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How to Become a Lawyer in Canada in 7 Steps

Lawyers enjoy one of the most lucrative careers in Canada, discover how!

Becoming a lawyer in Canada is one of the dreams of many Canadian students. Although the process is quite strenuous, in some cases, the reward is invaluable. You will need to acquire your bachelor’s degree, attend a law school and take the provincial bar courses and articles before you can fully practise as a lawyer in Canada.

If you thinking of how to become a lawyer in Canada, you will need to consider certain things and take certain steps. If not, you may find yourself giving up along the line. However, this article will help you to know the practical steps to take to become a lawyer in Canada as well as understand what it is like to study law in Canada, and how lucrative the career is, among others.

What is it like studying law in Canada?

Students who study law in Canada can choose to study in different majors/subjects such as international law, business law, cause and effect law, intellectual property law or environment.

What’s more, Canada has numerous influential law universities like the University of Toronto, McGill University, University of Calgary, St. Thomas University, Cambrian College, Western University, and the University of Alberta, among others. These schools have prestige, both in and outside Canada.

Finally, if you are studying law in Canada, you will be trained in vital career skills, including communication, analytical, critical thinking and extensive knowledge.

What is law as a profession in Canada?

Without a doubt, the legal profession is a very noble profession. It is a field with the reputation of establishing honour and integrity. Thus, if you have dubious intentions, you should not venture into the profession.

Additionally, most law careers help clients handle their legal issues in the areas of their personal or business interests. Professionals in the field of law prepare legal documents, create contracts, and defend cases in court.

Steps to become a lawyer in Canada

If you are wondering about the steps you need to take to become a lawyer in Canada, we have helped to break them down for you:

  1. Acquire an Undergraduate Degree

After your secondary education, the first step for you to become a lawyer in Canada is to obtain an undergraduate degree from an accredited university. Interestingly, the bachelor’s degree must not be from a legal background. It could just be from any educational background.

So, whether it be a Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Science (BSc) or Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), you can enter a Canadian law school. However, you may choose to study a more closely-related course like political science, criminology and policing, among others to provide you with a strong perspective of the law.

It is also imperative to know that your application to a law school will be more considerable with a four-year undergraduate program than anyone lower than that. You can check for the admission guidelines of Canadian law schools with regard to undergraduate education at the LSAC Official Guide to Canadian Law Schools.

  1. Take the Law School Admission Test

After you have concluded your undergraduate degree, and before you can go to law school, you will need to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). It is important to note that Quebec-based law schools do not require the LSAT; however, there is no harm in taking it.

Typically, the test takes place any time of the year, at least eight times. Also, it is easier for you to apply online. After that, you can take the LSAT in any of the testing locations in Canada.

There are three key areas tested on the LSAT and they are reading comprehension, analytical reasoning, and logical reasoning. You will equally need to make available a writing sample on a particular topic. You will receive this topic with your application together with your LSAT score.

More so, your LSAT score will be on the range of 120 –180 and you will receive a percentile depending on other applicants who also wrote the LSAT at the time you did. Remarkably, you have the option of writing the test again if you are not cool with your score. But to be on the safer side, you are to verify with the law school to which you are applying to. This is because their rules regarding accepting multiple scores may be different.

  1. Choose the right Law School

As soon as you have finished your undergraduate degree and taken the LSAT, the next step is to choose a law school. In Canada, there are over 20 law schools you can choose from. So, you can do enough research and comparison here about each of them and choose the most suitable for you. Your main focus should be on the average number of applicants, tuition, application fee, school size, application requirements, distance from your residence, etc.

  1. Fill out the Application Form

After selecting your choice of school, you should get ready to complete the application form. Although the schools may have different requirements for admission, they have common requirements. Thus, you must provide your academic transcripts, LSAT scores, application fee, letters of recommendation and personal statement.

  1. Attend a Law School

If you have made it to this point, we congratulate you. Again, to qualify for bar membership in Canada, you will need to go for either a Bachelor of Laws Degree (L.L.B.) or Juris Doctor (J.D.). Besides, both of them take three years to complete. So, they do not have much difference, after all.

In law school, your first year will be more of general courses. These include Constitutional Law, Property Law, Contracts Law, and Criminal Law. For the period of your second and third years, you will face the options of more specialized courses and this depends on your areas of specialization. Besides, you will be involved in a mock trial and write numerous long research papers.

  1. Take Provincial Bar Admissions Course as well as Article

The struggle did not stop at going to law school. With your LLB or JD, you will have extra work to do. Without completing your Bar Admission Course in your province, you will not have the authority to practice as a lawyer in that province. More so, the course requirements for each province vary.

For that reason, you will need to take online self-study courses and articles. This articling is the last step in the process of acquiring your formal legal education. Also, it entails that you intern under the supervision of a competent and qualified lawyer between 9 and 12 months. With the internship, you will get to know the different branches of law. You will also have the basic experience of becoming a lawyer in Canada.

  1. Pass the Bar Admissions Examination

As a final point, once you have completed the Bar Admissions Course and articling period, you will have to take and pass your provincial Bar Examination. The moment that happens, you will be qualified for admission as a member of the Law Society in your province. This is in addition to becoming lawfully eligible to practice law in any province and territory of Canada.

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Additional tips to become a Lawyer in Canada

It is important to note that the steps to becoming a lawyer in Ontario are somewhat different than in other provinces of Canada. Again, in Ontario, the steps also require the right of entry to the local bar. However, future attorneys can decide to either work under the supervision of a licensed attorney for 10 months or complete the Law Society of Ontario’s Law Practice Program. This equally offers four months of training and four months of on-the-job experience.

Similarly, the prerequisites for bar exam admission in Ontario are different. In this province, the steps to becoming a lawyer include passing both the Barrister and Solicitor exams. What’s more, both exams test your awareness of the applicable law. They also test your moral and professional obligations, including the lawyer-client relationship.

Additionally, for those who passed out from an American law school and are planning to become a lawyer in Canada, it is pertinent for you to apply to the Federation of Law Societies in Canada for certification. You will equally get a suitable visa. The federation evaluates your educational background and work experience to know if you are eligible to practice in Canada.

So, if you qualify for the eligibility, you may have to meet the other conditions for becoming a lawyer in Canada. Also, if you are already practising law in America, the articling requirements may be put aside for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Years Is Law School in Canada?

In Canada, it takes three years to earn a JD. This is equally the same length of time for law schools in the United States. During the three years, you will need to take several classes in different areas of law, achieve certain skills through legal research and writing, as well as take part in mock court and trial advocacy.

Is law good as a career?

Law as a profession is one of the professions that are hot cakes these days. As a result of the changing social and economic conditions and the high-rising governmental regulatory roles, there is an increasing demand for lawyers. Moreover, the profession is financially rewarding, just as it is an adventurous and exciting career path.

Do Lawyers in Canada work 9 – 5?

Most lawyers, particularly new professionals, are to work 9 am to 5 pm from Monday to Friday. In addition, according to one recent article, the average lawyer can work up to 66 hours a week.

Is there a high demand for lawyers in Canada?

According to the report, in the legal sphere, there is a high demand for some sets of lawyers including commercial property lawyers, construction and property lawyers, commercial litigators as well as lawyers with skills in commercial contracts and some government legal roles.


Lawyers are one of the best professions you can enjoy in the country. even though the steps to becoming a lawyer in Canada are not so easy, you will be glad you took up the profession when you get to the top.