LLB Degree in Canada


Rastafari
Hey, I've mailed law schools but either I was unclear or the rules have changed(I've read some topics on this board).

My condition is like this:

I'll be beginning either law school or something similar(BA in law such as law and politics or law and history. You can alter the BA to an LLB if you wish though). This is done as an undergraduate degree in the UK. In Canada, though, as I understand it you take a JD and that's usually after at least 3/4 years of undergraduate studies.

If I took a LLB degree in the UK and I wanted to take a JD from scratch in Canada(granted that I get in), can it be done? One admissions officer(don't know if she knew what she was talking about) said that an LLB degree, even if it's undergraduate in another country, is not counted as such in Canada and that I *must* take a NCA conversion. She didn't even mention my questions about going into a Canadian law school right away and doing a JD from scratch.

What's your take? Also, would it make a difference if I took a BA in law & (something else) or a BA in something like history? Or do I need to do an undergrad degree in Canada first and then do a JD? Somebody knows?
Hey, I've mailed law schools but either I was unclear or the rules have changed(I've read some topics on this board).

My condition is like this:

I'll be beginning either law school or something similar(BA in law such as law and politics or law and history. You can alter the BA to an LLB if you wish though). This is done as an undergraduate degree in the UK. In Canada, though, as I understand it you take a JD and that's usually after at least 3/4 years of undergraduate studies.

If I took a LLB degree in the UK and I wanted to take a JD from scratch in Canada(granted that I get in), can it be done? One admissions officer(don't know if she knew what she was talking about) said that an LLB degree, even if it's undergraduate in another country, is not counted as such in Canada and that I *must* take a NCA conversion. She didn't even mention my questions about going into a Canadian law school right away and doing a JD from scratch.

What's your take? Also, would it make a difference if I took a BA in law & (something else) or a BA in something like history? Or do I need to do an undergrad degree in Canada first and then do a JD? Somebody knows?
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Poppet
I think the admissions officer mentioned the necessity of the NCA conversion because it simply wouldn't make any sense for a person to do an LLB in the UK and then do a JD or an LLB in Canada. Most Canadian law schools offer LLB programs and not JDs, but for clarification the programs are different in name only - an LLB and a JD in Canada are equivalent programs and degrees and neither offers an advantage over the other in any way. They are synonymous.

Some schools will offer advanced standing to students with civil law degrees intending to pursue a common law degree and vice versa (such as at McGill and Ottawa U) but I agree that it's extremely unlikely that you would be accepted to an entirely new JD/LLB program to begin from scratch. There would be far too much overlap as Canada and the UK share a lot of legal history and your advantage over other students would be significant and unfair - yet you would not be offered advanced standing either, because your degree is from a common law jurisdiction and not a civil law jurisdiction, understand? I think it is a reasonable assessment that most universities would refuse you on the basis that you know too much about common law already and that you need to take the conversion course to fill the gaps - that's what those courses are for and the reason the system exists in the first place. Think about it: How many schools in the UK would accept you to do an LLB after you've done an LLB at another school? It's not a really reasonable proposition.

And for the record, to apply to a Canadian law school you need a minimum of 2 years of undergraduate study (though it's exceptionally unlikely that you'll be accepted anywhere without a full 4-year honours degree.) You can apply after having pursued a BA in any subject - there are no subject requirements and no advantages based on subject matter; you can study history, law, or languages. You can have a bachelor of engineering or a bachelor of fine arts, it's irrelevant. All that matters is your cGPA, LSAT score, etc.

So, basically, if you want to study law in Canada, pursue whatever subject interests you and that you will be good at. If you pursue an LLB in the UK, take the NCA conversion course to practice in Canada. If you are more interested in the school experience, think about pursuing a civil law degree or an LLM after you've obtained your LLB, but don't bother trying to get what would essentially be two common law LLBs, because this is both unreasonable and unlikely to even be possible.
Hope that helps.
I think the admissions officer mentioned the necessity of the NCA conversion because it simply wouldn't make any sense for a person to do an LLB in the UK and then do a JD or an LLB in Canada. Most Canadian law schools offer LLB programs and not JDs, but for clarification the programs are different in name only - an LLB and a JD in Canada are equivalent programs and degrees and neither offers an advantage over the other in any way. They are synonymous.

