How to Become a Lawyer


To become a practicing lawyer in Canada, you need two to four years of a university program and a Juris Doctor/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 plan to work. Expect a commitment of six to eight or more years.
Admission to law school is generally based on the following criteria:

High grade point average (GPA)

Some law schools require only two or three years of university study, while others prefer an undergraduate degree. Your application will likely be more competitive if you have completed your undergraduate degree. Consider selecting 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. In addition, consider courses or a program that you can excel at to ensure your GPA is as high as possible to meet or exceed admission requirements. Athabasca University does not offer a law degree. Athabasca University offers many undergraduate courses and degrees to consider for the first phase of your education. See AU undergraduate courses and programs.

Competitive LSAT score

LSAT (Law School Admissions Test) is a standardized test designed to measure certain skills necessary for success in law school. All Canadian and U.S. law schools require the standard LSAT. The test is administered by the Law School Admissions Counsel (LSAC).

Other admission criteria:

Other admission criteria may include letters of recommendation, work experience, community involvement, and a personal statement. Some schools have separate admissions categories for mature students and Indigenous students.

NOTE: This information is general in nature. Admission requirements to law programs vary from university to university. It is your responsibility to ensure your AU courses or degree will be accepted by the university you wish to attend. Review options for Canadian or American Law Schools.

Other factors:

Consider your own preferences and areas of interest when researching law schools. Just as a law school evaluates applicants for suitability, conduct your own law school research to identify those that best fit your own preferences and areas of interest.

Website research

Here is a sample of websites to help you with your research:

Next Steps

1. Research career information related to a career in law.

The following links contain information on duties, working conditions, skills, education, salary, employment prospects and opportunities:

2. Determine professional licensing requirements.

The educational requirements for registration may vary from province to province. Consult the Law Society for your home province.

3. Research post-secondary institutions you would like to attend.

Research post-secondary institutions offering a law degree. Review their calendar and admission requirements.

4. Contact an AU Counsellor

A counsellor can provide you with more information on this career path, and ensure the AU program you choose meets your goals. You can schedule a telephone appointment using the online appointment form,  email, or call 1-800-788-9041.

5. Become an AU Student

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

6. Contact an AU Academic Advisor.

Once you have applied and selected an AU program of study, Academic Advisors help you select courses and develop a program plan. (For courses or programs at another institution, you must contact that institution direct for assistance.) For more information see Advising Services.