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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.



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:


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.

Pre-Law Forum – Saturday June 2, 2013 – Opportunities to study law – Toronto

Pre-Law Forum

When: Sunday June 2, 2013 – 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Where: University of Toronto – St. Michael’s College – Carr Hall – 100 St. Joseph St. – 405

Cost: $10 cash payable at the door

Registration: email prelawforum at gmail dot com to guarantee a seat or just show up on June 2 at 9:45

The complete story …

First, the good news: The opportunities to study law are incredible.

Now, the bad news: That said, these opportunities are not well understood.

There are opportunities  at both law schools located both inside Canada and outside of Canada.

You will find the rules for how to become a lawyer in Ontario whether you graduate from a law school located in Canada or a law school located outside of Canada here.

Pre-Law Forum 2013 Schedule – Always subject to change

When: Sunday  June 2, 2013 – 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Where: University of Toronto – St. Michael’s College – Carr Hall – 100 St. Joseph St. – Room 405

Who: Sponsored by the Richardson Prep Centre – Toronto, Canada – Teaching LSATGMATGREMCAT Since 1979

Cost: $10 cash – payable at the door

Bonus! Attendees will have the opportunity to purchase John Richardson’s  Law School  Bound manual for $30 (retail price $49.95)

Pre-registration: email:  prelawforum at gmail dot com

Join us on Facebook:


Tentative Schedule:

10:00  a.m. – 10:30 a.m. – “Getting Into Law Schoolin Canada

John Richardson – Author: Law School Bound

Applying to law school is competitive. You need to think clearly about and understand:

– where to apply (how opportunities for law school differ)

why not get two law degrees in the three year period?

– how  to apply (academic positioning and marketing)

– what are the components of a law school application and how to make them work for you

watch out in an age of social media, some things you should consider

Regardless of where you apply, this seminar will be important for you.

10:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. – Study law in the U.S. – What are the opportunities? How do you use the U.S. law degree to become a lawyer in Canada and/or the U.S.?

David Finnegan – Professor of Law – Thomas Cooley Law School

10:45 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Your first law school class – This is a fantastic opportunity for you to participate in a simulated law school class taught by a real law professor, using a real case using the Socratic method.

Professor David Finnegan will introduce you to the world of law school using the case of Armory v. Delamirie. Make sure that you read the case in advance. Print a copy and bring it with you.

Break 11:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

11:45  a.m. – 12:15 p.m. – Attending law school in the U.K. – How about both an LL.B. and LL.M. in three years? An LL.B. in two years?

John Kelly – Canada Law From Abroad

Lunch: 12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.

1:15 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. – Bringing that “Foreign Law Degree Home – Foreign lawyers and law graduates: Ontario bar admission with a foreign law degree – FARPA, the Law Society and the NCA

John Richardson – Lawyer

Hal Tabl – Lawyer – Cambridge University educated barrister and member of the Law Society of Upper Canada

John Kelly – Canada Law From Abroad

Break 1:30  p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

The rest of the day – 1:45 on – You have your choice of sessions:

For those interested, you will have the opportunity to participate in a “Mock LSAT” using a real LSAT. Others will continue with the series of shorter seminars. Those wishing to participate in the LSAT must download the free sample LSAT and bring it with you to Pre-Law Forum. (If you have already been exposed to this particular LSAT, please feel free to bring a substitute).

1:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Mock LSAT – If you are taking the LSAT on June 10, 2013 this will give you a “trial run”. Those who are not taking the LSAT on June 10  should probably take the other seminars.


1:45 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Joint law degree programs – where, why and how? Get a second law degree for  free!

John Richardson – Author: Law School Bound

2:00 p.m. – 2:50 p.m. – Introductory LSAT Strategy Seminar

John Richardson – LSAT Instructor: “Mastering The LSAT – Prep

Unlimited” – Toronto

The LSAT is part of your future. Get pointed in the right direction

2:50 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.  break

3:00  p.m. – 3:50  p.m. – Law students forum

Learn from students at various schools – how they got in! how they stay in! We expect our participants to include law students from a mix of  Ontario law schools and some of the top law schools in the world!

3:50 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Break

4:00  p.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Articling and the Lawyer Licensing Process

Meet Two Generations of  Toronto lawyers:

– what is articling?

– where to article?

– how to find an articling job?


*Special offer for those applying to law school this fall!!

Law School Personal Statement Workshop – Get Started For The November 1 deadline – Sunday June 2, 2013 – 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. – Carr Hall 405

Those who attend Pre-Law Forum on June 2 may attend the Personal Statement Workshop the evening of June  for the discounted fee of $50.

John Richardson, B.A., LL.B., J.D. – Author of Law School Bound and Mastering the Personal Statement