Internationally Trained Lawyer Pathway

The National Committee on Accreditation (NCA) Process

Managed by the Federation of Law Societies of Canada and independent from Canadian universities, the National Committee on Accreditation (NCA) assesses the legal credentials of all foreign trained lawyers. In its assessment, the NCA will determine what additional requirements are necessary to be qualified to practice law in Canada. NCA candidates meeting all requirements as determined by the NCA will receive a Certificate of Qualification.

Internationally trained lawyers must apply to the NCA to have their education and work experience assessed in order to receive a Certificate of Qualification. Obtaining a Certificate of Qualification means the student meets the academic requirements necessary to apply to begin the licensing process of any provincial common law jurisdiction law society in Canada.

Foreign law graduates may satisfy NCA requirements through the following:

  1. Successfully passing examinations administered by the NCA,

  2. Successfully completing the assigned subjects at an approved Canadian law school,

  3. Successfully completing a combination of these methods

Examinations administered by the NCA are offered four times per year in some subjects (January, May, August, and October) or twice per year in others (January and August). NCA Candidates who choose to register to complete challenge exams through the NCA should plan their exam schedule based on the information provided by the NCA.

Upon obtaining a Certificate of Qualification, NCA Candidates are eligible to apply for admission to any provincial common law jurisdiction law society in Canada and begin the articling process. Information on the Law Society of Alberta can be found on their website.

There is a five step process involved in each NCA assessment:

  1. NCA Candidate submits an application along with required documentation and payment

  2. NCA reviews the candidate’s file and assesses their credentials

  3. NCA notifies the candidate of assignments or deficiencies

  4. NCA Candidate completes the assigned requirements

  5. NCA issues a Certificate of Qualification to the NCA Candidate