With numerous stops along the way, a long and challenging process is required to become a lawyer in Canada. It will take a lot of effort and determination to succeed.
The prospect of a well-regarded, well-paying career that provides the opportunity to make a positive difference in the world is a powerful motivator for all of the effort.
For those considering a career as an attorney in Canada and wondering what steps they should take to turn their dream a reality, this article will walk you through the seven most important steps you should take, from finishing high school to passing the bar exam.
Study for an undergraduate degree
After graduating with flying colours from high school, the first step toward becoming a lawyer is to attend university and obtain a bachelor’s degree.
Contrary to popular belief, a bachelor’s degree in almost any concentration is sufficient for admission to a Canadian law school; whether it is a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Bachelor of Science (BSc), or maybe even a Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) (B.B.A.).
Undergraduate degrees such as a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Policing, on the other hand, may provide you with a solid foundation in both law enforcement and criminology, answering the question of why a crime occurs.
Only in extraordinary cases will a law school consider applicants who have completed at least two years of study and at least 90 credit hours, or three years toward a bachelor’s degree.
With a four-year undergraduate degree, your application will be even more competitive. The admission policies of Canadian law schools for undergraduate education can be found in the LSAC Official Guide to Canadian Law Schools.
Take the Law School Admission Test
You must take the LSAT after completing your undergraduate degree and applying to law school (Law School Admission Test). Although law schools in Quebec do not require the LSAT, you still recommend that you take it. The standard LSAT is given eight times a year throughout the year. You can register online to take the LSAT at any of the testing centers located across Canada.
The LSAT assesses three key areas: reading comprehension, analytical reasoning, and logical reasoning. In addition, you will be asked to submit a writing sample on a specific topic, which will then be sent with your application together with your LSAT score.
Choose which law school you want to study
You are fully prepared to choose a law school once you have finished your undergraduate degree, taken, and passed the LSAT. There must be at least two dozen law schools to choose from across Canada, and it is up to you to conduct the necessary research to determine which school is ideal for you.
Complete the application form
After you’ve narrowed down your school options, you’ll need to complete an application form in the hopes of being accepted. While each school’s admission requirements vary, all will require academic transcripts, LSAT score(s), application fee, personal statement, and, in several cases, letters of recommendation.
Study law in law school
To be eligible for bar membership in Canada, you first must complete either a Bachelor of Laws (L.L.B.) or a Juris Doctor (J.D.), both of which take three years to complete.
Your first year of entering law school will be filled with general courses like Constitutional Law, Property Law, Contracts Law, and Criminal Law. This is where your bachelor’s degree in policing or criminology will come in handy.
In your second and third years, you will be able to select more degree programs centered on your areas of interest. In addition, you will take part in a mock trial and start writing a few lengthy research papers.
Finish the needed admissions course and article
After you have finished your L.L.B. or J.D., you must still complete some work before you can become a lawyer in all provinces. The province where you do your Bar Admission Course will have different requirements.
Online self-study and “article” classes are required. Articling will be the last step in your formal legal schooling and lasts anywhere from nine to twelve months. This type of internship will allow you to gain work experience while exploring the different aspects of the law.
Pass your bar exam to get licensed
Passing the bar exam is the last step after successfully completing the Bar Admissions Course and articling period. Once you have been admitted, you will be allowed to apply for membership in your province’s Law Society, as well as to practice law in all provinces and territories.