04/14/2024

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Indian lawyers’ guide to NCA

Indian lawyers’ guide to NCA

This article is written by Adv. Komal Arora. The article is an Indian lawyer’s comprehensive guide to the National Committee on Accreditation, which is the committee deciding the qualifications to become a lawyer in Canada. It covers the basics of what NCA is, how to apply, eligibility, benefits of NCA, etc. It also covers the career options available after qualifying for the NCA exams, tips, and challenges faced by Indian lawyers.

It has been published by Rachit Garg.

Introduction

For a lot of legal professionals across the world, Canada is a preferred destination where they can upgrade their skills and take their legal profession to new heights. If you are a recent law graduate looking for an opportunity to expand your practice, then immigrating to Canada might be a great idea. Becoming a lawyer in Canada can be a great boost to your career. To become eligible as a lawyer in Canada, you must pass the NCA assessments. NCA stands for National Committee on Accreditation. It is the committee that certifies foreign lawyers to practice as qualified lawyers in Canada.

The whole process of NCA can be complicated, which is why this article offers a simple explanation of each step in the process. The article here discusses in detail exactly what NCA and NCA assessment are, how to earn a certificate of qualification, and how to navigate through the NCA process.

What is NCA

The National Committee on Accreditation (NCA) is a standing committee formed by the Federation of Law Societies of Canada (FLSC). Among the members of this Committee are administrators of provincial and territorial law societies, members of the practising bar and representatives of the Council of Canadian Law Deans. 

The primary purpose of the Committee is to ensure that the foreign trained lawyers or individuals who wish to practice in Canada possess the knowledge and skills that are required to practice law in Canada. This is the Committee that is responsible for evaluating the certificates and documents of legal advisors before giving them the licence to practice in Canada. So, if any individual wishes to practice in Canada, they need to go through the NCA assessment, earn this certificate of qualification, and get the licence to practice in Canada. To put it simply, successful completion of the NCA assessment is a prerequisite for any foreign lawyer to be eligible for admission to a provincial or territorial law society in Canada.

The NCA has declared that law degrees in India are to be treated as equivalent to those in the UK and Australia. So, the Indian lawyers need to go through the whole NCA process.

Need of NCA qualification for Indian lawyers

The NCA plays a significant role in assessing the legal education and professional experience of individuals who obtained their legal education anywhere outside the jurisdiction of Canada. It decides whether the candidates have enough competence to practice in Canada or not and also mentions the exams they need to take in order to be competent to practice in Canada. There are numerous benefits to going through the NCA assessment, such as:

Starts process of Canadian bar admission

Firstly, NCA qualification is your gateway to Canadian bar admission. If you do not have the NCA assessment, you cannot get your certificate of qualification and will not be able to get admission to the Bar Association of Canada. So, the NCA assessment is a really crucial step for any internationally trained lawyer to start practising in Canada.

Individualized assessments

The NCA conducts a personalised assessment of each individual. Instead of following a one-size-fits-all approach, it evaluates each application in isolation and then considers the steps that need to be taken by the applicant. It tailors the requirements of each individual based on either legal education, background, professional experience or exposure.

Bridges different legal systems

It is only because of the NCA that the long distance between foreign legal education and the Canadian legal system is bridged. The NCA ensures that all applicants have the same legal knowledge and skills equivalent to a Canadian qualified and trained lawyer. Furthermore, successful completion of the NCA assessment also allows the applicant to proceed with the process of getting a bar licence in the jurisdiction that they want.

Enhanced rate of employability

The biggest advantage of meeting the NCA requirements is that it increases an applicant’s employability. It enhances the value of the skill set possessed by the applicant, making them much more likely to be employed.

Better career options

During the NCA process, the applicant might have a plethora of opportunities to connect with legal professionals, educators and other candidates seeking their assessment as well. This will result in facilitating networking opportunities with the Canadian legal community. For an Indian lawyer seeking to set up a practice in Canada, that is of paramount importance.

Attention to language

The NCA assessments are formulated in such a way that the candidates have language proficiency as a part of the evaluation, ensuring that the candidate has the necessary language skills, whether in English or French, to communicate effectively in Canada.

Practical skills

The NCA assessment not only evaluates a candidate’s theoretical knowledge but also practical legal skills, allowing them to be prepared for practical aspects of legal practice in Canada.

Diversity in the legal profession

The NCA assessment also reflects Canada’s commitment to recognise the credentials and skills of an internationally trained lawyer.

Exposure to the legal profession

Through the NCA process, the applicants gain invaluable exposure to the Canadian legal culture, practices and norms, which is important for them to delve deeper into the Canadian legal fraternity. They become well versed in Canadian legal conduct, practical assessments, etc.  It is a multifaceted experience that goes beyond mere academic evaluation.

Abides by international rules

NCA is not important only from the point of view of Canada, but NCA assessments are designed in such a way that they align well with international standards, so the assessments are globally recognised and have value across the globe.

Purpose of the NCA assessment

The NCA ensures that the legal professionals practising in Canada have the requisite legal knowledge, skills and training that they need to practice in Canada. It does so through the process of an assessment, where the NCA reviews and evaluates a candidate’s academic and practical education and experience. Based upon the NCA evaluation process, the NCA has exams and assignments that must be completed by a candidate. All the NCA candidates have to meet this standard to qualify for bar admission in Canada. The purpose of the NCA assessment can be highlighted as follows:

  • For all the foreign trained candidates who wish to establish their legal profession in Canada, sitting through the NCA assessment is the most important purpose. The assessment allows the committee to evaluate the credentials of the candidates and compare them with the standards required by the NCA. The assessment has been curated in such a way that it verifies not just legal knowledge but also practical skills and cultural and ethical understanding that’s required to practice in Canada.
  • On the successful completion of the NCA assessment only, a candidate can apply for bar admission and get a licence to practice in Canada. So, the assessment is a vital step to getting enrolled in the Bar Association of Canada.
  • Moreover, the NCA assessment allows the foreign trained lawyers to adapt to the Canadian legal system. The assessment is crafted in a way that has separate space for different subjects such as Canadian constitutional law, administrative law, Canadian criminal law, etc. 
  • NCA assessments also establish a set standard for all Canadian lawyers, and also helps bring the foreign-trained lawyers on par with their Canadian counterparts and help bring reliability, trust and confidence to all legal professionals. The assessment creates uniform standards for lawyers across various jurisdictions. This consistency goes a long way in ensuring that all individuals, regardless of their original nation, background or other factors, have to go through the same and comprehensive evaluation.
  • Moreover, doing the assessment successfully showcases a commitment on the part of the candidates to grow and develop in the profession. It encourages the foreign-trained lawyers to enhance their knowledge and skills.

Eligibility criteria for the NCA exam

In order to be eligible as an internationally trained legal graduate for the process of NCA assessments in Canada, every candidate is eligible to apply, whether they are:

  • A migrant to Canada with a law degree.
  • A Canadian citizen who received his or her legal education outside of Canada.
  • Law graduate moving to Canada.
  • Canadian civil law graduate.

Please note that the candidate must possess a qualification law degree, not a mere paralegal degree. Any foreign trained legal graduate can apply for the process; citizenship and nationality do not matter. This application can be made from anywhere in the world. Where a candidate resides doesn’t matter in the assessment process.

Syllabus for the NCA exam

There are a total of eight subjects in the NCA exam. Given below is the detailed syllabus for each subject:

Canadian Administrative Law

It is the body of law that regulates the functioning of the government. It applies to Crown, government departments, Cabinet officers, municipal corporations,  etc. The assigned course on which the candidates are evaluated is Hechman, Mullan, Promislow and Van Harten, Administrative Law:  Cases, Texts and Materials (Toronto: Emond Montgomery Publications Ltd., 8th Ed. 2021).

The syllabus can be divided as follows:

  1. Setting the stage
  • Procedural fairness
  • Substantive constraints
  • Challenging administrative decisions and remedies on judicial review
  1. Sources of procedural obligations
  • Enabling and delegated legislation
  • Common law
  • General statutes about procedure
  • Charter of rights and freedom
  • Canadian Bill of Rights
  1. Procedural obligation triggers
  • Knight three prong triggers
  • Doctrine of legitimate expectation
  • General statutes about procedure
  1. Procedural obligation triggers which include legislative decisions, emergencies, the Charter and Bill of Rights, and the constitutional duty to consult and accommodate indigenous people
  2. Contents of procedural obligations.
  • Right to be heard.
  • Unbiased, independent decision maker
  • Issues arising from institutional decision making
  1. Backdrop to standard of review analysis
  • Review on substantive grounds
  • Vavilov tests for review
  1. Venue and procedure for judicial review
  2. Remedies

Canadian Criminal Law

It is very important for a lawyer to have the requisite knowledge and practical application of Canadian criminal law. The detailed syllabus for criminal law is as follows:

  1. Sources of criminal law
  2. Power to create criminal offences and rules of criminal procedure
  • Constitutional division of powers
  • Canadian Charter of Freedoms and Rights
  1. Procedural classification of offences
  2. Interpreting criminal provisions
  • Definitions
  • Purposive interpretation
  • Criminal code in French/English
  • The Charter
  1. Actus Reus.
  • Acts and statutory conditions
  • The Act of possession
  • Consent as an element of Actus Reus
  • Causations
  • Omissions
  1. Subjective Mens Rea
  2. Objective mens rea and true crimes
  3. Regulatory offences
  4. Aiding and abetting
  5. Counselling
  6. Attempts
  7. Corporate and association liability
  8. Mental disorder
  9. Involuntary acts negativing actus reus
  10. Intoxication
  11. Necessity
  12. Duress
  13. Provocation
  14. Entrapment.
  15. Error of law and colour of rights
  16. The adversarial process
  17. Police powersJurisdiction and interim release of accused
  18. Disclosure and production
  19. Preliminary inquiry
  20. Jury trial
  21. Sentencing.Appeal and review

Canadian Constitutional Law

The assigned reading begins Part I with introduction to the nature and sources of Canadian Constitution and overview of procedures for amending Constitution Then, in Part II, it deals with the distribution of powers. Part III examines constitutional protections for indigenous people. Part IV lays emphasis on the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution.

