Completely revised and updated in 2019, this essential guide provides a thorough and practical overview of the law school application process for international students. Whether you are applying for law school in Canada or another country, this book answers all your questions about admission requirements, scholarships, test preparation, personal statements, and more.
Graduate high school (or CEGEP in Québec).
In order to become a lawyer in Canada, you must have graduated high school or CEGEP. High school is the equivalent of grade 12 (or year 10), while CEGEP is a two-year college program that covers subjects such as math, science, and French.
If you do not get into one of the top schools in your province or territory—that’s one thing! But there are other options available if your grades aren’t quite good enough: you can apply for scholarships from organizations like the Law Foundation of Ontario or Western University’s Osgoode Hall Law School—but remember: it takes time!
Earn 55 credits at an accredited Canadian law school in three years of full-time study.
The first step to becoming a lawyer in Canada is to earn 55 credits at an accredited Canadian law school in three years of full-time study. Law schools are located in Ontario, British Columbia (BC), Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. In addition to this basic requirement for admission into the bar exams, you must have completed six years of university-level education as well as passed written and oral tests on topics such as contracts law, criminal law, and evidence analysis.
There are also several institutions that offer programs that offer part-time evening or weekend courses so students can complete their studies while working full-time jobs or pursuing other interests outside of academia.
The selection process varies depending on where you live but generally speaking: if your city has more than one accredited school then they’ll likely accept applications from students who live within driving distance; if not then they’ll only accept applicants who live nearby enough so they can attend regularly without needing transportation costs involved (this could mean having to access both ways).
Pass the National Committee on Accreditation exam.
If you’re going to become a lawyer in Canada, it’s imperative that you pass the National Committee on Accreditation exam. The NCLEX is an English-language test with three sections: reading comprehension, general science, and math. You’ll need to study hard for this one!
The NCLEX isn’t easy—it’s designed as a practical test rather than an abstract one—but if you’re dedicated enough and willing to put in the work required to pass it multiple times before being successful in becoming a licensed attorney (which takes two years after graduation), then there’s nothing stopping you from achieving your dream of becoming an attorney!
Write the Law School Admission Test.
The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is a standardized test that all Canadian law schools require applicants to take. It consists of five 35-minute sections and tests your reasoning skills, reading comprehension ability, analytical writing skills, and verbal reasoning ability.
You can register for the LSAT online at www.lsacatenetwork.org/lsat-signup/. You must register by December 1 for February testing dates; otherwise, your application will not be processed until late January or early February depending on when you apply in May or June respectively.
The LSAT takes place four times per year: June, October, December, and February*. Each testing period lasts two days with different registration deadlines each time around (see below).
Apply to law schools in Canada through the Law School Admission Services application.
The Law School Admission Services (LSAC) is an organization that helps prospective law students find the right school for them. It offers a free online application, which you can use to apply to Canadian law schools.
If you want to become an attorney in Canada, the first step is applying through LSAC. This will allow you to get your acceptance letter before you make any other decisions about where your future career path will take shape.
Gain practical work experience through articles.
Articles are a period of work experience that can be used to gain practical experience and get hired as a lawyer. They are also a way to get hired as a law clerk, articling student, or paralegal.
Articles are similar to internships, except that they’re paid for by your school’s law firm instead of being unpaid; however, you’ll still have to complete an article at least once before becoming an articled student (and then again after graduation).
Pass the bar examination for the province or territory where you intend to practice.
The bar examination is the standard way to become a lawyer in Canada. It’s what you need to pass in order to be licensed and practice law in your province or territory of choice.
The bar exam consists of two parts—the first part tests skills related to legal research, while the second part tests your ability as a lawyer by simulating real-life situations where you might find yourself practicing law on a daily basis (like court proceedings).
Each province has its own set of rules and regulations about what topics are tested on each day during this test, but there are some commonalities across all provinces:
Follow these steps to become a lawyer by 2023
The steps to becoming a lawyer in Canada are:
- Study for and pass the Bar Exams.
- Graduate from law school.
The steps for Quebec lawyers are different than those for other provinces and countries, but they’re still relatively straightforward: graduate from a recognized law school with an undergraduate degree in law or another related field, then take the bar exam (which only requires one year of study).
We hope this post has helped you understand what it takes to become a lawyer in Canada. You can start the process by following our steps, but remember that there is no one path to success. The best way to do so is by being flexible and open-minded about how your career evolves over time—and don’t be afraid of change! You’ll never know until you give it a try! Good luck on your journey ahead.
Can you imagine an ideal future in which only lawyers and judges are allowed to take the bar exam? In this world, you can ask questions to your future clients as they walk out of courthouse steps and hear the sound of opening doors. Or, tell them that you helped them settle their case in court! This is what I imagine, right now – and what many of us dream about today.