Practising Law in Canada


IntLaw
Could someone pls advice on
What are the requirements to practising law in Canada?
i.e.
1) Is there a bar exam like in USA?
1.1) If there is, would a lawyer with foreign law degree qualify to take the bar exam?
1.2) Would a lawyer with Canadian LLM qualify to take the bar exam?
2) If there is no bar exam, what are the requirements?

Thanks a lot for the info.
Could someone pls advice on
What are the requirements to practising law in Canada?
i.e.
1) Is there a bar exam like in USA?
1.1) If there is, would a lawyer with foreign law degree qualify to take the bar exam?
1.2) Would a lawyer with Canadian LLM qualify to take the bar exam?
2) If there is no bar exam, what are the requirements?

Thanks a lot for the info.
quote
anushka
ok, this is what i know...it all depends on where you got your LL.B (or J.D).

There are bar exams for each province.

To practice law in Canada, you have to present a file to a Commitee of equivalences, and they'll tell you what courses you need to take in a Canadian LL.B program.

If your LL.B is from a civil law country, you might have to do the entire 3-year Canadian LLB (unless you dont mind practicing only in Quebec b/c QC might give you some more credits).

An LLM from the US does not help at all. (I already asked)
An LLM from Canada, in principle, does not help either, but you might get some credit for the courses taken.

Conclusion: Practicing in Canada is a pain in the ass for foreign lawyers...there are a LOT more restrictions than in the US.
ok, this is what i know...it all depends on where you got your LL.B (or J.D).

There are bar exams for each province.

To practice law in Canada, you have to present a file to a Commitee of equivalences, and they'll tell you what courses you need to take in a Canadian LL.B program.

If your LL.B is from a civil law country, you might have to do the entire 3-year Canadian LLB (unless you dont mind practicing only in Quebec b/c QC might give you some more credits).

An LLM from the US does not help at all. (I already asked)
An LLM from Canada, in principle, does not help either, but you might get some credit for the courses taken.

Conclusion: Practicing in Canada is a pain in the ass for foreign lawyers...there are a LOT more restrictions than in the US.

quote
Sean78
The practice of law is self regulated by the law societies in each province, so the answer will depend on what province you intend to practice. For Ontario, for example, see www.lsuc.org.

In most provinces, being admitted to the bar will likely require an LLB or equivalent (if it is an LLB or JD from outside Canada there will likely be the equivalency info that anushka mentioned above and you will most likely have to take courses at a Canadian law school) and you will likely also have to complete a bar admissions course (which requires exams) and you will also need to work (usually called "articling") under an approved lawyer and also meet the character standards.

LLM's are meaningless although like anushka already mentioned, you might get some credit for some courses taken in connection with the LLM.

The justification for this is protection of the public. Someone with a law degree from say, Russia, would not know anything about closing a real estate deal in say, Saskatchewan, or administering an estate in Alberta or incorporating a business in New Brunswick. When members of the public retain a lawyer the law societies want the public to have some reassurance that the lawyer has some idea what they are doing.

An LLM, no matter where you do it, is not going to teach you much about practicing law - which is all that law societies are concerned with.

Hope this helps!
The practice of law is self regulated by the law societies in each province, so the answer will depend on what province you intend to practice. For Ontario, for example, see www.lsuc.org.

In most provinces, being admitted to the bar will likely require an LLB or equivalent (if it is an LLB or JD from outside Canada there will likely be the equivalency info that anushka mentioned above and you will most likely have to take courses at a Canadian law school) and you will likely also have to complete a bar admissions course (which requires exams) and you will also need to work (usually called "articling") under an approved lawyer and also meet the character standards.

LLM's are meaningless although like anushka already mentioned, you might get some credit for some courses taken in connection with the LLM.

The justification for this is protection of the public. Someone with a law degree from say, Russia, would not know anything about closing a real estate deal in say, Saskatchewan, or administering an estate in Alberta or incorporating a business in New Brunswick. When members of the public retain a lawyer the law societies want the public to have some reassurance that the lawyer has some idea what they are doing.