Here is the syllabus in detail:

  1. Part I: Basic concepts
  • Source and nature of Constitution
  • Amending procedure
  1. Part II: Distribution of legislative powers
  • Federalism
  • Judicial review and principles of interpretation
  • Property and civil rights
  • Trade and commerce
  • Peace, order and good government
  • Ancillary powers
  • Criminal law
  • Interjurisdictional immunity
  • Paramountcy
  1. Part III: Aboriginal rights and Constitution
  • Aboriginal rights introduction
  • Aboriginal title
  • Treaty rights
  • Duty to consult
  1. Part IV: Canadian Charter of rights and freedom
  • Interpreting and application of Canadian Charter of rights and freedom
  • Override of rights
  • Freedom of conscience
  • Freedom of expression
  • Liberty and security of person
  • Equality rights
  • Limitation of rights
  • Remedies

Canadian professional responsibility

The syllabus for the subject of professional responsibility is as follows:

  1. Part I: Introduction and Administration
  • Fundamental concepts of professional responsibility
  • Critical thinking and skill enhancement

The course has two primary readings: 

  • Alice Woodley, Richard Devlin and Brent Cotter, Lawyer’s ethics and professional regulation, 4th edition
  • The Model Code
  1. The legal profession: Lawyers in society and A Society of lawyers
  • Law as a profession
  • Regulations of lawyer and legal profession
  1. Ethics, Lawyering and Professional Regulation
  • Lawyer client relationship
  • Preservation of client confidence
  • Conflict of interest
  • The Adversary system
  1. Specific practice areas
  • Dispute resolution and ethics
  • Ethics and practice of criminal law
  • Government lawyers
  • Lawyers in organisation settings
  1. Access to justice

Foundations of Canadian aw

Evaluations for this subject is 100% open book tests. The exam consists of short / essay type questions or multiple choice based questions. The syllabus for the course is given below:

  1. Basic theories of law, Racism and the law
  • Positivism and natural law
  • Feminist perspective on law
  • Critical legal studies
  • Law and economics
  1. Indigenous people and the law
  • Aboriginal rights and titles
  • Indigenous self-government aspirations
  • Modern treaty making process
  1. Sources of Canadian law
  • Common law and civil law traditions
  • Statutory law
  • International law
  1. Fundamental principles of the Canadian legal system
  • Constitution of Canada.
  • Principles underpinning public law
  • Constitutional amendments
  1. Parliament and its components
  2. Functions of Parliament
  • Summoning
  • Prorogation
  • Dissolution
  • Key actors
  • Parliamentary procedure and lawmaking
  1. Executive and its functions
  • Functions of executives
  • Sources of executive power
  • Executive institutions and political executives
  1. Courts and judiciary
  • Structure of courts
  • Judicial appointments
  • Judicial independence
  1. Statutory interpretation
  2. Constraints on legislative and administrative action
  • Judicial review in democratic society
  • Judicial review of administrative action

Contracts

This exam syllabus includes problem based questions where the candidates are required to apply relevant laws to the facts and reach a conclusion. The reading mandatory for the course is S. Ben -Ishai and D. Percy, Contracts: Cases and Commentaries, 11th ed., (Toronto: Thomson Reuters, 2022). The supplementary readings include: 

  • J.D. McCamus, The Law of Contracts, 3rd ed. (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2020)
  • A. Swan, J. Adamski, and A. Na, Canadian Contract Law, 4th ed. (Toronto: LexisNexis, 2018)
  • S. Waddams, The Law of Contracts, 6th ed. (Toronto: Canada Law Book, 2010)

Property

The syllabus for the property course is divided into the following topics:

  1. History and categories
  • Source of Canadian property law
  • Divisions in property law
  1. Boundaries
  • Land : airspace and subspace right
  • Lateral boundaries
  • Fixtures
  1. Possession
  • Definitions
  • Acquisition of title by possession 
  • Relative nature of title
  • Transfer of title through gift
  1. Estates
  • Fee simple
  • Fee tail
  • Life estate
  1. Aboriginal rights on land
  • Nature of aboriginal title
  • Proof of aboriginal title
  • Role of consent and infringement
  • Duty to consult and accommodate prior to recognition of aboriginal title
  • Rights short of title
  • Reserves and Metis titles
  1. Origin and nature of equitable interests
  • Historical developments in equity
  • The statute of uses
  • Creating modern trust in property
  • Nature of modern equitable interest
  1. Conditional transfers and future interests
  • Types of future interests
  • Vested and contingent interests
  • Determinable and conditional estates
  • Invalidity
  • Rule against perpetuities
  1. Lease and licence
  • Fundamental nature of lease
  • Obligations of tenant and landlord
  • Termination and remedies
  • Propriety status of the licence
  • Residential tenancy reform
  1. Shared ownership
  • Traditional forms of co- ownership
  • Joint tenancy
  • Tenancy in common
  • Severance and termination
  1. Servitude over property
  • Nature of easement
  • Creation of easement
  • Scope, location and termination
  • Covenants and conservation
  • Positive covenants
  • Invalidity and termination
  1. Priorities and registration
  • Advent of registration
  • Title registration
  • Priorities at common law and equity

Torts

The syllabus for torts is as follows:

  1. The concept of torts
  • Nature and history of torts
  • Function of tort law
  • Theoretical approach
  1. Basis and scope of application
  2. Intention and related concepts
  3. Remedies
  4. Vicarious liability
  5. Standard of proof and burden of proof
  6. Trespass to persons
  7. Trespass to property
  8. Nuisance and strict liability
  9. Defences
  • Consent
  • Defences of self
  • Defences of third parties
  • Defences of real property
  • Defences and recaption of chattels
  • Necessity
  • Legal authority
  • Apportionment of fault
  1. Negligence
  • Elements of negligence
  • Duty of care
  • Tort liabilities of public authorities
  • Standard of care
  • Legal causation
  • Categories and assessment of damages
  • Contributory negligence

How difficult is the NCA exam 

Canada has a stringent licencing and accreditation process that makes getting a bar licence in Canada quite a laborious task. The law requires foreign lawyers to navigate through complex procedures to go through NCA assessment, sit for NCA exams, earn a certificate of qualification, and get a bar licence. The complexity of these requirements makes it difficult and creates a barrier for many Indian lawyers to breach the borders and establish practice in Canada. The NCA exams can be challenging, but not impossible to achieve. It is also true that not many candidates get the NCA qualification, but there are some resources (including NCA resources, which can be accessed from here) available at the candidate’s disposal that can be used effectively and can lead to successful NCA examinations. Also, the candidate’s choice of method of self study or professional preparation course undertaken can be helpful in the process.

If you are interested in a preparation course for the NCA, do check out the Lawsikho NCA preparation course, which is specifically designed for candidates who wish to qualify for the NCA and become lawyers in Canada. To learn more, click here.

How to apply for NCA assessment

The following steps are required to be completed to apply for the NCA assessments:

  1. Firstly, the candidate needs to complete the online assessment application form and submit it. The online application form can be accessed here. A page like this will appear-
  1. Then, the candidate must arrange for the NCA to receive all the required documents. To see what the required documents are, click here and refer to the heading of documents.
  2. It must be noted that the NCA does not process any application until the payment of $500 CDN, exclusive of taxes. This payment can be made online with a credit card only.
  3. The website to apply can be accessed here. After these steps, you will be required to complete a few formalities that have been discussed in detail below.

Process of the NCA assessment

There are some formalities that the candidate needs to complete for a successful NCA assessment:

Complete your online assessment application

The first step of the process is to complete an online assessment application through the NCA. After you file for it, you will be given a file number and a password to access your candidate profile and follow your application through every stage of the process. 

When to apply for the assessment

There are no given rules for when to apply for the assessment. The candidates may apply for the NCA assessment at any time. However, the NCA will process your assessment only after:

  • You have completed your online application form.
  • The NCA has revived your payment.
  • They have received all your official documents from the law school you attended and from the licencing body.

