Canadian accreditation

a group of canadian law graduates

To practise law in Canada, students with LLB degrees from outside the country will be required to demonstrate their competence to the National Committee on Accreditation (the NCA).

The NCA assesses the legal qualifications obtained outside of Canada for individuals who wish to be admitted to a common law bar in Canada. Accreditation is decided on an individual basis, taking into account the particular circumstances of that individual's educational and professional background.

A key area of the Committee's concern is the quality of the grades attained during your degree. After reviewing an application, the NCA will issue an assessment result to the applicant, listing the subjects and/or legal education required to ensure that the applicant's legal education and training is comparable to that provided by an approved law school in Canada.

Most law societies in Canada accept the NCA's Certificate of Qualification for entry to their bar admissions process. Additional requirements for the Canadian Bar are determined by the National Committee on Accreditation for all provinces except Quebec.

Obtaining the NCA Certificate of Qualification

In order to obtain an NCA Certificate of Qualification, most applicants are required to demonstrate competence in a number of subjects. Applicants may demonstrate competence in one of three ways

  1. You can apply to a law school in Canada to complete the remaining courses
  2. You can do self-study—the NCA provides a syllabus for you to study at home. Tests occur four times a year (January, May, August and October) with a pass or fail result
  3. A combination of options 1 and 2

The number of tests that you will be required to take will depend on a number of factors, including

  • Your results in each module of your Leicester degree
  • The degree programme that you have taken (i.e. the two-year or the three-year programme)
  • Whether you entered the University of Leicester directly from high school or not

Every law graduate who has studied outside of Canada must complete the five exams of Canadian content

  • Foundations of Canadian Law
  • Canadian Criminal Law
  • Canadian Constitutional Law
  • Canadian Administrative Law
  • Canadian Professional Responsibility

Please note the other core subjects required by the NCA are

  • Tort Law
  • Contract Law
  • Property Law
  • Business Organisations

These subjects are deemed to be so similar between the UK and Canada that once you have passed them in the UK with at least 46% you do not need to repeat them in Canada. The NCA requirements for Business Organisations are covered by the module of Equity and Trusts at Leicester Law School.

Educational history and number of exams

Two-year Graduate LLB

If a student completes the two-year Graduate Entry LLB and achieves a 2:2 (a 50% average, which is equivalent to a 60% average in Canada) with no individual marks under 46%, then they will have seven exams to do; the five mandatory exams, plus another two assigned by the NCA.

Three-year LLB

With at least two years of university prior to Law School

If a student completes a three-year LLB and achieves a 2:2 (a 50% average, which is equivalent to a 60% average in Canada) with no individual modules under 46% and they already had at least two years at university before entering Law School, they will have five exams to do; the five mandatory exams.

With less than two years of university prior to Law School

If a student completes a three-year LLB and achieves a 2:2 (a 50% average, which is equivalent to a 60% average in Canada) with no individual modules under 46% and with less than two years at university before entering Law School, they will have seven exams to do; the five mandatory exams, plus another two assigned by the NCA.

Three-year Joint Honours LLB

With at least two years of university prior to Law School

If a student completes three-year Joint Honours LLB and achieves a 2:2 (a 50% average, which is equivalent to a 60% average in Canada) with no individual marks under 46% and they already had at least two years at university before entering Law School, they will have seven exams to do; the five mandatory exams, plus another two assigned by the NCA.

With less than two years of university prior to Law School

If a student completes a three-year Joint Honours LLB and achieves a 2:2 (a 50% average, which is equivalent to a 60% average in Canada) with no individual modules under 46% and with less than two years at university before entering Law School, they will have eight or nine exams to do; the five mandatory exams, plus another three or four assigned by the NCA.

LLB degree classification of less than 2:2

If a student gets a qualifying law degree with less than a degree classification of a 2:2 (a 50% average), the student has not met the minimum standards for accreditation and will need an additional qualification for accreditation. Students are advised to contact the NCA for further details.

Contact the NCA

National Committee on Accreditation
c/o Federation of Law Societies of Canada
World Exchange Plaza
45 O’Connor
Suite 1810
Ottawa
Ontario
Canada
K1P 1A4

(613) 236-1700
nca@flsc.ca

NCA website