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Practising Law in Canada

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IntLaw
Joined: 22 Jun 2005
Posts: 63
Practising Law in Canada
Tue Apr 18, 2006 07:37 PM
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.
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anushka
Joined: 17 Apr 2005
Posts: 167
Practising Law in Canada
Tue Apr 18, 2006 08:44 PM
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.

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Sean78
Joined: 12 Feb 2006
Posts: 24
Practising Law in Canada
Tue Apr 18, 2006 10:54 PM
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!
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JDI
Joined: 14 Mar 2006
Posts: 43
Practising Law in Canada
Wed Apr 19, 2006 06:03 AM
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!
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IntLaw
Joined: 22 Jun 2005
Posts: 63
Practising Law in Canada
Wed Apr 19, 2006 06:05 AM
Thanks Anushka and Sean for a quick reply. This does help a lot.
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IntLaw
Joined: 22 Jun 2005
Posts: 63
Practising Law in Canada
Wed Apr 19, 2006 06:08 AM
JDI,
Which country was ur original law degree from?
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JDI
Joined: 14 Mar 2006
Posts: 43
Practising Law in Canada
Wed Apr 19, 2006 06:26 AM
The UK - just sent you a PM
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IntLaw
Joined: 22 Jun 2005
Posts: 63
Practising Law in Canada
Wed Apr 19, 2006 08:19 AM
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?
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JDI
Joined: 14 Mar 2006
Posts: 43
Practising Law in Canada
Wed Apr 19, 2006 11:25 AM
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.
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anushka
Joined: 17 Apr 2005
Posts: 167
Practising Law in Canada
Thu Apr 20, 2006 09:44 PM
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...

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IntLaw
Joined: 22 Jun 2005
Posts: 63
Practising Law in Canada
Fri Apr 21, 2006 06:35 AM
Thanks JDI and Anushka. Made my choice a bit easier.
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manjit
Joined: 17 May 2006
Posts: 1
Practising Law in Canada
Thu May 18, 2006 12:26 AM
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.

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mouse1216
Joined: 15 Jun 2006
Posts: 1
Practising Law in Canada
Fri Jun 16, 2006 04:54 AM
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?
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anushka
Joined: 17 Apr 2005
Posts: 167
Practising Law in Canada
Fri Jun 16, 2006 06:09 AM
Canadian LLM? No, you can't. You need a Canadian LL.B to sit for the bar exams.
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t_aditya
Joined: 27 Jun 2006
Posts: 1
Practising Law in Canada
Wed Jun 28, 2006 10:19 AM
I have applied for my PR Card in Canada.I hold a LL.B From Delhi University.Please advise reg.practicing in Canada.
Adi
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Sean78
Joined: 12 Feb 2006
Posts: 24
Practising Law in Canada
Thu Jun 29, 2006 07:18 PM
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.
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kristina_jade@ho
Joined: 22 Oct 2007
Posts: 1
Practising Law in Canada
Tue Oct 23, 2007 02:41 PM
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
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akiela
Joined: 05 Nov 2007
Posts: 8
Practising Law in Canada
Wed Nov 07, 2007 02:39 AM
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.
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mllm
Joined: 25 Jun 2007
Posts: 6
Practising Law in Canada
Mon Nov 19, 2007 10:37 AM
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)
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LLMARK
Joined: 07 Sep 2006
Posts: 31
Practising Law in Canada
Mon Nov 19, 2007 03:11 PM
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...
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akiela
Joined: 05 Nov 2007
Posts: 8
Practising Law in Canada
Mon Nov 19, 2007 08:29 PM
Oh thanks a lot LLMARK!
I'll do more research on those schools


akiela
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rajahpuri
Joined: 21 Nov 2007
Posts: 1
Practising Law in Canada
Thu Nov 22, 2007 07:49 AM
Hey guyz .. Im newcomer in Canada and have done LLB from Pakistan.Im also a member of Punjab Bar Council there. I know nothing about how to carry on with my profession here.
Kindly give me some idea.
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useforstuff
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 1
Practising Law in Canada
Mon Nov 26, 2007 10:04 PM
maybe this will help a bit:

an llb in canada is not the same degree as an llb in most other countries (i.e. uk/aust/hk/etc). what i mean by that is that although it is offically recorded as an undergraduate degree, a better name might be professional degree, or a .75 graduate degree (i dunno).

though there may be exceptions but: to apply to a canadian llb program you need a minimum of 2 yrs at a recognized (no idea...call it canadian) university. remember that is a min. in my year of 160 students, i believe 4-5 have that. the remaining 150+ have at least an undergraduate degree (most think that an undergraduate degree is the minimum, not knowing about the two year minimum exception).

i'm sure the law society will give many a reasons why this or that is the way it is, but consider this information if you are graduating from an llb in another jurisdiction (meaning, many people in admin. positions think of it, rightly or wrongly, as simply an undergraduate degree). i have no idea what the real practical implications are. i suspect you will need additional credits or tests or somethign of the like. i simply know that i have heard many people talk of uk/aust/hk law degrees as true undergrad. degrees.

fyi--because of this confusion a few schools in canada have recently either switched to calling their degrees JD or are currently voting on it-student and fac. vote (usually a student lead charge with opposition from traditionalist professors). some examples: Western University had a close but unsuccessful vote (i understand they will try again soon); Queen's had a successful vote and i have heard they are awaiting confirmation from the school senate; UofT has already switched (i believe students have an option of calling it one or the other). What does this mean? nothing really, it is a change in name only so that people internationally recognize that a canadian llb has essentially the same requirments as the american JD and is (in this case "was") like the uk/aust/hk/sing/etc in name only (again, maybe there are vast similarities--just going by what ive heard).

excuse the typing and spelling..amazingly...in class!


out

[Edited by useforstuff on 26 Nov 2007]

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graber2008

Joined: 19 Dec 2007
Posts: 1
Practising Law in Canada
Thu Dec 20, 2007 09:57 AM
Hi there,

Could someone assist me on the following:

1. Which Canadian law school is better off (i.e. fees, documentary hassles involved, education standards vs. possibility for better prospects in the legal mainstream) for continuing further schooling in Canada?

2. How many years of residency necessary in U of O or any law school in canada for that matter before I can graduate and be admitted to the Bar Society, say Alberta and thereafter practice law in Canada. I have undertaken my law schooling in the Philippines with deficiencies in 2 subjects prior to graduation. Now, presently out of the country for work but intending to pursue efforts towards eventual law practice in Canada.

Can someone help enlighten? Thanks.

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foxtrot26969
Joined: 27 Oct 2008
Posts: 1
Practising Law in Canada
Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:31 AM
The easiest route to the NAFTA country law degree combo is through joint JD/LLb programs which are available through Detroit Mercy JD/LLB/LED so you get three degress Canadian, US and Mexican in 5 years if you just want to do US/Canada there are great programs in Michigan STate Univ., NYU, American University, Vermont Law School. You may also want to try applying to a Canadian Law school as an advanced standing student if you already have a common law degree at a program like UBC. It would take 2 years, but anyway you look at it it's going to take a similar amount of time and the UBC degree is a JD, so you have a different academic degree, not just another llb.
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