Documents required for the process

As part of the application process, the following documents would be needed:

  • An applicant can transmit original or official pre-law university transcripts or can have the university provide the NCA official pre-law transcripts to the candidate.
  • Formal transcripts from the law school are also needed. However, it must be noted that NCA doesn’t accept the original documents directly from the applicants. It must be noted that the NCA only accepts the official law school transcripts sent directly by the law school that issued them in the first place. If the candidate sends the documents directly to the NCA, they will not be accepted.
  • Next, an up-to-date outline of education and work details with the application form is also required.
  • If the applicant is a practising lawyer, then a letter or a certificate of good standing from the Bar Association or Bar Council is also a requisite document. 

Steps when law schools cannot give the formal documents

If the law schools are unable to transmit the formal transcripts of the legal education of a candidate, then NCA can also accept the documents through Secure Share services. It includes some specific services, such as:

  • Dignitary core,
  • Grad intel,
  • Hear,
  • My equals,
  • Opencerts,
  • Escrip-safe,
  • Etx-ng,
  • My creds,
  • Premiercert,
  • Etranscipt,
  • National student clearing house: electronic transcript exchange,
  • Parchment,
  • Transcripts network by credentials solutions.

Language requirements for documents 

It is a requirement that all the documents be in English or French. If that is not the case, they would require translations of the documents. So, the document must be sent to the NCA with a proper translation. This requirement can be completed in these ways:

  • A Canadian certified translator.
  • Non-certified translator or a translator who is outside of Canada, along with an affidavit that states the qualifications and experience of the translator, along with the fact that the translation mentioned is that of the original document.

Each of the applications is evaluated individually by the NCA to determine if the applicant has the eligibility to acquire a certificate of qualification. A lot of factors, such as a candidate’s experience, qualifications, length of the candidate’s programme, subjects covered in the programme, academic performance, type of legal system, and other factors, are taken into consideration in order to decide it. This stage of the process relies on whether the applicant has acquired the skills and knowledge base required of a Canadian graduate or not.

Provision for return of the documents

Generally, all the documents that the candidates submit to the NCA for the assessment process are retained by the NCA. They remain under the control of NCA as their property. If the candidates want their original documents to be returned to them, they would have to include a copy of the documents needed in their application. If the request is accepted, then NCA will keep the copies and return the original documents.

Please note that you do not need to wait for the original transcripts to be received by the NCA before submitting the application. You can still submit your application and arrange for original transcripts to be sent to NCA. You will receive a confirmation once your documents are received there.

Factors that are relevant in assessment of an application

The factors that are considered by NCA while assessing your file are as follows:

  • The type of legal system prevalent in your jurisdiction.
  • Length and nature of your legal education programme.
  • The subject areas you studied.
  • Academic performance in the core subjects required by NCA and overall academic performance.
  • Whether the legal education programme is recognised by local authorities or not (in India, it must be recognised by the Bar Council of India).
  • Whether you studied full-time or part-time, in-person or virtually through distance education.
  • The years of the degree, professional legal experience and qualifications.
  • Nature and length of professional exposure as well.

When the assessment application is delayed

The NCA processes the assessments on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Once the NCA receives all the necessary documents and fees, your file will be queued for the assessment. So, if there is a delay in sending the documents, then the assessment might also be delayed. As a general rule, you will receive assessment results eight weeks after the receipt of the documents. 

Confirmation of NCA processing the application 

Once the NCA receives your application, they will send you a confirmation email within the next ten business days.

The address for mailing the documents to the NCA

All the documents must be mailed to the following address:

“Federation of Law Societies of Canada 

c/o National Committee on Accreditation 

World Exchange Plaza 

1810 – 45 O’Connor St. Ottawa, ON

K1P 1A4”

Once the NCA gets all the documents that it needs, it takes about 6-8 weeks to process the applications and update you regarding your assessment process.

Complete your assignment

The next step after completing the application is to complete your assignment. Once the NCA evaluates your application, you will be informed as to what assignment you have to complete. The decision pertaining to the assessment by NCA remains valid for a period of five years from the date of its issue.

Get common law experience

The NCA application assessment also evaluates the common law knowledge of the applicant. The NCA evaluates each application on a case-to-case basis and considers whether a candidate has sufficient knowledge and skills of common laws or not. This can be checked by the following factors:

  • Enrolling in an LLM programme or by taking individual courses.
  • Obtaining a licence as a lawyer, barrister or solicitor in a common law jurisdiction.
  • Getting certification as a paralegal or a notary in a common law jurisdiction.

The NCA would consider your application only when you complete at least four common law subjects. India is a common law country, so it is a bit easier for the Indian lawyers wishing to obtain the NCA assessments.

Important points to know about the NCA examinations

Once the applicant gets the decision on the assessment from the NCA, they can register for the NCA examinations. Every candidate is permitted to write the examination three times within five years of the decision of the assessment.

After the assessment, the applicant is made aware of the subjects for which he has to give exams or get class training. All the mandatory subjects happen quarterly, that is, in the months of January, May, August and October. However, the optional subjects are offered bi-annually. Each of the subjects has to be successfully completed individually. However, it must be noted that there is no exact order to sit for these exams. A candidate can attempt these exams in any way that is suitable for them. The exams can be attempted in one sitting or divided into multiple sittings, depending on the ease and convenience of the candidate.

It must be noted that there is a registration deadline for each quarter. So, if the candidate wishes to appear for exams in one quarter, they need to look out for the registration deadline. Moreover, the registration for the exam can be cancelled at any time before the last 24 hours of the exam. The cancellation process charges a nominal cancellation fee.

Please note : These exams are all open-book exams, and the minimum passing criteria is 50% marks in each subject.

The exam structure

The NCA exams are an open book, and the questions are based on facts. The exams have a similar structure to those of the Canadian law school exams. So, to get a better understanding of the structure of the NCA exam, one can look up past papers on Canadian law schools. But it should not be believed that the exam would be easy to crack or that it is an open book exam, so it can be easily passed. These misconceptions prevent the candidates from trying their hardest to successfully complete the exam.

Subjects covered in NCA assessment

The list of subjects that are covered in the assessment by the NCA is as follows:

  1. Canadian administrative law,
  2. Canadian criminal law,
  3. Canadian constitutional law,
  4. Canadian professional responsibility,
  5. Foundations of Canadian law,
  6. Contracts,
  7. Property,
  8. Torts.

Each of these is discussed in detail in the above heading of the syllabus of the NCA exam.

For an internationally trained lawyer to get a licence in Canada, it is imperative that they have the same skills and exposure as a Canadian lawyer. Hence, the candidates are evaluated by testing their skills in subjects that are specific to the jurisdiction of Canada. 

Preparation for the NCA exams

Though NCA exams are an extremely important part of becoming a qualified lawyer in Canada, they have a similar structure as that of Canadian law school exams. So, sticking to the basics of exam preparation would also be helpful. These tips might be helpful:

  • It is advisable to start reading early for the exams and not to hurry at the last moment.
  • Set up a proper schedule for yourself, as there is a good probability that you might have to give at least a few NCA exams. Spread your exams accordingly and devote enough time to each subject.
  • Though the exam is open book, do not undermine its difficulty level. Try to practice as many different types of questions as you can.
  • Try to stay away from any distractions and sit for three hours at a time.
  • Also, it is important that you stick to the Canadian legal concepts and do not mix them up with the Indian concepts. You will be graded for your knowledge of Indian legal concepts but only for your Canadian legal concepts.
  • Keep yourself updated on the recent legal developments in Canada that might be important for you. 

Total subjects and the mandatory exams for NCA exams

There are five Canadian subjects that are mandatory for all the applicants. These are:

  • Canadian administrative law,
  • Canadian constitutional law,
  • Canadian criminal law,
  • Foundations of Canadian law, and
  • Canadian professional responsibility.

Other subjects may include contracts, torts and property laws.

Need for a language test for the NCA

You would need to do a language test only if:

  • Your law degree was offered in a language different from English and French
  • .Your degree was offered in English or French in a jurisdiction where it is not the official language

.The NCA assessment policy states that all candidates have to demonstrate proficiency in either of these languages. A candidate will be considered to have the required proficiency in the language if their qualifying degree is in English or French. But if it is not, the NCA also accepts tests by immigration, refugees and citizens as proof of English language proficiency, with a minimum score set by the NCA under the sole direction of the executive director and the same applies for French.

The tests that are accepted by the NCA are as follows:

For English:

  • CELPIP (Canadian English language proficiency index programme),
  • IELTS (international English language testing system).

For French:

  • TEF Canada,
  • TCF Canada.

You would need to provide proof of the successful completion of your language test to the NCA.

The duration of the exam

Each NCA exam lasts for 3 hours. However, if you finish early, you still have to be seated until the time is over.

Access to the NCA exam syllabus

Once you register for the exam, the syllabus will be sent to you as a part of the package you purchased.

NCA exams: whether mandatory or not

No, it is not. Any candidate can choose between three ways to show their competence. They are:

  • By writing the NCA exams,
  • Taking courses in the assigned subjects in a Canadian law school,
  • Combining both one and two.

So, it is not mandatory for you to write exams.  

The procedure of writing the exams in French

Yes, you certainly can write your exam in French. If you wish to do so, then after you register for your exam, you would be required to send an email to [email protected] before the registration deadline, notifying them that you wish to write your exam in French. Doing so will allow the concerned authorities adequate time to arrange for the translation of the exam.

