When you study abroad, you are free to attend whatever law school you wish. The NCA does not provide a formal service that gives you guidance on this issue. However, we suggest that you keep a few things in mind:
Selecting a law school
- Approved law school – The law school you attend abroad must be approved by the institution that regulates law schools in that country. To help find out if your school is approved, please see our Law schools page.
- Distance education – If you plan to take courses with a foreign law school through an online program, you should read section 7 (Mode of Study) of the NCA’s policies before you begin.
Choosing a law program
- Legal tradition
When you choose to study abroad, you should consider which province or territory you want to practise in once you return to Canada.
If you plan to practise in any province or territory other than Quebec, you should study in a country where the legal tradition is primarily common law. For a list of countries where common law and other types of law are practised, refer to Appendices A and B of the NCA’s Policies.
If you wish to practise in Quebec, you may want to study in a country that uses a civil law tradition. If you choose to practise in Quebec, you will not be required to complete the NCA process. Instead, you will need to contact either the Barreau du Québec or the Chambre des notaires du Québec.
- Exchange programs with Canada – Some law schools abroad allow an exchange semester or year with a Canadian law school. If you do an exchange, you could consider taking some of the mandatory Canadian NCA subjects in Canada. This would mean you may not need to write those NCA exams when you return to Canada.
- Dual programs – If you take an approved Canadian dual JD or LLB program in which you do some studies abroad (and in partnership with a Canadian law school) you do not need to complete the NCA process. You may apply directly to a law society for admission to the bar.
- Type of law degree – For the NCA to assess your education and experience, you usually must complete a three-year qualifying law degree. A qualifying law degree would allow you to practise in the jurisdiction where you studied, if you successfully completed the bar admission process. This would not include a paralegal degree or a CILEx degree (in England).
- To qualify for the NCA process, and to ensure we give you credit for each of the courses you take, you need to meet our academic standard. To learn more, read our FAQ on academic performance.