a Canadian law school, will gain additional points in the immigration process for having a Canadian degree, and will eventually be able to be qualified as a solicitor in the UK with a lot less hassle than the reverse (trust me on this - as an American attorney who has looked into becoming qualified in Canada and the UK, I can assure you the UK is far easier for foreign attorneys).

Hope that helps!
While this is a slight oversimplification, law degrees in Canada are generally all second degrees and there is no equivalaent of the CPE/GDL. As you stand now, if you wanted to practice in Canada you would have to go through three years of law school to get an LL.B. or J.D. and your existing degrees would not provide you with any sort of advanced standing. I'm not sure what the requirements would be *after* you did a CPE/GDL in the UK, but it is very likely the NCA would require you to do at least another year at a Canadian law school because they generally require you to "have graduated from an accredited law school with a full-time three (3) year law degree with English as the medium of instruction" (see http://www.flsc.ca/en/foreignLawyers/guidelines.asp for more information on getting qualified in Canada as a foreign attorney). If you are serious about emigrating to Canada, I would recommend applying to Canadian law schools and avoiding the CPE/GDL process entirely. It may end up being slightly more time in school, but the lack of administrative issues on the back end should more than make up for it. Plus, you'll have a far easier time getting a job in Canada as a graduate of a Canadian law school, will gain additional points in the immigration process for having a Canadian degree, and will eventually be able to be qualified as a solicitor in the UK with a lot less hassle than the reverse (trust me on this - as an American attorney who has looked into becoming qualified in Canada and the UK, I can assure you the UK is far easier for foreign attorneys).

Hope that helps!
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