Checking the results of the NCA exam

The NCA exams are graded as per a pass/fail system, where 50% marks are considered to be the minimum pass percentage. The candidates can expect results within 10 to 12 weeks after the final exam. The results are posted in the NCA portal and can be checked by logging in to the portal. To access the NCA portal, click here.

Time of results for the NCA exams

You can expect results for your exams around 10 to 12 weeks after the date of the last scheduled exam in each session. If they are available earlier, the NCA will notify the applicant via mail.

Passing percentage for the NCA exams

A mark of 50% is considered to be a passing percentage.

Provision for review of the exams

If a candidate fails any of the NCA exams, they are allowed to review them without any additional fee. This can be done through the NCA results portal. After reviewing the results, the candidate can decide if they wish to appeal against the marks allotted or not. The candidate can get to review these documents within a month of the results:

  • Written exam,
  • The exam questions,
  • Feedback memo from the examiner.

There are no restrictions on the review of the marks, which can be done at any time as per the convenience of the candidate.

Appeal against evaluation of marks in the exam

If any candidate wishes to appeal against the evaluation of their marks, they may do so within two weeks of the exam being made available to them for review purposes. Follow these steps to appeal against the evaluation of marks:

  1. To make an appeal, go to the “my course info” tab on the NCA portal, which can be accessed by clicking here.
  2. Go to “exam history” and then select the green “appeal” button beside the exam that you want to appeal for.
  3. The process is not over here. You also need to submit a separate letter (in pdf) that sets out the specific facts and the relevant evidence that your evaluation was wrong.
  4. Then, if you have any documents that might support your contention, it is better to attach them as well.
  5. Also, in order to ensure fairness, anonymity is essential, so remember not to include your name in your letter of appeal.

It is not enough for the candidate to mention that a significant error has occurred or that they believe that the examiner has erred, has not given them enough marks, or is not satisfied with your grading. The candidate needs to prove their point. Any hardship in the exam is not evidence of wrong marking. The candidate can appeal against what they wrote in their exam and not what they wanted to so the NCA does not entertain any appeal for the content that is beyond the explanations that they wrote in the exam.

If your appeal for the exam is accepted by the NCA, your answers and exam booklets will be sent to another examiner for further evaluation and comments. It might take another two to four weeks. To learn more about this process, you may refer here.

Knowledge about the exam schedule

To remain up to date about the exam schedule, you need to visit this link, which can be accessed here.

When will the exam start

When you register for an exam at the portal, you will be asked to select your exam date as per your convenience. At least two weeks before this fixed time, you will be able to find it in your exam history tab in the NCA portal.

The NCA also sends an email to the candidates to let them know about the date and time of the exam.

Taking a break in the exam

Yes, you certainly can take a break from your exam. To do so, you would need to let the proctor know. Once the proctor agrees, only then can you take the break. However, it must be remembered that the clock does not stop; the time keeps running even during the break, so take your breaks wisely.

Duration of exam

It must be noted that each exam can last up to three hours. The exams are scheduled in the morning, in the afternoon and also in the afternoon.

Arranging  the study material for the NCA exam

The NCA does not provide the applicants with any study material. Every applicant has to curate their own study materials.

The number of exams to attempt in one session

There is no restriction on the number of exams that you can attempt in one session. It depends on each candidate’s discretion. It is advisable that, while deciding how many exams you wish to attempt in one session, you consider the subject, how prepared you are for that subject, the study material and the time that you can devote to its study.

Open book exams

Yes, the NCA exams are open-book exams. You can take any reference material with you to the exam. You may take with you your hand-written notes or typed notes that may be highlighted, annotated or marked as well. Among the other things that you may take with you to your exam are a clear water bottle and a bag for food. However, you are not allowed to take any electronic devices to your workstation.

Keeping study material after the exam

Yes, you can. You need not leave your study material at your workstation. However, whatever notes you took while writing your exam will not be allowed. The proctor will ensure that you destroy all the notes you took during the exam. If you do not agree to do so, you will be automatically disqualified.

Cancelling the exam

To cancel your exam, you need to do the following:

  • Sign in to your account on the NCA portal.
  • Select “Refund” under the “exam history” of “my course info” tab.
  • Click on the “Refund” button beside the exam that you wish to cancel.
  • You would have to make a separate refund request for each exam that you are cancelling.

The cancellation policy of the NCA

For every cancellation that you make, an administrative cost of $100 CDN is charged. You can cancel your exam up to one day before the exam. If you do not cancel, you will lose the exam fee in total.

Not sitting in the exams without cancelling it

If you fail to appear for an exam, it will be counted as an attempt. Also, you will lose your exam fee for that exam and will need to re-register for the exam and pay the amount again.

 Provision to defer the exam

The NCA no longer accepts any deferrals. The candidates have the option to cancel their exam and re-register for any future session.

Provision of exemption if there is a special case or a medical emergency

No, the NCA conducts the exams only four times a year. Whatever your reason may be, you will be required to reschedule the exam for the next session.

Total number of attempts

An applicant is permitted to write the NCA exam in a particular course a maximum of three times. However, the Executive Director may, at their own discretion, grant the applicant a fourth and final attempt at the NCA exam in the assigned course. But it is important to remember that the applicant has to submit a written request to the Executive Director stating it, along with a remediation plan outlining how the applicant intends to prepare for the final attempt. This plan is approved by the Executive Director, who will also notify the applicant of his/her decision in writing.

NCA exam schedule for 2024

The schedule for exams to be conducted in 2024 has been released and can be accessed here.

Month of exams Opening of registration Closing of registration
January, 2024 20 November 2023 14 December 2023
February, 2024 11 December 2023 4 January 2024
March, 2024 15 January 2024 8 February 2024
April, 2024 12 February 2024 7 March 2024
May, 2024 4 March 2024 28 March 2024
June, 2024 15 April 2024 9 May 2024
July, 2024  13 May 2024 6 June 2024
August, 2024 10 June 2024  4 July 2024
September, 2024 15 July 2024 8 August 2024
October, 2024 19 August 2024 12  September 2024
November, 2024 9 September 2024  3 October 2024

Please note: There are no NCA exams scheduled for December 2024. For almost every month in 2024, there are exams scheduled, so the candidates are advised to carefully remember the important opening and closing dates of the registration process.

For more details about the exam calendar for the next year, click here.

For the month of January 2024, here is the schedule for each subject:

Dates Subjects Shifts
8 Canadian constitutional law Morning
9 Canadian constitutional law Afternoon
10 Canadian constitutional law Morning
11 Canadian constitutional law Afternoon
12 Commercial law Midday
15 Foundation of Canadian law Morning
16 Foundation of Canadian law Afternoon
17 Foundation of Canadian law Morning
18 Foundation of Canadian law Afternoon
19 Property Morning and Afternoon

Books and study materials for the NCA exam

The candidate’s preparation strategy depends largely on the type of books or study material they choose. The material in these resources makes us ready with a preparation strategy that is customised to our timing. The best method of preparing for the NCA exam is to take extra time during preparation and make short notes from these study materials. So, even during exam time, these notes can come in handy. Here are some resources that can be used for the NCA exam:

  1. Refer to the UBC past law school examination by clicking here. These exams are available free of cost and give an idea of what might be asked in the exam. It includes subjects like: Contracts, Canadian Constitutional law, torts, etc.
  2. Textbooks that are referred to in the syllabus itself should be read carefully. Hechman, Mullan, Promislow and Van Harten, Administrative law:  Cases, Texts and Materials (Toronto: Emond Montgomery Publications Ltd., 8th Ed. 2021), Peter Hogg, Constitutional law of Canada, student edition, Steven Coughlan, Criminal procedure, 4th d. (Toronto: Irwin law, 2022), etc.
  3. Sample questions: There are sample questions released by the NCA for each exam which can be accessed from here.
  4. Practice tests: it is also important to complete the practice tests as given by NCA. The tests should be done in the settings of a real test to get an idea of how the exam might come. You can access the tests from here.

Certificate of qualification after the NCA exam

For the NCA to assess an applicant’s education and experience, the applicant must have completed a three-year qualifying law degree. Once the above steps are completed, an applicant can get a certificate of qualification. This certificate serves as confirmation that the applicant has completed all the tasks assigned by the NCA. 

Process to get the certificate of qualification

To get this certificate, the applicant has to follow these steps:

  • Go to the NCA portal, then choose the option “manage yourself”.
  • Then, select the “request certificate”.
  • After filling out the form provided, you have to click “submit”. 
  • After this, you will get your certificate of qualification.

It must be remembered that this certificate of qualification is not the equivalent of a candidate’s law degree. It is just a confirmation of the fact that the applicant has finished all the tasks of NCA and has a deep understanding of Canadian law that is similar to that of a person who earned their law degree from a recognised Canadian law school programme.

Once you get this certificate, you can also apply to Bar Admission programmes in Canadian common law jurisdictions except Quebec.

Duration to get a certificate of qualification 

Generally, the average time to earn the certificate of qualification is around two years, starting from the time when the application for assessment is made. Though arranging all the requisite documents might take somewhere from two to six weeks, the assessment itself takes six to eight weeks, after which the candidate has to finish the assignments. The candidates have a total of five years to complete all the assignments. However, the minimum time for the same is ten months. Please note that the time given is just an estimate that may vary depending on the number of assignments, the number of attempts, and other relevant factors.

