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If you are an internationally trained lawyer or graduate and would like to practise law in Alberta, you must go through the following steps:
- Obtain a Certificate of Qualification from the National Committee on Accreditation (NCA) – If you do not have a Canadian common law degree, you must have your degree evaluated by the National Committee on Accreditation (NCA). The NCA is a standing committee of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada with a primary mandate of protecting the public interest by assessing the legal education and profession experience of individuals who obtained their credentials outside Canada or in a Canadian civil law program. A national uniform standard is applied to each applicant and the qualification process varies dependent on additional NCA Exams or courses, which may be required. Please note that successful completion of the NCA process can take several years. The NCA is a separate entity from the Law Society, so please direct any questions you may have to their office.
- Complete the articling requirements and Practice Readiness Education Program (PREP) – PREP is administered by the Canadian Centre for Professional Legal Education (CPLED) and is the Bar admissions program in Alberta. You may enrol in PREP and complete the program prior to applying to the Law Society for admission as a student-at-law and prior to commencing your articling. You will then need to complete the articling process, which involves finding an active practising lawyer to article with for an eight- to twelve-month period.
- Apply for admission as a student-at-law – Once you have met the NCA requirements, you must request that your NCA Certificate of Qualification be sent to the Law Society of Alberta. Once you have ordered your certificate, you must apply online for student-at-law status. View more information about applying to become a student-at-law on our Law Students page.
- Apply for enrolment as a member – Following completion of articling and CPLED, you can apply to become a member of the Law Society.
We also have several articles related to internationally-trained lawyers for further reading:
For further information on the process of becoming a lawyer in Alberta, view our 2016 webinar below.