Credentials rule amended

The Benchers recently approved the recommendation of the Regulatory Policy Committee to amend Law Society Rule 2-45, allowing the Credentials Committee to require students initially exempted from the Professional Legal Training Course to attend some or all of the training course and to complete some or all of the assessments.

Rule 2-44(6) permits an articled student who has successfully competed a Bar admission course in another Canadian jurisdiction or has practised law in a common law jurisdiction outside Canada for at least five years to apply for exemption from all or part of PLTC. In practice, the rule generally applies to lawyers from foreign jurisdictions, since almost all graduates of other Canadian Bar admission programs will have qualified to practise in another Canadian jurisdiction and accordingly may transfer to BC under the National Mobility Agreement.

The Credentials Committee generally exempts qualified applicants under Rule 2-44(6) from attending PLTC and from completing the assessments, but requires them to pass the PLTC examinations. If an exempt student fails an examination, the Rules do not authorize the committee to require the student to attend PLTC before rewriting the test.

The Credentials Committee has concluded that formal PLTC education would benefit some exempt students, and would also protect the public interest should they ultimately succeed and be permitted to practise law in BC.