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So, you want to become a lawyer in Canada

Becoming a licensed lawyer in Canada

Law School Bound - Richardson

Law School Bound – Richardson

Lawyers in Canada are members are one or more of the bars of Canada’s provinces. In order to be become a member of the bar in a Canadian province, you must complete the “lawyer licensing process” in that particular province. In general, the “lawyer licensing process” includes completing a period of “articling” and passing bar exams.

Therefore, to become a lawyer in Canada one must be be allowed to complete the “lawyer licensing process”.

Graduates of law schools outside of Canada

In order to complete the “lawyer licensing process”, graduates of law schools outside of Canada are required to have a “Certificate of Equivalency” from the National Committee on Accreditation (“NCA”).

Canadians attending law school in the U.K.

In recent years it has become more and more common for Canadians to attend law school outside of Canada. A large number of these people attend law schools in the U.K. It is possible for Canadians to attend law school in the U.K. and become lawyers in Canada.

Graduates of law schools in Canada

Graduates of law schools in Canada are allowed to enter the “lawyer licensing process” on the strength of their Canadian law degree.

Applying to law school in Canada

In general your “law school application” will include:

– a transcript of your university grades

– your LSAT test score

– a law school personal statement

– law school letters of reference

About the LSAT

Those applying to Canadian law schools are (in general) required to submit an LSAT score.  Those who apply to law schools outside of Canada are NOT (in general) required to submit an LSAT score.

The vast majority of applicants to Canadian law schools undertake some form of LSAT preparation. Your options for LSAT Preparation include:

or a combination of the above.

 

 

Election of Trump generates ten fold increase in inquiries for US lawyers to be @LawyerInCanada

The “Move To Canada” article referenced in the above tweet includes:

Canada and the prospect of Americans moving there appears to have drawn so much online interest that it knocked out the country’s immigration website.

Internet searches for “move to Canada” and “immigrate to Canada” spiked Tuesday night as election returns favoured Republican President-elect Donald Trump. “Canada immigration” was also a top trending Google search and “Canada” was a leading U.S. trend on Twitter, with more than 1 million tweets.

While much of the chatter was clearly tongue-in-cheek, the website for Citizenship and Immigration Canada was down at the time. Agency officials could not be immediately reached for comment to confirm the cause of the site outage.

The site appeared to be working sporadically by Wednesday morning.

My Canadian Pre-Law Forum Blog, in addition to being a resource for pre-law students, has become a huge source of information for non-Canadian lawyers and law graduates who wish to become lawyers in Canada. Canada is a stable and mature democracy with a strong and predictable legal system. Therefore, many people wish to move to Canada to live under the rule of law (British common law in all provinces except Quebec – at that). Lawyers see Canada as a good place to continue their legal careers. The truth is that Canada is a world leader is law, regulations and (and also) high taxes! (But at least, your high taxes did get you decent public health care.)

Amazingly (who could have known?), on November 9, 2016 – the day after the Trump victory (or should we say the Democrats defeat), the number of hits to this blog – specifically the part that deals with the non-Canadian lawyers practising law in Canada – increased ten fold! A ten fold increase because of the U.S. election! Think of it!

In many cases, a desired move to Canada is motivated by a desire to “Renounce U.S. Citizenship“. That said, the practical reality of “renouncing U.S. citizenship” is coupled by:

– the practical necessity of having a second citizenship. It does take time to become a Canadian citizen

– the possibility of being subjected to the “US Expatriation Tax”. Yes, incredibly the “Land Of The Free” will seek to impose punitive confiscation “taxation” on the assets of many Americans who wish to renounce U.S. citizenship. For an example to see how Draconian this can be see the following example so how the U.S. expatriation tax is calculated on those who renounce U.S. citizenship. Those who were dual U.S./Canadian citizens from birth may be exempted from the Expatriation tax.

Of course, U.S. lawyers wanting to move to Canada must qualify under Canada’s immigration laws and must navigate the NCA process that requires foreign lawyers to be admitted to the Bar in Canada.

John Richardson – Toronto, Canada

Foreign trained lawyers moving to Canada: Do you want to be a lawyer or do legal work as a paralegal?