The purpose behind getting a certificate of qualification

As discussed above, the main aim of a certificate of qualification is to confirm that a candidate has equivalent legal knowledge, skills and experience as someone who got their law degree from an approved Canadian common law programme.

The role of the certificate of qualification in enrollment to the Canadian Bars

The certification of qualification does not admit the candidates to the bar. To become a licensed lawyer in a Canadian common law jurisdiction, you have to apply to the jurisdiction’s law society for bar admissions after you get your certificate.

Exemption from getting the certificate of qualification in order to practise law in Canada

No, there are no such exemptions. If you have studied abroad and wish to practice law in any common law parts of Canada, then you have to get a certificate of qualification from the NCA. There is no exemption or other way around this.

Whether the certificate of qualification is equivalent to a law degree from a Canadian law school

No, it is definitely not. Getting a certificate of qualification is very different from getting a law degree from a Canadian law school. The process is different, but getting a certificate of qualification does show that you have the same education as someone who has that qualification.

The time limit for the validity of the certificate of qualification

No, the certificate of qualification does not expire at any time. However, it is advisable that you contact the bar you are enrolling at directly for this purpose and read their rules in detail.

Canadian bar admission

The last step to getting a licence to practice law in Canada is to apply to the Bar. To get called into a Bar in Canada, the following steps are required to be completed:

  1. Apply to the National Committee on Accreditation (NCA) for the purpose of assessing your legal qualifications.
  2. Secondly, you have to complete all of your NCA requirements, such as NCA exams, course work, law school programmes, etc., as outlined in your NCA assessment. 
  3. Once it is completed, you can apply to get your certificate of qualification.
  4. After this is done, you need to complete your articles.
  5. Then, you can apply to the Bar Admission programme.
  6. Lastly, if you are done with your articles and with the Bar Admission programme, then you can arrange to be called to the Bar at an Alberta court and subsequently apply to the Law Society of Alberta for a licence to practice law.
  7. To get enrolled in a bar, you need to pay the requisite fees for it. Also, you would need to attach a few documents.

Documents required for bar admission

The following documents are required for the bar admission process:

  • An application for the licencing process that is properly signed and certified by a guarantor,
  • A certified proof of the legal name,
  • NCA certificate of qualification,
  • Two passport photos,
  • Certified proof of the legal name changes (if applicable),
  • All articling documents,
  • Articles of clerkship,
  • Certificate of services under articles,
  • Affidavit for taking the oath.

Steps for NCA assessments

The process of getting NCA assessments is quite simple once you get to understand it. But we realise that it may be difficult to understand as there are many steps involved. So, to assist in that aspect, here is a summary of all the steps you need to undertake for the NCA assessment:

Step 1 Send in your application, along with the necessary documents and required fees.
Step 2 Your legal education and experience would then be studied by the NCA, and they would be compared to the national requirements and policies.
Step 3 After due consideration of the above, the NCA would convey the steps that must be fulfilled for you to be eligible for law society admission. There is a fair chance that you would have to take the NCA tests or take courses in a Canadian law school to complete the tasks.
Step 4 After that, your assessment is wrapped up.
Step 5 Finally, you would be awarded a certificate of qualification where the NCA certifies that you meet all of its requirements.
Step 6 Then you can apply for the Bar.

Time needed for the entire assessment process

You must complete each of the assigned subjects within a period of five years from the date of your assessment result. The application process itself might take a few months to complete. The candidates would need around 2 to 6 weeks to gather all their relevant documents. However, this time may be extended in case your degree is old or the administration of your home country is not that efficient. The NCA generally takes around two to ten months to finish their assessment. Since this process may be time consuming, it is advisable that an applicant first apply to the NCA for the assessment and then move to Canada.

The minimal time needed for the application process is around ten months; however, on average, the application may take two years to be assessed for completion. Once the assessment is over, then the NCA allots the subjects that a candidate is supposed to give exams for or complete class room training. This would depend on the candidate’s grades and jurisdiction. Registration for the exam would be open around 6 to 8 weeks before the exam dates. The exams take place around 12 months each year. The results for the exam are available 10 to 12 weeks after the last scheduled exam.

If you wish to retake an exam, you need to wait until you have received the results of your last attempt. Further, if you wish to appeal, you can do so two weeks after the date your exam material is available to you for review purposes. Once your appeal is received and accepted by NCA, it might take another two to four weeks until you receive their decision. Lastly, the NCA takes around ten business days to issue a certificate of qualification. You will also receive a hard copy of your certificate of qualification within three to six weeks of your request.

Cost for NCA assessments

Cost for application

The costs of applying for the NCA assessment is $500 plus taxes. This has been effective since March 1, 2023. 

Cost for appeal

If you wish to appeal the assessment results, the cost would be $280.

Cost for registration

The registration fees for each NCA exam is around $550 (Canadian dollars) plus taxes

Steps to be followed for payment of fees

Steps to be followed for payment of exam fees

In order to pay the fees, the following steps have to be taken:

  • The candidate has to select the “my course info” tab on the NCA portal, which can be accessed by clicking here.
  • Then click on “purchase exams.” Select the exam that you wish to purchase and the location where you wish to take it, and add them to your cart.
  • You have to repeat this step for each exam that you want to take.
  • After you have made your selection of your exams, proceed to check out, complete the payment information, and select “submit”.

Steps to be followed for payment of appeal fees

If you wish to appeal for any NCA exam, it charges $250 for each exam. In order to do so, follow these steps:

  • Go to the “my course info” tab on the  NCA portal, which can be accessed by clicking here.
  • Select the option of “exam history” and then select the green appeal button for the exam that you want to appeal for.
  • Provide the documents to support your appeal, and you are done.

Lastly, when you wish to ask for the certificate of qualification, you need not pay any costs. Just follow these simple steps:

  • All you are required to do is select the option “manage yourself” on the NCA portal, which can be accessed by clicking here.
  • Then click on the “request certificate” option.
  • Then you must complete the form and click on “submit.”

Cancellation fees

The cancellation fee for each exam is set at $100 plus taxes. The minimum cost for the NCA process is around $2450.00 plus taxes. If you wish to take the route of enrolling yourself in a Canadian law school, it might cost you somewhere around $35,450 for one year. This includes the application fee of about $150.00 plus taxes and the tuition fee of $35,000 to $56,000.

Language of assessment

The Federation of Law Societies of Canada provides services in two languages. The first is English, and the second is French. The details of the language testing requirements can be accessed here. Possessing language proficiency in either of these two languages is one of the criteria used to assess an applicant. In order to demonstrate sufficient competence in that particular language, the applicant must be able to identify the purpose of the communication and use correct grammar, spelling and language that is suitable for the purpose of communication as well as its audience. Also, the applicant must be able to effectively formulate and present well-reasoned legal arguments, analyses, advice or submissions in the language concerned.

NCA has the liberty to introduce a tool for assessing an applicant’s proficiency in the languages. It must be noted that not all people need to demonstrate their competence in either of the languages. Only those applicants have to demonstrate their competence whose language of instruction for the legal academic qualifications was not the required language or whose qualification was obtained in a country where English or French wasn’t an official language.

In case the applicant is not able to show competence in either of these given languages, they will be required to complete the following tests:

  • For English language, candidates need to pass the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with a minimum score of 7.0 across all the elements.
  • For the French language, the candidates require a minimum score of 4.5 in TEF Canada across all the elements.

Once the applicant has done these tests, they need to have proper documents to show their competence.

Are there any other ways to be a part of legal fraternity in Canada  

For every foreign lawyer to become eligible to practice in Canada, there are three ways:

  1. Appear for the NCA assessments and get a certificate of qualification.
  2. Pursue LLM course in Canadian universities.
  3. A combination of both of the above-stated ways.

So, candidates who are interested in practicing law in Canada can also take up a professional LLM course for which no NCA accreditation is required. But for all the Indian law graduates who are keen on discovering career opportunities in Canada through the path of NCA, getting their Certificate of Qualification is the first step of the process. This certificate of qualification is not a law degree; it proves that the candidate has done the assignments given by NCA and is now eligible to apply for a bar licence. We know it might sound a little too complicated at first glance, but we have tried to make things easier for you. 

Advantages of being a lawyer in Canada

Canada is considered to be the hub for education.  When it comes to legal education, it has great potential for attracting international lawyers. It is the right time to qualify for the National Committee on Accreditation assessment and take advantage of being a qualified lawyer in multiple jurisdictions. So, here are some reasons why it is beneficial to become a lawyer in Canada.

Better career opportunities

Canada offers a wide variety of career opportunities for lawyers. With technology catching up, the role of a lawyer is not limited to simply criminal, corporate or constitutional lawyers. There is no limit to what a lawyer does, and it should be explored further. There are options of engaging in  private practices, government jobs, in-house practices, legal entrepreneurs, etc.

Expansion of horizon

With the learning of new subjects and legislation specific to a particular jurisdiction, our expertise also expands. We can approach a variety of jobs that we qualify for and also increase our earnings. The job of a lawyer is now not restricted to their countries only; over time, it has become a global profession with interconnected responsibilities. It can increase our networking abilities and give us remote working opportunities on global legal issues.