An LLM, no matter where you do it, is not going to teach you much about practicing law - which is all that law societies are concerned with.

Hope this helps!
quote
JDI
They required me to take 10 exams prior to their bar exams and one year of articling. This is protectionist in nature, not to mention a money maker, as each exam costs $550!
They required me to take 10 exams prior to their bar exams and one year of articling. This is protectionist in nature, not to mention a money maker, as each exam costs $550!
quote
IntLaw
Thanks Anushka and Sean for a quick reply. This does help a lot.
Thanks Anushka and Sean for a quick reply. This does help a lot.
quote
IntLaw
JDI,
Which country was ur original law degree from?
JDI,
Which country was ur original law degree from?
quote
JDI
The UK - just sent you a PM
The UK - just sent you a PM
quote
IntLaw
Thanks JDI.
Good luck with NY bar and the LLM.

So correct me if I am wrong ... a Canadian LLB can take the QLTT in the UK but UK LLB can not take bar exam in Canada (without some additional tests) Is that correct?

Seems to me - taking Canadian LLB degree would have many advantages..
1) Cost is much lower than US or UK (considering UK living expenses)
2) With Canadian LLB, can take Canadian Bar, NY Bar, UK QLTT.
3) From what I have read, NY firms also actively recruit Canadian LLBs.
Any comments, opinions, suggestions?
Thanks JDI.
Good luck with NY bar and the LLM.

So correct me if I am wrong ... a Canadian LLB can take the QLTT in the UK but UK LLB can not take bar exam in Canada (without some additional tests) Is that correct?

Seems to me - taking Canadian LLB degree would have many advantages..
1) Cost is much lower than US or UK (considering UK living expenses)
2) With Canadian LLB, can take Canadian Bar, NY Bar, UK QLTT.
3) From what I have read, NY firms also actively recruit Canadian LLBs.
Any comments, opinions, suggestions?
quote
JDI
A Canadian LLB is not necessarily cheaper than one in the UK. I received a full scholarship for my final year in the UK. A Canadian LLB can run up to $25k per year. UK is about $8k. The problem with trying to qualify in Canada is the time factor. You will need to do about 10 conversion exams, which are difficult and can take up to 2 years because of when they are given. Then you must article for one year and do more bar exams. The time committment is about 3 years if you already have a foreign LLB.
A Canadian LLB is not necessarily cheaper than one in the UK. I received a full scholarship for my final year in the UK. A Canadian LLB can run up to $25k per year. UK is about $8k. The problem with trying to qualify in Canada is the time factor. You will need to do about 10 conversion exams, which are difficult and can take up to 2 years because of when they are given. Then you must article for one year and do more bar exams. The time committment is about 3 years if you already have a foreign LLB.
quote
anushka
No matter how much I want to stay in Canada, it'll be much "easier" to be a lawyer in the States, considering time factors and the bar requirements...and also considering that the only Canadian law school I applied to (McGill) hasn't made a decision yet when I already heard from all the top US Law schools...
No matter how much I want to stay in Canada, it'll be much "easier" to be a lawyer in the States, considering time factors and the bar requirements...and also considering that the only Canadian law school I applied to (McGill) hasn't made a decision yet when I already heard from all the top US Law schools...

quote
IntLaw
Thanks JDI and Anushka. Made my choice a bit easier.
Thanks JDI and Anushka. Made my choice a bit easier.
quote
manjit
No matter how much I want to stay in Canada, it'll be much "easier" to be a lawyer in the States, considering time factors and the bar requirements...and also considering that the only Canadian law school I applied to (McGill) hasn't made a decision yet when I already heard from all the top US Law schools...
Yes, Even if u have more than 7 years experience as Lawyer u have to clear 12 Exams for becoming Lawyer in Canada.

