Future JD Students

Admission to the Bar in Canada

In order to be admitted to the practice of law, all of the provincial law societies require that

  • a candidate possess a law degree from a recognized law school, and
  • a candidate serve a period of apprenticeship as an articling clerk under the supervision of a qualified member of the law society.

Bar admission in Quebec usually requires graduation from a civil-law law school.

Articling usually involves working on a full-time basis with modest pay as a clerk in a law firm, a court, or the legal department of the government or a corporation. The length of this articling clerkship varies from nine months to one year, depending on the province. Each provincial law society also administers a bar admission course or set of bar admission examinations that must be completed successfully before a candidate may be admitted to the provincial bar. Bar admission courses and examinations cover a wide range of topics. Their emphasis is generally on practical knowledge and skills. The evaluations in these programs are designed to ensure that new members possess the knowledge, skills, and attitude expected of an entry-level lawyer in a competent and professional practice.

The bar admission courses and bar admission exams are constantly being monitored and reevaluated in Canada. One should always contact the law society in the particular province concerning the structure and format of its individual course and examination prior to graduation from law school. For a listing of Canadian law society websites, go to www.flsc.ca.

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