Dual qualification

Needless to say, by qualifying for the NCA exams, we can possess dual qualifications. Many lawyers specifically wish to be qualified in multiple jurisdictions for its multiple benefits. It will advance your legal career in this highly competitive world by giving you an essential edge over other lawyers.

Distinct qualification

Having qualified for the NCA exams is in itself an accomplishment. Being a lawyer in Canada is a symbol of distinction and prestige and is well respected throughout the world. The legal profession in the country is known for its high standards, difficult educational requirements and commitment to uphold the rule of law in all circumstances. The prestige attached to a lawyer in Canada goes beyond the national borders, and it is not just a qualification but an extra level of achievement. 

Robust legal system

Canada has a well-established legal system which gives legal professional a creative and stable environment to work in. Its strength lies in the foundational legal framework with strong adherence to ethics, democratic principles, human rights and common law traditions. Canada places huge emphasis on legal education and awareness and takes steps to ensure that the lawyers are well-trained and equipped with the requisite knowledge and experience.

High standard of living

Canada is one of the nationals achieving top ranks in the global standard of living. So, enrolling as a lawyer in Canada will not just be a lucrative career option; it would also allow individuals to get better healthcare, education, social services, etc. The high standard of living in Canada goes beyond the basic necessities; it also provides opportunities for personal growth amidst the cultural experience and diverse traditions.

Global recognition

Going through the NCA assessment is globally recognised and enhances the employability of lawyers who wish to practice across various borders. The Canadian legal education system has great respect worldwide and contributes to the acknowledgment of the credentials of lawyers.

Challenges faced by Indian lawyers in Canada

Indian lawyers who are interested in setting up an international practice, especially in Canada, might face a few challenges and hurdles in establishing their practice, such as differences in legal systems, cultural nuances and regulatory frameworks in both jurisdictions. This apparent difference in the legal professions of both nations necessitates and augments the role of NCA Assessments. Here are some frequent challenges faced by Indian lawyers wishing to become eligible lawyers in Canada. The purpose of this list is to ensure that the candidates are well prepared mentally for these issues and take all reasonable steps to accommodate these hurdles.

Unfamiliar legal system

Foreign lawyers may face complications in recognising their previous work experience outside of Canada or their foreign credentials. There are obvious differences between the legal systems of both countries. This duality of the legal system might pose a challenge for Indian law students. Settling in a different jurisdiction with a different legal system requires a much deeper understanding of the laws that may be difficult to achieve in such a short and restricted time span. They might face obstacles in global networking opportunities and building trust and confidence with the clients.

Language concerns

A lot of candidates may also face language barriers with flawed English or French. Overcoming language barriers is also significant for settling in Canada. English might not be the first language for a lot of candidates, and understanding such complex concepts and procedures in a second language is difficult.

Cost and time consuming

In addition to these, financial complications may arise because of the exuberant cost of the NCA assessments. Getting a bar licence in Canada is a time-consuming process, but it also gives a candidate ample time to make professional connections, get mentored by established practitioners, and complete immigration and other formalities. 

Difficult subjects

The exam has a really wide ambit and may cover a plethora of concepts and issues. This requires a sound understanding of a lot of topics that are also shorter in duration. The large volume of these exams is a challenge in and of itself.

Cultural differences

To overcome these cultural differences, it is crucial for Indian lawyers to immerse themselves in effective communication, networking, and comprehending the local legal communities. They should take their time and attain a comprehensive understanding of Canadian legal concepts and jargon. Undertaking Canadian law courses or enrolling in a Canada based LLM might also prove significant in enabling a better understanding of Canadian legal concepts. It is equally important to stay updated on the recent developments in Canadian jurisprudence and other legal developments.

Tips to prepare for the NCA exams

In order to succeed in any exam, preparation is the most significant part. It is said that half of the battle is won if you prepare well. The same is true for the NCA exams. You need to understand the structure of the exam well so that you can strategize your preparation. To help you with the preparation for the NCA exams and give you a better understanding of the Do’s and do nots, we have curated a set of tips so that you can score well.

How to prepare before the date of exam

  • To begin preparing for any exam, the first step is to understand what the exam demands. Every candidate should know the exam pattern and what kind of questions are asked. Only then you can start your preparation.
  • Try to create a comprehensive study plan to cover all of your exam subjects. Make allocations to each subject wisely and stick to your study plan.
  • It is important to give yourself ample time to prepare for the exams. The exams have a wide syllabus and a lot of information to digest. So, it is advisable not to rush through the syllabus of each exam and take your time to improve your basic understanding of the law, brush up on all relevant concepts, and stay updated as well.
  • Every serious applicant should have a complete set of notes to help with such a wide-ranging syllabus. Making your own notes will help you gather all the relevant information in one place and make your revision much easier. Making your notes or collecting required notes before you begin your preparation will help you save quite a lot of time in preparation.
  • One of the most established ways of studying for any exam is by looking at and analysing past exams. Similarly, every candidate must go through the NCA past exams, understand the pattern, the type of questions asked, important parts of the syllabus, etc. This analysis and study of the past exams will help you make a better study pattern, optimising your time to the fullest.
  • To succeed in any exam, it is also important to keep assessing yourself and your preparation. Cramming the legal concepts will not just do it for you in the NCA Exams, as the exams are not just theoretical in approach but also practical. So, getting a deeper understanding of the legal concepts and then applying those concepts intelligently to the questions asked is important. So, it is crucial for every applicant to be able to bridge that knowledge gap and answer the questions with more practical insight.
  • Since the exams are subjective in nature, practising answer writing also serves to be valuable. Seeing pre-written answers on diverse conceptual points is useful for the candidates to prepare well for problem-based questions and also the essay style questions. These answers summarise the legal concepts and also refer to key case laws and recent legal developments. Understating this pattern will allow you to write better-framed answers.
  • Keep on revising the important topics, your notes and your answers until the examination. Repeating your revisions will confirm that you have a strong grip on the questions and are fully prepared for the exams.
  • If required, get professional guidance. Though getting such professional guidance is not a sure-shot way to success, it may prove beneficial for all the candidates. This would give you better and deeper insights into the exam structure, provide study tips, clarify any doubts and help you practice as well.
  • Practising mock exams will also help in simulating a similar environment to that of the NCA exams, improving your answer writing and time management skills. By practising more and more questions, you can learn about your strengths and weaknesses and improve accordingly.

What to do on the day of exam

  • Review the exam policies, what is allowed and what is not, and any specific instructions that are provided by the NCA. Also, comply with all these policies.
  • Before your exam starts, it is advisable to keep all your relevant materials ready. We know it is an open-book exam, so keeping your stuff ready in time will serve you well. Knowing your materials is also equally important so that the least amount of time and energy is wasted in turning pages of your materials.
  • Keep all your technical arrangements ready before the exam so that no technical glitch takes you down. By doing so, you can also avoid any unnecessary last-minute stress and settle easily before the exam.
  • Manage your time effectively while attempting the exam. Try to plan ahead as to how you want to spend your time and how much time you want to allocate to each question. If time permits, try to review your answers, check for any errors or mistakes, and make corrections accordingly.
  • Sleep well, eat well and do not panic before your exams. A lot of time, effort, energy and money have gone into the exams, so stress is inevitable. But keeping calm and taking good care of your health is important too.
  • Keep your notes well organised; make heading, subheadings, paragraphs, bullet pointers, flag what’s necessary, highlight accordingly, etc. This will save a lot of time during the exam.
  • Follow the IRAC approach.

I – Identify the issue in the question

R – explain the relevant rules and laws concerning the issue and the question

A – analyse the above

C – conclude your answer, summarising all of the above

This approach is widely used and recognised in answer writing for exams as it allows one to categorise thoughts and write a structured answer. You can divide the relevant information following this and not get confused by the overload of the question.

  • Have faith and confidence in yourself and your preparation. Reassure yourself that you have done everything that you could and that you will perform well, no matter what, to add confidence. Even if you get a question that you do not know, going into panic mode will not be of any help. Panicking leads to mistakes, so maintain a composed mindset and answer.
  • Stay hydrated and energised for the exam, and keep calm.

Tips for each exam

Canadian administrative law

The questions in Canadian administrative law are pretty simple and elemental. It is best to make notes out of the syllabus and stick to the practice questions without overthinking the types of questions that might come in the exam.

Canadian Criminal law

For lawyers in India, the law can be conceptually different and may need some extra time and effort to gain a better understanding. There are different concepts and their analyses that are asked in the exam; topics like the difference in all forms of mens rea need extra attention.

Canadian Constitutional law

This exam covers Constitutional law, but it should not be read in isolation. Other subjects with overlapping topics should be prepared simultaneously. It is important to pay attention to the questions relating to the charter, as many candidates may not take it seriously.

Canadian professional responsibility

It is a very straightforward exam. Sticking to the sample questions and the syllabus as given can prove to be fruitful. It is better to refer to cases for a code of conduct, as it makes it easier to understand the concepts. 