Some schools will offer advanced standing to students with civil law degrees intending to pursue a common law degree and vice versa (such as at McGill and Ottawa U) but I agree that it's extremely unlikely that you would be accepted to an entirely new JD/LLB program to begin from scratch. There would be far too much overlap as Canada and the UK share a lot of legal history and your advantage over other students would be significant and unfair - yet you would not be offered advanced standing either, because your degree is from a common law jurisdiction and not a civil law jurisdiction, understand? I think it is a reasonable assessment that most universities would refuse you on the basis that you know too much about common law already and that you need to take the conversion course to fill the gaps - that's what those courses are for and the reason the system exists in the first place. Think about it: How many schools in the UK would accept you to do an LLB after you've done an LLB at another school? It's not a really reasonable proposition.

And for the record, to apply to a Canadian law school you need a minimum of 2 years of undergraduate study (though it's exceptionally unlikely that you'll be accepted anywhere without a full 4-year honours degree.) You can apply after having pursued a BA in any subject - there are no subject requirements and no advantages based on subject matter; you can study history, law, or languages. You can have a bachelor of engineering or a bachelor of fine arts, it's irrelevant. All that matters is your cGPA, LSAT score, etc.

So, basically, if you want to study law in Canada, pursue whatever subject interests you and that you will be good at. If you pursue an LLB in the UK, take the NCA conversion course to practice in Canada. If you are more interested in the school experience, think about pursuing a civil law degree or an LLM after you've obtained your LLB, but don't bother trying to get what would essentially be two common law LLBs, because this is both unreasonable and unlikely to even be possible.
Hope that helps.
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Rastafari
Hi.

Thanks for the reply. First, though, I would like to explain my aim. I would prefer and I am aiming at becomming a lawyer in Canada so that is the main objective and the prism of which all should be seen from. I've got a few questions.

1. In the UK, most degrees are only 3 years long. Would this be a problem?

2. If I studied law as a BA(together with something else) instead of a LLB, would it be different? Also, just to confirm(and eraseany doubts), taking ANY BA degree from the UK will okay in Canada, I can still apply to law school there?

3. Is taking an NCA course a disadvantage compared to taking a JD/LLB from scratch?

Thanks.
Hi.

Thanks for the reply. First, though, I would like to explain my aim. I would prefer and I am aiming at becomming a lawyer in Canada so that is the main objective and the prism of which all should be seen from. I've got a few questions.

1. In the UK, most degrees are only 3 years long. Would this be a problem?

2. If I studied law as a BA(together with something else) instead of a LLB, would it be different? Also, just to confirm(and eraseany doubts), taking ANY BA degree from the UK will okay in Canada, I can still apply to law school there?

3. Is taking an NCA course a disadvantage compared to taking a JD/LLB from scratch?

Thanks.
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Rastafari
I might add that I've been in touch with several schools(over 6) and only Toronto have raised the concerns you have. I have some schools left, but it appears none of them so far cares very much.

Toronto says you can do a LLB from abroad with a NCA conversion but then you'd have to transfer. As for the 3/4 years degree, they mostly take 4 year degrees because they simply have such a huge applicant pool(many of the applicants are PhD's) which is so extremely qualified.

So hmm, I think your advice wasn't necessarily wrong.. but it was hardly complete. Thank you for your input, though.
I might add that I've been in touch with several schools(over 6) and only Toronto have raised the concerns you have. I have some schools left, but it appears none of them so far cares very much.

Toronto says you can do a LLB from abroad with a NCA conversion but then you'd have to transfer. As for the 3/4 years degree, they mostly take 4 year degrees because they simply have such a huge applicant pool(many of the applicants are PhD's) which is so extremely qualified.

So hmm, I think your advice wasn't necessarily wrong.. but it was hardly complete. Thank you for your input, though.
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deep15
Hello everyone,

Am looking for a general advice. i am a law graduate from Northumbria University (Newcastle Uk),I am from Mauritius & i studied by distance learning. I reckon about 6 years working experience in the legal field as legal assistant. I wish to move to Canada now. What are the jobs prospects according to you? Is it worthwhile?
Hello everyone,

Am looking for a general advice. i am a law graduate from Northumbria University (Newcastle Uk),I am from Mauritius & i studied by distance learning. I reckon about 6 years working experience in the legal field as legal assistant. I wish to move to Canada now. What are the jobs prospects according to you? Is it worthwhile?
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