|For immediate release||September 5, 2012|
Amended: September 6, 2012
Prospective law students advised that foreign law schools not necessarily a fast or easy route to practise law in BC
Vancouver – As students go back to school this week and think about future careers, the Law Society of British Columbia is encouraging them to do their research before attending law school in a country other than Canada.
“Studying law at an international university is appealing to more and more students every year,” said Alan Treleaven, Director of Education & Practice with the Law Society. “We are certainly not suggesting foreign law schools provide any less of an education, but we want to make sure that students know if they graduate from a law school outside of Canada, it could be months, or even years, before they can apply to practise law in BC.”
Canadian students with international law degrees who want to practise law at home must first apply for a Certificate of Qualification from the National Committee on Accreditation, a standing committee of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada. The Federation, through the NCA, has a mandate from Canada’s law societies to assess the education and experience of people with credentials from outside of Canada.
“The purpose of the certification process is to assess whether students trained elsewhere have the same knowledge as Canadian students and are therefore ready to practise law here in Canada. However, obtaining that certificate from the NCA involves payment of fees, as well as considerable time to satisfy additional academic requirements,” said Treleaven. “Students have to write a series of examinations and, in some cases, they could also be required to complete more course work at a Canadian university.”
After obtaining a Certificate of Qualification from the NCA, a student in BC can apply to the Law Society Admission Program. The program consists of nine months of articles and a 10-week practical training course.
Prospective students are encouraged to review the information on the Law Society website.
Information is also available on the NCA website: flsc.ca/en/nca
The Law Society of British Columbia regulates the more than 10,000 lawyers in the province, setting and enforcing standards of professional conduct that ensure the public is well-served by a competent, honourable legal profession.
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