Canadian Accreditation and Alumni
Many of our Canadian students return to Canada after they have graduated to pursue legal careers. The School of Law supports students wishing to do this by providing advice sessions and guidance.
Canadian Accreditation Requirements
To practise law in Canada, students with LLB degrees from outside the country will be required to demonstrate their competence to the National Committee on Accreditation (the NCA) as having a law degree in the UK does not mean you have a law degree in Canada.
The NCA assesses the qualifications of individuals with legal qualifications obtained outside of Canada who wish to be admitted to a common law bar in Canada. Accreditation is decided on an individual basis, taking into account the particular circumstances of that individual's educational and professional background. A key area of concern by the Committee is the qualities of grades attained during your degree. After reviewing an application, the NCA will issue an assessment result to the applicant listing the subjects and/or legal education that is required to ensure that the applicant’s legal education and training is comparable to that provided by an approved law school in Canada.
In order to obtain an NCA Certificate of Qualification, most applicants are required to demonstrate competence in a number of subjects. Applicants may demonstrate competence in one of three ways:
- You can apply to a law school in Canada to complete the remaining courses;
- You can do self study. Self study is where the NCA provides a syllabus to you and you study at home. The tests are organized 4 times a year (January, May, August and October) and they will be pass/fail.
- A combination of 1 and 2.
The number of tests that you will be required to take will depend on a number of factors, including:
- your results in each module of your Leicester degree.
- the degree programme that you have taken (i.e. the 2 year or the 3 year programme).
- whether you entered the University of Leicester straight from high school or not.
Generally , students who have taken the 2 year LLB Law Senior Status programme and have graduated with a 2:2; a 2:1 or a 1st class degree and without any modules graded under 50% (this is roughly equivalent to a C average in a Canadian university) will have about 7 exams. These are Foundations of Canadian Law; Canadian Criminal Law and Procedure; Canadian Constitutional Law; Principles of Canadian Administrative Law; Professional Responsibility; Evidence; Corporate Law.
Similarly, students who have taken the 3 year LLB Law programme and have graduated with a 2:2; a 2:1 or a 1st class degree and without any modules graded under 50% (this is roughly equivalent to a C average in a Canadian university) will have about 5 exams. These are Foundations of Canadian Law; Canadian Criminal Law and Procedure; Canadian Constitutional Law; Principles of Canadian Administrative Law; Professional Responsibility.
Once the applicant has successfully completed the NCA requirements, the NCA issues a Certificate of Qualification. Most law societies in Canada accept the NCA's Certificate of Qualifications for entry to their bar admissions process. Additional requirements for the Canadian Bar are determined by the National Committee on Accreditation for all Provinces except Quebec, see their website.
The NCA can be contacted in the following ways:
- By Post: National Committee on Accreditation, c/o Federation of Law Societies of Canada, World Exchange Plaza, 45 O’Connor, Suite 1810, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1P 1A4
- By telephone: (613) 236-1700,
- By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: http://www.flsc.ca/en/foreignLawyers/foreignLawyers.asp
Leicester Canadian Alumni Chapter
We have a chapter of our Alumni in Canada keeping our graduates in touch and network on issues of accreditation, articling and other aspects of career development. There is an annual social event each year for members of the Alumni in Canada.
Here are examples of what two of our alumni have done since graduation:
Bradley, LLB Law - Senior Status, 2007-2009
“Attending Law School at the University of Leicester and participating as President and Vice-President of the Canadian Law Society at Leicester was an experience that I will never forget. It gave me an opportunity to meet a huge variety of people from all over the world, including Canada, making connections that I feel will help me throughout my career. Being part of the Canadian Law Society allowed me to experience not only the academic side of law school but also the social side of the legal profession. In my path to return to Canada to practice law, I chose to combine the NCA exams with attending a Canadian Law School to expedite the NCA process and was able to complete all the requirements by the end of April allowing me to complete the Ontario BAR exams in June of the year after my graduation from Leicester. Although very busy, taking courses at a Canadian Law School showed me that Law School in Canada is not that much different from school in the UK. There were some differences but also many similarities both teach the basic principles of the law, creating a good base to start a legal career from. The largest hurdle that I faced was finding an articling position after completion of the NCA requirements but this is true for anyone who has completed law school and intends to practice in Canada. Some firms are not concerned where you attended school while others are. The fact is that there are firms who will hire students who attend school abroad as long as you have something that they believe will be an asset to their firm. This being said I would not hesitate to recommend the University of Leicester to anyone who is interested in pursuing a legal career.”
Zahra, LLB Law Senior Status, 2004-2006; LLM International Commercial Law 2006 – 2007
Zahra completed her Senior Status LLB and LLM at the University of Leicester. She then returned to Ontario, Canada where she obtained her license to practice as a Barrister and Solicitor in June of 2009. Currently Zahra is working for Douglas Wemyss Solicitors in Leicester, where she is in the process of obtaining her license to practice as a UK solicitor. In addition, she teaches part-time at the University of Leicester and runs her own business, SolicitorsSearch.com