When you return to Laurier after studying at Sussex, you will take credits to complete your undergraduate degree, which will include for-credit courses that will help prepare you for the national accreditation exams that you’ll need to write to have the international law degree accredited as equivalent to a Canadian law. This accreditation process is a national process that is separate from Laurier and the Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree.
How many exams will I need to write in order to be accredited to practise law in Canada?
At time of writing, students graduating with a common law degree at the required grade from an accredited UK university (such as Sussex) need to write five exams to have that international degree accredited as equivalent to a Canadian law degree. Please refer to the National Committee on Accreditation (NCA) website for further information on the exams, the process and timing. Once you have completed these exams — if you want to be a practising lawyer — you will also have to complete your articling and bar admission process before practising law in Canada.
Does Laurier’s program prepare students to write the NCA exams?
We will offer courses that you may take to complete the BA degree that will also help prepare you to write the NCA exams (e.g. Canadian Constitutional Law). While this final year is in the process of being developed, the plan is to try to deliver the courses in a way that will facilitate writing the NCA exam after you complete the course and before you start articling.
Are the NCA exams based on the nationality of a student?
The NCA exams are not based on nationality of the student, but instead on where the student obtained his or her law degree. That also determines the number of exams that need to be written. In order to practise law in Canada, students currently are required to successfully complete five exams to have their UK law degree from Sussex accredited as equivalent to a Canadian law degree.
What is articling?
Articling is a separate process from the law degree from Sussex and the BA from Laurier. Anyone who wants to practise law will need to complete the articling and bar admissions process for the province in which the student wants to work. Articling is similar to an internship and provides real-world experience for law students. For information on the process in Ontario, please see the Law Society of Upper Canada website.
When do I apply for an articling position?
Applications for articling positions in Ontario typically happen a year in advance, so students in this program will apply in the summer between finishing at Sussex and their last year at Laurier. You should be able to complete the NCA exams and your final year at Laurier before starting your articling position.
How long will it take me to complete the accreditation process?
The length of time that it takes a student to successfully complete the NCA accreditation process will depend on the student; however, the exams are offered four times each year and we believe that you will be prepared to write the NCA exams within a few months of completing your final year of the Laurier BA.
Are there any other ways to become accredited if I don’t want to write the NCA exams?
There may be alternatives to writing the NCA exams that involve completing courses at a Canadian law school. Laurier does not have a law school and anyone interested in exploring these other options should review the NCA website.
After completing the program, can I return to the UK and practise law there?
It is possible to practise in the UK but you would require a visa to do so.
Can I practise law in any province or territory in Canada?
You can practise law in any province or territory, with the exception of Quebec. Quebec has its own law practices and would require additional study and examinations. When you decide where you would like to practise law, you’ll need to complete your articling and pass the bar admissions process in that specific province or territory.
Note: The advice on this page is correct to the best of our knowledge at time of writing. NCA guidelines are subject to change at any time.
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