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Gursharn Sandhu, Insight Project: The Canadian Students Guide to Study Law in the UK

Insight Project will be publishing a series of blogs over the coming weeks. The third week's blogs focus on pathways to a legal career.

This blog is written by Gursharn Sandhu, Insight Project Team Member

The Canadian Students Guide to Study Law in the UK

Abstract: This blog outlines the different pathways that Canadian students follow to pursue their legal studies in the United Kingdom, and upon completion of their law degree, the process that internationally trained lawyers undergo to get accredited to practice in Canada.

There are two common pathways that Canadian students follow to study law in the United Kingdom:

1. The standard 3-year LLB program, which is typically pursued by Canadian students applying to law school straight from high school, or

2. The 2-year accelerated or graduate entry LLB program, which is designed for those students who have previously completed an undergraduate degree.

Both pathways lead Canadian students to receive a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from the United Kingdom, which is a qualifying law degree, and equivalent to a Canadian LLB or Juris Doctorate (JD). For either pathway, it is not required for students to study any law-related programs or courses. This means students from various undergraduate programs can apply to law schools. Students can either apply to law schools via UCAS or directly to the universities of their choice. They can also seek the assistance of 3rd party agencies, such as Across the Pond, who can assist students with the application process for the program and the tier 4 visa, to providing guidance and answering any questions with respect to studying in the United Kingdom. These routes are very common amongst students, as they can graduate law school in a shorter amount of time and can qualify to practice law sooner than attending law school in Canada. However, one of the greatest drawbacks of studying in the United Kingdom is the financial cost associated with it. Once Canadian students have completed their law degree, in order to practice in Canada, they will have to get their degree accredited via the National Committee on Accreditation (NCA). This is normally done by completing the NCA challenging exams or by completing the LLM program. Thereafter, students will receive a certificate of qualification by the NCA and will be able to begin the bar admission process.

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