You would need to acquire an NCA accreditation to practice in Canada if you have studied law outside Canada or in a Canadian civil law program.
The process of being called to bar in different countries varies, especially when it is a tier 1 country.
Foreigners who have studied law outside Canada or in a Canadian civil law program need to assess their certificates and professional experience.
Hence, if you want to practice law in Canada as a foreign-trained lawyer, we will outline every requirement.
What Is The National Committee on Accreditation (NCA Canada)?
The NCA (short for National Committee on Accreditation) is a standing committee of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada (FLSC).
The NCA role is to assess the qualifications of all legal graduates who studied outside Canada or in a Canadian civil law program. The NCA assessment is for both Canadian citizens and newcomers with overseas legal education and foreign lawyers thinking of immigrating to Canada.
In short, the primary aim of the NCA is to guarantee that a degree gotten from a Canadian civil law degree or overseas meets the national standards for legal practitioners in Canada.
By this, candidates will not be expected to follow different entrance requirements to practice law in Canadian provinces and/or territories.
The only special case is the province of Quebec as the Barreau du Québec and the Chambre des Notaires du Québec have different evaluation procedures.
The NCA Assessment For Foreign Lawyers In Canada
The NCA assessment is an assessment process that involves writing an exam that is similar to the Canadian law school exam.
Passing this exam proves that you meet the standards for becoming a lawyer in Canada.
Citizenship and residency are not essential during the assessment process; therefore, internationally trained lawyers can apply for the NCA assessment, even before they come to Canada or become permanent residents.
How To Apply For NCA Assessment In Canada?
While applying for NCA assessment as a Foreign lawyer in Canada, you are expected to follow these steps below :
Step 1: Visit the official NCA’s website and signup.
Step 2: All necessary documents should be submitted, and meet all requirements demanded should be completed.
Step 3: Once your application is approved and you receive a Certificate of Qualification, go ahead and apply to the bar. You can apply to the bar by applying for law society bar admissions in any Canadian province or territory of your choice.
NCA Assessment Requirement
We have outlined a list of requirements identified by the FLSC that are necessary for the NCA assessment to be processed:
- Assessment application form (online), alongside payment of about C$350, plus applicable taxes;
- An original official set of final academic transcripts from the institution of your studies;
- Some documents to be sent to the NCA by the institution you have completed your legal education, including:
- a copy of your academic transcripts;
- a letter or certificate of membership in good standing from the local regulatory authority (if applicable);
- (if applicable) an official copy of your transcripts for any courses or examinations from the local regulatory authority required by such authority.
- If the official language of instruction of the law degree or the official language in the jurisdiction was other than English or French, the language proficiency of a minimum of 7.0 on each module of the IELTS test (for English) or TESTCan (for French) is required. If sufficient evidence is presented, NCA may wave this requirement.
How Long Does NCA Assessment Take?
After submitting the application and required document, the NCA started processing the application, which will be mailed to the applicant within 4-8 weeks.
Applications are audited on an individual basis. Factors that are put into consideration include but are not limited to (evaluating candidates’ experience and qualifications, the length of the program and subjects of studies, academic performance, type of legal system where education was acquired.)
Once the assessment is complete, a report will be sent to the candidates.
This report will outline the requirements needed to be met in order to receive a Certificate of Qualification.
To make it easier, we have divided these requirements into 3 levels:
- Passing the NCA exams;
- Taking courses in specific areas of law at a Canadian law school; or
- Completing a Canadian common law degree program.
We assume that by now you have gotten a clear understanding of what the NCA is, how it works and how to apply for NCA.
If you face any issues in your course of acquiring an NCA accreditation, do well to let us know in the comment section and we will be more than happy to help you.
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