Become a Lawyer in Canada

By: Rabeea Khalid

Steps to apply to the National Committee on Accreditation for a Foreign Credentials Assessment

Are you interested in practicing law in Ontario?

Graduates of international law schools must apply to the National Committee on Accreditation (NCA) to have their legal education credentials evaluated before they can enter the Law Society of Ontario’s Lawyer Licensing Process. The NCA is a standing committee of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada. It evaluates the legal training and professional experience of persons with foreign or non-common law legal credentials and who seek admission to a Bar in Canada. You can apply for the assessment from anywhere in the world. You do not need to be a permanent resident of Canada or a citizen in order to apply. See below the steps you need to take to obtain your NCA assessment.

1. Initial assessment to determine if you qualify to apply to the NCA

You should review the required documents, such as, your law degree, transcripts and certificate of good standing if called to the bar in the country you are from. Once you have reviewed the documents, use the NCA Self Assessment Tool to understand if you qualify to apply to the NCA for an assessment.

2. Complete an Online NCA Assessment Application

If you qualify, you can complete the online assessment application form and gather the required documents. This will involve requesting official documents from organizations to be sent directly to the NCA. The documents include:

  • Original or official pre-law university transcripts (if applicable)
  • Official transcripts (detailed mark sheets) for your legal education
  • An updated outline of your education and work experience (résumé or Curriculum vitae)
  • And, if you are a lawyer official letter or certificate of good standing from the bar association or bar council (This must outline the date you were called to the bar and your status as a member in good standing.)

There is no deadline to submit the documents, but we highly recommend collecting and send the documents as soon as possible. The sooner the NCA receives your documents, the earlier they can start accessing your file.

3. Create a Study Plan

Depending on the assessment, you should come up with a study plan on writing and passing the required NCA courses. Alternatively, look for a Master of Law (LLM) program that will help you meet the NCA requirements. When deciding if you would like to take NCA courses or enroll in the LLM you should consider factors such as your preferences, financial resources available and your legal interests. Foreign nationals require a temporary study permit before they can study in Canada. You can apply for a study permit after you receive your letter of acceptance to the LLM program.

How can we help?

We can help foreign trained lawyers navigate the lawyer licensing process in Ontario and work with you to advice on your immigration options.  Simply provide us with your name, email address and phone number by filling out our comment card, or by emailing us at info@dmandelbaum.com, and our office will contact you to arrange a consultation with a lawyer.