Foundations of Canadian law

It is considered one of the most difficult exams for the reason that it includes questions on the overlapping areas of different laws. It contains elements of Canadian Constitutional law and Administrative law as well, so it is important to practice the questions while keeping it in mind. Also, attempt a good number of practice questions for this exam, as no single exam will be as reflective as the real exam.

Common mistakes made in NCA exams and how to avoid them

Mistakes during the NCA exams are quite common, and once you understand the pitfalls, you can easily avoid them. These are some of the mistakes most commonly committed by candidates while writing NCA exams:

Preparation in haste

Every exam requires detailed preparation, so diving into the exam right away would be the biggest fallacy. If you think that collecting the relevant materials for any exam is enough, then you might be wrong. Gathering your study material can only help you to a certain extent; it is your preparation method that determines your success. Also, every candidate has to sit for a bunch of exams as a part of the NCA assessment. So, it is highly recommended that you pick such exams to attempt at a time that is complementary to each other. You could take the exam for the foundations of Canadian law with Canadian constitutional and administrative law. Following this approach, you can manage your studies better. In addition, all the NCA exams are open book based which means that you have the opportunity to bring all your study materials and that liberty shouldn’t be undermined. All the candidates should bring a cheat sheet that means short and crisp notes instead of lengthy and detailed notes. 

Poor time management

A lot of the candidates do not take time management seriously. Some candidates take too much time answering a single question and then are left with no time at all for the others. So, divide your time wisely.

Ignoring conceptual clarity

One of the most common mistakes made during the NCA exam is believing too much in cramming and memorising. Even though it is an open book exam, it is your conceptual clarity that will give you a lead over the others. Read every question twice before you start answering that question. Understand the question first, and then formulate your response after thinking about it.

Lack of practice

Another mistake that is commonly repeated is a lack of practice. Every serious candidate should practice answering at least a few questions to get a basic understanding of the types of questions asked and how to answer them. It will help you get comfortable with the exam pattern and the answer writing. The NCA exams often focus on the legal analysis and reasoning skills of the candidate. So, it is only with practice that you can write a well-structured answer that showcases your understanding of the concepts.

Not taking mock tests seriously

A lot of candidates do not take feedback from the mock test seriously. However, they should evaluate their performances, as not learning from past mistakes can hinder their improvement and growth. These mock tests help in understanding what the question is asking and teach the best way to answer it.

Lack of confidence

Another mistake is not believing in yourself and panicking easily. Believing that you have done enough and that you are capable of passing these exams can create a mental block, preventing you from outperforming your own expectations.

Bar licensing in Canada

To get a license to practice in Canada, there are three steps to be completed: 

  1. Getting a Certificate of Qualification or getting LLM in Canadian common law.
  2. Articling or lawyer practice programme (exclusive to Law Society of Ontario).
  3. Then, finally, sitting for the Bar Exam.

Every law society in Canada has its own requirements. For example, the Law Society of Ontario requires a certificate of qualification or LLM credentials to be submitted, after which the candidate must qualify for the  barrister and solicitor licencing exams and finish the experiential training requirement. To learn more on the subject of admission into the Law Society of Ontario, click here.

To become a licenced lawyer in Canada, you need to not only get the licence to practice there but also comply with the immigration requirements. This implies that for an international law student seeking to practice in Canada, there are two processes that must be completed. The first is the NCA assessment, followed by the bar licencing process.

NCA exam support 

The NCA also has an assistance system for all the candidates. It includes a list of certain law schools and programmes that help candidates meet the NCA requirements. It must be remembered that these support programmes are optional and are not at all mandatory for the applicants. They are neither required by the NCA nor by the provincial law societies. The NCA itself doesn’t endorse them. The list has the following programmes:

  • In person study at Osgoode Hall Law School

This school has additional seats, especially for the NCA applicants, specifically for the students who pursued their legal education from somewhere outside Canada. It provides a one-year study plan. For more information, click here.

  • Internationally trained lawyer programme at the University of Alberta

This university also has a newly announced internationally trained lawyer programme designed with the NCA to assist students in meeting the NCA requirements. The NCA programme is taught by world-class faculty, practitioners and judges in all the core subjects and more. For more details, refer here.

  • University of British Columbia distance learning programme 

The university offers a distance learning programme on graduate-level legal courses such as property law, Canadian public law, business law, criminal law, procedure, torts, etc. The course has been structured in a way that meets the NCA requirements. If you need more information, click here.

  • University of Calgary Foreign Lawyers’ programme

The foreign-trained lawyers’ programme is a one-year post bachelor’s certificate that helps the candidates complete the educational requirements of the NCA assessment. It includes courses on the foundations of Canadian law, professional development, constitutional law, crime, administrative law, and ethical lawyering. Furthermore, it has a one-year course in professional development training that includes writing and communicating skills, etc. For more details, click here.

  • Point First Legal Writing Academy

This academy has been created by the University of Ottawa to assist students in improving their legal writing. It enhances the writing abilities of the applicants, such as drafting memorials, researching, making briefs, editing documents and the like.

  • Global Professional Master of Laws programme at the University of Toronto

Titled GPLLM, it is a 12-month executive-style LLM that enables the applicants to work full-time while also getting their degree. The course has nine courses designed in a way to meet the requirements of the NCA. These include the core subject areas such as the foundations of Canadian law, professional responsibility, Canadian administrative law, Canadian criminal law and others. To learn more about the course, visit here.

  • Professional development programmes by York University

The OsgoodePD also has a fully virtual NCA exam preparation programme. These courses are available on demand and can be completed at the candidate’s own pace. More details on the course can be accessed here.

Career opportunities for Indian lawyers after qualifying the NCA exam

The NCA assessment holds quite a lot of significance for an international lawyer who seeks to practice law in Canada. It is a crucial step that recognises a candidate’s foreign legal qualifications and ensures that the candidate has skills and expertise equivalent to those of a Canadian-based lawyer. It gives the candidates a pathway to earn a bar licence. It is only with this bar licence that a lawyer can actually be called a ‘lawyer’ in Canada. It is a vital step for every lawyer. After completing the NCA accreditation process, a lot of opportunities open up for foreign-trained lawyers in Canada. These are some of the potential career paths:

Independent practice

Most international lawyers go through the NCA assessment to set up their independent practice in Canada. Practising  alone gives individuals more liberty, with no restrictions and no one to be dominated by.  To practice, you would need a licence from the law society in the territory where you intend to practice. As an independent lawyer, you have the flexibility to choose your own practice area and to build a client base at your own pace.

Get into a law firm

A lot of NCA-qualified lawyers prefer law firms over independent practices because they give them a stronger foundation to start with and confirm their salary as well. These firms have specialisations in diverse fields such as corporate, commercial, intellectual property, real-estate, immigration, taxation disputes, etc. You can find great career options in law firms in Canada, ranging from boutique practices to larger full-service firms. Law firms also present international lawyers with a lot more opportunities to network and get practical experience with proper mentorship.

In-house legal departments

A lot of businesses and corporations in Canada have in-house legal departments that are always on the lookout for bright lawyers. Getting into an in-house legal department enables lawyers to practice in a diverse range of areas in a specific industry. Working in an in-house legal department gives candidates a unique blend of legal responsibilities and business insights.

Government and public sector

The federal, provincial and minimal government agencies also frequently hire lawyers for their legal advisory roles and regulatory compliance. This not only gives a candidate an opportunity to contribute to the public sector but may as well be a very lucrative field to work in.

Non-profits organisations

Lawyers contribute just as much to non-profit organisations as well by working with NGOs, charities and advocacy groups. Here, their role is to delve a little deeper in legal research, public policy and public engagement rather than litigation. This sector offers lawyers fulfilling roles where they can work on human rights and legal issues together and make a meaningful contribution to society.

Legal aid and public defence

Any qualified layer can also pursue roles in Legal Aid Organisations or in Public Defence Offices. This sector allows Indian lawyers to work on social issues that require a commitment to public service but also a comprehensive understanding of relevant laws.

Academia and research

Equal opportunities exist for the NCA qualified lawyers to get involved in teaching law or in legal research in different Canadian universities and research institutions. NCA is in itself equivalent to legal qualification, and achieving the NCA accreditation, it increases opportunities of academic growth.

Mediation and alternative dispute resolution

Similarly, the NCA Qualified lawyers may also look for career opportunities in mediation, arbitration and other forms of alternative dispute resolution. The field of ADR is filled with vast opportunities and having experience in an ADR certificate or training course can prove to be fruitful.

Corporate compliance and risk management

A lot of corporations also seek professional legal expertise to navigate through complex regulatory frameworks and abate any legal risks. So, lawyers who seek specialisation in corporate laws and risk management may have a lot of great opportunities.

Alternative careers

Other than the careers mentioned above, lawyers who want to settle in Canada can also find career opportunities in legal writing, journalism, legal technology, legal consulting and compliance etc. These roles give lawyers innovative positions where they can blend their legal knowledge and expertise with the emerging trends in the legal industry.

In pursuing any of these career paths, any foreign trained lawyer is advised to proactively engage with the Canadian legal community. Giving exams and passing the NCA assessments is not the end, staying up to date with legal developments, participating in professional organisations, and enhancing contacts are of paramount importance to establish a successful career in Canada. Gaining practical experience by means of internships, volunteering or articling is also invaluable for acquiring and honing your skills and building a wider client base. You should remember relocating to Canada for your profession isn’t just a change of place but it is a holistic transformation.

