Who is the licensing body responsible for Lawyers in Alberta?

In Alberta, you must be registered with the Law Society of Alberta to practice law or call yourself a Lawyer.

What are the licensure requirements for internationally educated Lawyers?

Internationally educated Lawyers must 

1. Apply to the National Committee on Accreditation (NCA) for assessment of legal credentials and experience. 

2. Pass any required examinations in Canadian law and/or complete required course work. For more information on exam resources, visit the Federation of Law Societies of Canada website.

3. Once the Certificate of Qualification has been received, apply to the Law Society of Alberta for registration as a Student-at-Law. 

NOTE: In addition to the applicant's academic qualifications, the Law Society will also assess the applicant's character and reputation. 

4. Upon being admitted as a Student-at-Law, article for a minimum of 12 months under the supervision of an experienced Alberta lawyer. 

NOTE: The articling term must be served under an active member of the Law Society who has been engaged in the practice of law within Alberta for not less than 4 years immediately preceding the date on which the articles commence. The proposed principal must be approved by the Law Society for both eligibility and suitability to act as a principal. 

5. While articling, complete and pass the Canadian Centre for Professional Legal Education (CPLED) bar admission course. This program is delivered through the Legal Education Society of Alberta and is the bar admission course that all students must complete. 

6. Upon conclusion of the articling term and successful completion of the CPLED program, apply for enrolment as a member of the Law Society of Alberta.

What are the educational requirements for Lawyers in Alberta?

Note: Licensing bodies compare international education and experience to Canadian standards. 

To practice law in Alberta, lawyers must have completed a bachelor’s degree, a law degree, an articling term, and the Canadian Centre for Professional Legal Education program. 

1. Two to four years in an undergraduate (bachelor’s) degree program. 

NOTE: The minimum academic requirement is completion of at least two years of a program leading to a bachelor's degree or equivalent, but admission after two or three years of undergraduate study is very unusual. A bachelor's degree is generally required to gain admission. 

NOTE: Students seeking admission to law school must write the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), an aptitude test administered four times a year at a number of Canadian campuses. 

2. A three-year Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree from an accredited law school 

3. A twelve-month articling term as a student-at-law. 

After prospective lawyers graduate from an LLB or combined degree program, they must work for one full year as a student-at-law. This is a form of apprenticeship in which the student enters into an agreement (articles of clerkship) with a practitioner of the Alberta Bar to provide the graduate with practical training in both barristers and solicitors work. 

4. While articling, successfully complete the Canadian Centre for Professional Legal Education (CPLED) program which is offered once a year and covers many practical aspects of the law. 

In Alberta, the following institutions offer training in law: 

The University of Alberta in Edmonton offers 

• a Bachelor of Laws degree program 

• a combined Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Laws (MBA/ LLB) degree program 

• a Master of Laws (LLM) program and a PhD program 

• a Bachelor of Laws degree program 

• a combined Bachelor of Laws and Master of Business Administration (LLB/MBA) degree and a combined Bachelor of Laws and Master of Environmental Design (LLB/MEDes) degree

• a thesis-based LLM and a course based LLM program in natural resources, energy and environmental law. Applicants must have a degree in law.

What training programs are available for internationally educated Lawyers?

University of British Columbia (UBC) LL.M. Common Law Program 

The UBC LL.M. Common Law program is a one-year master’s program that provides training in Canadian common law for foreign-trained lawyers. 

The Internationally Trained Lawyers Program (ITLP) in Ontario is a program that assists internationally educated lawyers gain the knowledge and skills to become professionally licensed Canadian lawyers.

What are the accepted English language proficiency tests and where can I be tested?

There are no formal English requirements for Lawyers; however, Lawyers must understand legal terms, as well as have a high level of English in the areas of reading, writing, speaking and listening skills in order to be successful in the profession. To learn more about where to take an English language proficiency test in Alberta, visit English Language Proficiency Tests and Locations.

What supports are available to support internationally educated professionals to integrate into the Canadian labour force?

Directions for Immigrants offers Clear Communications for Business to help you integrate into the Canadian work force. Topics include Active Listening, Assertiveness, Conflict Resolution, Problem Solving and Teamwork. Visit the Job Success Groups on the Study Groups page for more information on this service and eligibility criteria.

What information resources are available for Lawyers in Alberta?

Law Society of Alberta 


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