<blockquote>No matter how much I want to stay in Canada, it'll be much "easier" to be a lawyer in the States, considering time factors and the bar requirements...and also considering that the only Canadian law school I applied to (McGill) hasn't made a decision yet when I already heard from all the top US Law schools...
Yes, Even if u have more than 7 years experience as Lawyer u have to clear 12 Exams for becoming Lawyer in Canada.

</blockquote>
quote
mouse1216
I got an LLB degree in civil law country and I have been admitted to LLM program in CANADA. Does it mean I wont be able to find a job and I won t be able to take part in the BAR exam in canada?
I got an LLB degree in civil law country and I have been admitted to LLM program in CANADA. Does it mean I wont be able to find a job and I won t be able to take part in the BAR exam in canada?
quote
anushka
Canadian LLM? No, you can't. You need a Canadian LL.B to sit for the bar exams.
Canadian LLM? No, you can't. You need a Canadian LL.B to sit for the bar exams.
quote
t_aditya
I have applied for my PR Card in Canada.I hold a LL.B From Delhi University.Please advise reg.practicing in Canada.
Adi
I have applied for my PR Card in Canada.I hold a LL.B From Delhi University.Please advise reg.practicing in Canada.
Adi
quote
Sean78
Hi t_aditya,

Permanent Residence would only give you the right to work in Canada (which without PR status or Canadian citizenship or some other work permit you would not be permitted to do). In order to practice law in Canada, however, you need to be licenced to do so by a law society. Each province has its own self governing law society with different regulations & requirements. You should contact the law society in the province you intend to move to. In Ontario, for example, it would be www.lsuc.org. Several of the posts above discuss some of the obsticles and requirements for getting licenced to practice law in Canada with a foreign LLB.

Hope this is helpful.
Hi t_aditya,

Permanent Residence would only give you the right to work in Canada (which without PR status or Canadian citizenship or some other work permit you would not be permitted to do). In order to practice law in Canada, however, you need to be licenced to do so by a law society. Each province has its own self governing law society with different regulations & requirements. You should contact the law society in the province you intend to move to. In Ontario, for example, it would be www.lsuc.org. Several of the posts above discuss some of the obsticles and requirements for getting licenced to practice law in Canada with a foreign LLB.

Hope this is helpful.
quote
So i am from the united States, and have bar admissions to california and hawaii. what are my steps to practicing here?
is it as follows?
1. present to a committee
2. article
3. wirte bar admissions
So i am from the united States, and have bar admissions to california and hawaii. what are my steps to practicing here?
is it as follows?
1. present to a committee
2. article
3. wirte bar admissions
quote
akiela
hey does anyone in here know about any law schools that offer a program that allows me to practice law anywhere in north america? i.e. i can switch from canada to US and still be eligible to practice.
hey does anyone in here know about any law schools that offer a program that allows me to practice law anywhere in north america? i.e. i can switch from canada to US and still be eligible to practice.
quote
mllm
Further to the above discussion.
Taking the LL.B. in NY, will it still make me go through "additional tests and examinations to be admitted to Canadian bar examination?
I mean, I can take the NY LL.M and pass the NY bar exam, and all this in 1,5-2 years. (just thinking)
Further to the above discussion.
Taking the LL.B. in NY, will it still make me go through "additional tests and examinations” to be admitted to Canadian bar examination?
I mean, I can take the NY LL.M and pass the NY bar exam, and all this in 1,5-2 years. (just thinking)
quote
LLMARK
hey does anyone in here know about any law schools that offer a program that allows me to practice law anywhere in north america? i.e. i can switch from canada to US and still be eligible to practice.


I think University of Windsor and U of Ottawa do joint LLB/JD programs with schools with Detroit Mercy and another school...
<blockquote>hey does anyone in here know about any law schools that offer a program that allows me to practice law anywhere in north america? i.e. i can switch from canada to US and still be eligible to practice.</blockquote>

I think University of Windsor and U of Ottawa do joint LLB/JD programs with schools with Detroit Mercy and another school...
quote

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