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Athabasca University

How to Become a Lawyer

by Julia McDonald

In This Section

Introduction

To become a practicing lawyer in Canada, you need two to four years of a university program and a Bachelor of Laws degree from a recognized law school. Next, you must complete a period of articling, a bar admission course and exam, and be licensed in the province/territory where you'll work. This means a commitment of six to eight or more years.

In general, the factors affecting acceptance to law school include the following:

High grade point average

Some law schools require only two years of university study while others prefer an undergraduate degree. Generally, you should select courses or a degree in which you have a strong interest and include courses that will enhance and develop your skills in critical analysis, logical reasoning, written and oral communication. Here at Athabasca University, we do not have a law degree, but we have many courses and/or degrees to choose from to help with the first phase of your education. You can find out more about our courses and programs.

Competitive LSAT score

LSAT is a standardized test designed to measure certain skills necessary for success in law school.

For more information on the LSAT, visit these sites:

Other factors

Other factors include letters of recommendation, work experience, community involvement and a personal statement. *Some schools have separate admissions categories for mature students, as well as for Aboriginal students.

*NOTE : This information is general in nature. Admission requirements to Law programs vary from university to university. It is your responsibility to ensure courses or degrees taken at AU will be accepted at the university you wish to attend. You can view lists for Canadian or American Law Schools.

Other useful sites to explore:

Next Steps

1. Research career information on lawyer.

The following links contain useful information on duties, working conditions, skills, education, salary, employment prospects and opportunities plus a whole lot more:

2. Contact your provincial or national law societies for licensing requirements.

The educational requirements for registration may vary from province to province.

3. Contact the post-secondary institutions you would like to attend.

Contact the post-secondary institutions you would like to attend to complete a Bachelor of Law degree studies. Request a course calendar and ask about admission requirements. For information about law schools:

4. Contact an AU Counsellor

A counsellor can provide you with more information on this particular career path and make sure the program you choose meets your goals. You can contact a counsellor by email, book a telephone appointment by calling 1-800-788-9041 ext. 6723 or use the online appointment form.

5. Contact an AU student advisor.

An advisor can help you select courses and develop a program plan for studies at Athabasca University. (For courses or programs at another institution, you must contact that institution directly for further assistance.) You can e-mail an advisor at advising@athabascau.ca or call 1-800-788-9041.For more information on this service, visit the Advising web page

6. Become an AU Student

Once you completed these steps, you are ready to become an AU Student.

References

Alberta Learning Information Services (2005). Alberta Occupational Profiles. Retrieved October 3, 2005 from http://www.alis.gov.ab.ca/occinfo/

Campusaccess.com (2005). Getting into Canadian Law Schools. Retrieved on Nov. 16, 2005 from http://www.campusaccess.com/campus_web/educ/e4grad_
lacan.htm

National Occupational Classification (2001). 4112 Lawyers and Quebec Notaries. Retrieved October 3, 2005 from http://www23.hrdc-drhc.gc.ca/2001/e/groups/4112.shtml

Law School Admission Council (2005). Guide to Canadian to Law Schools. Retrieved Nov. 1, 2005 from http://www.lsac.org/JD/Choose/Canadian/default.asp

University of Victoria (2005). From the Road to Law School. Retrieved Oct. 3, 2005 from http://www.law.uvic.ca/Admissions/road_to_law.php

Updated February 04 2014 by Student & Academic Services

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