All foreign-trained law students must have their degrees accredited by the NCA to practice in Canada.
An ‘abroad’ law degree must meet the criteria for “an approved Canadian qualifying law degree” set by the Federation of Law Societies of Canada (FLSC) to qualify the degree holder for eligibility to a provincial bar admissions program. The National Committee on Accreditation (NCA) is the FLSC coordinator that accredits abroad law degrees.
An “approved Canadian qualifying law degree” consists of the completion of two years of post-secondary education, legal education that is campus-based and three years of legal education in an FLSC Canadian approved or equivalent abroad accredited law school.
You also have to successfully complete 10 FLSC dictated mandatory law courses. The ten core courses and supplementary list are as follows:
- Corporate Law (Business Associations)*
- Professional Responsibility**
- Principles of Canadian Administrative Law**
- Canadian Constitutional Law (with Aboriginal/Charter component) **
- Foundations of Canadian Law**
- Canadian Criminal Law and Procedure**
*Five of the ten core common law subjects are generic and may be taken at a UK law school.
**The five law subjects are Canadian-content specific. They must be taken at a Canadian law school or be completed by writing NCA examinations.
The NCA Examinations are scheduled four times per year The NCA site contains updated listings of scheduled sittings and locations. The exams are:
- Open Book
- Allow for one re-write
You can choose to study law through three different Pathways in the UK:
1. The Three Year LLB
Applicants with a high school/college diploma or a university degree may apply for a three-year LLB degree programme. Graduates who include the six generic courses in their programme of study will be required to write five NCA examinations in the five core Canadian courses.
2. The Two Year “Accelerated" LLB
A four years honours degree university graduate is eligible to enroll in a ‘two-year accelerated’ LLB degree programme. A graduate of the two year ‘accelerated’ LLB programme will be required to write the five NCA Examinations in the five core Canadian courses and two additional examinations assigned by the NCA to obtain the equivalent of three years of legal education.
3. The One Year LLM (Masters of Law)
All university graduates are eligible to enroll in a one-year (12 month) masters of law programme, which qualifies as an additional year of legal education. The LLM qualifies a graduate as a legal specialist to open career doors in consulting and international NGOs. Two-year senior status LLB degree holders can use the LLM year to get credit for the third year of legal education. High school graduates with a three-year LLB can use the one-year LLM as the equivalency of a year of university.