Gaining Canadian accreditation

a group of Canadian law graduates

To practice 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. Each file (application) is assessed on an individual basis, taking into account the particular circumstances of that individual's educational and professional background.

A key area of the NCA's concern is the quality of the grades attained during your degree. After reviewing an application, the NCA will issue an assessment report 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.

Returning students

As a result of some students either studying online or through a blend of in-person and online learning during the Covid-19 pandemic, the NCA currently requires at least one year of ‘in-person instruction’. The LLB (JD Pathway) degree and the LLB Law degree meet this requirement. If you are considering NCA accreditation but are interested in other LLB law programs such as the Law with Criminology and Law with Politics degrees, please contact us on law@le.ac.uk for advice about completion of year of ‘in-person instruction’. 

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 every month and are online double portered tests with a pass or fail result. Please note not all tests are offered every month. Consult the NCA website for details of the test schedules.
  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 Law 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 six exams of Canadian content

  • Foundations of Canadian Law
  • Canadian Criminal Law
  • Canadian Constitutional Law
  • Canadian Administrative Law
  • Canadian Professional Responsibility
  • Legal Research and Writing (for files assessed after January 1, 2022)

Please note the other core subjects required by the NCA are

  • Tort Law
  • Contract Law
  • Property Law

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 45% you do not need to repeat them in Canada.

Revised National Requirement

There will be a full review both of the knowledge competencies and skills, as well as the other requirements including mode of study possibly by the end of 2022. Please check the NCA advisory page regularly for updates.

Files are assessed under the policy that is in place at the time the file is assessed. Therefore, if the policy changes in the future, the new policy will apply.

Please note that the information on this page is accurate as of June 2021. The University of Leicester cannot be held responsible for any changes made to the NCA’s policy on awarding the Certificate of Qualification.

NCA exams

JD Pathway and Two-year Graduate LLB

If a student completes the JD Pathway or 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 45%, 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 45% and they have already completed 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 45% 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 45% and they have already completed 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
https://nca.legal/