Modern day global mobility

We live in a world of global mobility. This includes the ability of people to “pick up” and immigrate to other countries. This also includes the ability of businesses to outsource work to other countries. We have all had the experience of calling “Bell Canada” and talking to somebody, in a Call Centre, somewhere else in the world. It is now possible for law firms in North American to outsource legal research. This means that the “work product” of Canadian lawyers includes work done by legal researchers (lawyers or not) which has been done by people NOT licensed to practise law in Canada. The same is true of other professions.

The legal landscape in Canada – Less and less legal work is being done by lawyers and more and more work is done by “paralegals” (or specialists in specific areas of law)

I am privileged to know a Canadian lawyer who graduated from law school in 1955. She continues to practise law and has practised law for more than 60 years. Think of it – 60 years.  In one of our earlier conversations she commented to me:

“So much of what used to be handled by the courts is now handled by specialized tribunals.”

I can see this trend in the years since I graduated from law school. Think of how much is now handled by administrative boards or specialized courts (tax tribunals, landlord tenant tribunals, small claims courts, etc., private arbitrators, etc.). Note that these areas of laws are handled NOT by lawyers but by people who specialize in that particular area of law. The jurisdiction of Ontario “small claims court” is now $25,000.00. That is more than sufficient for the damages in many civil disputes.

To put it simply: a huge percentage of “day-to-day” legal problems can easily be solved WITHOUT lawyers. What is needed is a specialist in “small claims court”, “landlord tenant”, etc. (Note that “landlord and tenant appeals” that go the “Divisional Court of Ontario” will likely require the services of a lawyer.)

The reality is that: Lawyers are very costly, often inefficient and often NOT the most knowledgeable people in certain routine areas.

To put it simply:

Lawyers have often “priced themselves out of the market”. To be fair, Canadian Law Societies have imposed high regulatory costs on lawyers. These costs must be passed on to clients. But, clients don’t care about the “overhead costs” of lawyers. Why should clients pay these costs if they can get their work by “paralegals” done less expensively?

Much of what lawyers used to do is now done by paralegals
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@DwightNewmanLaw: British Columbia’s lawyers overstepped their bounds in rejecting TWU

National Post

Today, the Chief Justice of British Columbia’s Supreme Court begins hearing the case brought by Trinity Western University (TWU) to challenge the decision of the Law Society of British Columbia to reject TWU’s law degrees, so that its graduates cannot practise law. The case is complicated, but there are very viable reasons for the court to find that the Law Society acted illegally and violated its statutory mandate to regulate in accordance with the public interest.

The Law Society of British Columbia acts under a statutory duty to “to uphold and protect the public interest in the administration of justice,” including by “establishing standards and programs for the education, professional responsibility and competence of lawyers and of applicants for call and admission.”

In recent years, Canadian law societies have had to consider several new law school proposals. They established a national process so that these proposals could be considered efficiently…

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LSAT Preparation Courses Toronto

Dear Pre-Law Student:

richardsonlsatprep

Congratulations on your decision to take the LSAT in June. John Richardson will be offering three LSAT prep course formats in Toronto for the June 10, 2013 LSAT. They are taught at St. Michael’s College on the downtown campus of the University of Toronto.

Your LSAT teacher will “make or break” your prep experience. You are invited to meet John, attend a free sample LSAT class, and receive a free LSAT Logic Games workbook on Sunday April 28, 2013. This will also give you an “Early Bird” start to your June LSAT Prep.

We have four complete Toronto LSAT course formats for June:

1. Mastering The LSATSee why there is no course like this one! – $999

S. A – May 4 – June 8

S. B May 11 – June 8

S. C May 18 – June 8

2. Victoria Day Weekend LSAT Prep – May 18,19, 20 plus June 8 – $699

3. Four Saturday LSAT Prep –  May 4, 11, 25, June 1 plus June 8 – $799

4. One Weekend Toronto LSAT Prep – May 11, 12 plus June 8- $495

For those who do NOT want a complete LSAT course, but who desire only an LSAT Logic Games prep course, our “Logic Games Toolbox” course is available in Toronto on May 4 and May 12. It is also available at other locations.

If you have questions feel free to call us (yes, we still communicate by phone) at 416 410 7737.

We look forward to helping you get into law school and become a lawyer!

John Richardson, B.A., LL.B., J.D.