Conclusion

In conclusion, for Indian lawyers seeking accreditation in Canada, the NCA is a pivotal step to navigate through the process of becoming a qualified lawyer in Canada. The approach undertaken by NCA is structured in a way to suit foreign lawyers and demonstrates their legal competence and skills. The journey of undergoing NCA accreditation is not merely a regulatory requirement; it is also a chance for foreign lawyers to immerse themselves in the legal Canadian legal culture. Getting your documents right, qualifying the assessments or gaining legal experience should all be taken seriously. Afterall, being a qualified lawyer in Canada also signifies a commitment to justice, fairness and legal principles.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

FAQs on NCA assessment

How do I start the assessment process with NCA?

In order to start your assessment process with the NCA, click here. The assessment process includes some simple steps:

  • Apply here and submit the documents.
  • NCA assesses your education and experience and evaluates them against the national requirements according to its policies.
  • On the basis of evaluation, NCA gives you assignments to be completed.
  • On completing the assignments, you get a certificate of qualification.

Does it matter when I get my law degree? Will it impact my assessment results?

For a legal qualification to be considered acceptable, in three of the last five years, you should have pursued a qualifying law degree programme, some additional legal studies, acquired legal experience that is satisfactory to the executive director, or engaged in some combination of legal studies and legal experience. Depending on how many years have passed since you attained the degree (age of the decree), you would be required to complete some additional subjects.

For each 5-year period without the current qualifications and up to 15 years, you would be required to take one additional exam on these subjects -contract law, tort law, or property law.

The additional subjects may be any of the following subjects:

  • Business organisations,
  • Civil procedure law,
  • Commercial law,
  • Evidence law,
  • Family law,
  • Remedies.

If your degree is as stale as 15 years (i.e., 15 years have passed since the degree), then a minimum of four subjects will be assigned.

What are the requirements of NCA for long-distance education or virtual degree?

The NCA requirements for a distance or virtual law degree are according to the national requirements that were brought into effect in 2015. The national requirements have to be followed by all the graduates of common law programs, including Canadian graduates. In regard to a valid Canadian law degree, these requirements state that the law school’s academic programme for law must consist of three academic years or its equivalent in the course credits. The course should primarily consist of in-person instruction and learning. It must involve some direct interaction between the instructor and the students. The term primarily here refers to at least two-thirds of the total interaction. This goes on to mean that all the candidates must complete at least two years of their three-year degree as interactive instruction.

How do I qualify for the NCA if I did my law degree in an online education programme? 

As stated above, every candidate has to complete at least two years of education as an in-person study. However, the NCA may accept some online instructions as well if they involve some direct interaction between the student and the instructor. But that online instruction must also have at least one year of an in-person instruction. The online instructions must also meet at least six of the total eight required components for the interactive online course, such as:

  • Reliable access.
  • Case laws, legislation, research tools, journals as study material, developing legal problems and legal communication skills, providing formative feedback to the students, etc. Furthermore, if you wish to meet the two-year in-person requirement, you could choose any of these:
  1. One-year course based LLM with a legal practice course (LPC) or graduate diploma in law (GDL).
  2. Two one-year course-based LLM programmes at any approved law school in any common law jurisdiction.
  3. One two-year course-based LLM programme.
  4. Courses in a common law JD or LLB.

In order to meet the one-year in-person requirement, you can choose any of these:

  • One-year course-based LLM at any approved law school in any common law jurisdiction.
  • Legal practice course (LPC) or graduate diploma in law (GDL) in England or another common law jurisdiction.
  • Courses in common law JD or LLB.

The additional legal studies that are completed as a part of a one-year LLM must consist of a minimum of 50% in-person instruction, with the remaining being delivered through interactive online instructions.

In order to get approval from NCA, it is advisable that you formulate your own plan of study and explain how you intend to complete this requirement. Once you send your plan of study with all relevant information to the NCA, you will get approval for it.

Is there a list of accredited non–Canadian law schools that are approved by the NCA? 

The NCA does not approve of any law schools. What it does is that it takes into account the recognition of the law school by the National Accreditation Body in its assessment. To learn more about the law schools in various jurisdictions, you can refer to this link here.

How often do the NCA assessment policies change? What impact might it have if I am attending law school when it changes? 

The NCA assessment policies change frequently, and only the most recent policies are applied at the time of assessment. If you are attending law school overseas and plan to practice law in Canada, then it is highly recommended that you regularly check for any such amendments in the policy. It is better if you keep yourself updated on the policies.

How do I notify the NCA if I want to change my name? 

If your name has changed since you applied for the NCA assessment or since your original transcripts were issued, then you need to send a mail to the NCA with a copy of the proof of name change, which can be in the form of a marriage certificate, an official name change certificate, etc., by fax, e-mail or regular mail.            

How do I make sure that the courses I take meet the requirements of the NCA? Will the NCA approve my courses? 

The NCA does approve the courses for the applicants only to assist them in meeting their assignments. To get this approval, you would be required to send an application to the NCA at [email protected], with the name of your courses, your course code and the name of the school you are attending. Even if you are taking courses outside Canada, you can still get approval for your courses.

Is my academic performance relevant to my NCA assessment? 

Yes, your academic performance is one of the several factors that are taken into consideration to assess an applicant’s eligibility. The NCA policies consider the overall academic performance and academic performance for individual grades in each of the core common law subjects. If your academic performance is not very good, you might need to take more exams than just 5. If the overall academic performance is poor—that is third class or below—it might not be recognised at all. 

My assessment states that I haven’t met the requirements of NCA and that I do not qualify for the NCA process. How can I rectify it? 

In case the assessment shows that you do not qualify for the NCA process, you can aim to improve your academic performance by doing any of the following:

  • Pass the Legal Practice Course (LPC) or Bar Professional Training Course in England or a similar programme in other common law jurisdiction countries.
  • Completing LLM from common law jurisdiction countries.
  • Completing graduate diploma in law (GDL) in England.

The grades must meet the NCA’s academic performance policy. Once this is done, you need to ask your institution to forward your original transcripts to NCA. Along with this, you can send a written request to the NCA to review your file again for eligibility.

Why do I have to show my competence in NCA in the core subjects? 

Canada has its own national requirements that specify the skills and knowledge that an applicant must possess. Since foreign law schools cannot meet this bar and abide by the national requirements, the NCA requires the applicants either to take exams or attend an approved Canadian law school. This helps in ensuring that the candidate meets the standard of quality as required by the national requirements.

FAQs on Certificate of Qualification

When is the Certificate of Qualification issued?

It is issued only after the candidate fulfils the assignments given by the NCA and completes the NCA process.

Why do I need a Certificate of Qualification?

It is needed as it signifies that the candidate has successfully completed the NCA process and Canadian law societies require this certificate as a part of their process of admission to Bar Associations.

How to apply for a Certificate of Qualification?

To get your certificate of qualification, follow these steps:

  • Visit the NCA portal, available here.
  • Select the option of ‘manage yourself’.
  • Click on the option ‘request certificate’.
  • Complete the form and submit it.

FAQs on exams

What do I need to do to prepare to write my NCA exam?

Apart from studying, what you need to do to prepare for your exam is as follows:

  • Find a peaceful and quiet location where there will not be any interruptions.
  • Ensure that you meet all the technical requirements.
  • Have MonitorEdu test your computer at least one day before the exam to ensure that the system works okay during the exam.
  • Have some refreshments during the exam.
  • Present your government-issued photo ID to the proctor before you begin your exam.

What are the rules of the NCA online exams? 

Here are a few rules for the NCA exams that the students should abide by:

  • The NCA exams are long response forms and it is an open book exam.
  • Only hard copies of study materials are allowed.
  • You will not be allowed to take any soft copies of your study materials.
  • You will not have access to electronic devices.
  • The exam is three hours long.
  • Any scanned documents, photographs, and attachments are not allowed.
  • Only typed responses are considered for evaluation.

What are the technical requirements for the exam that the candidates need to fulfil? 

The candidates should keep in mind these requirements:

  • The NCA exams use a secure browser-based platform that locks your system so that you are unable to open any other application on your system.
  • The proctor will check your identification and monitor you through a web camera.
  • You must find a clean and tidy space with a good internet connection. Your system and phone should remain plugged until you complete your exam
  • Landlines, non-required electronics, and any security devices for recording are not allowed.
  • No one can enter your room while you are writing your exam.

If the candidates are interested in reading about the technical requirements in more detail, they can click here.

Are there any different rules for students with disabilities? 

The NCA makes special accommodations for students with special needs. If any candidate needs such assistance, they need to contact the NCA exam manager to get an accommodation request form.

How many times can I attempt an exam?

Every candidate can attempt an exam a maximum of three times. The executive director of the NCA may grant you a final fourth attempt if you submit an earning plan that complies with the NCA policies. However, if you still fail on the fourth attempt, then you must complete the subject at a law school.

Can I alter my exam timing and dates during a session or not? 

Yes, you definitely can. But if you wish to alter the timings, you would be required to send a mail to MonitorEdu at [email protected]. However, it must be noted that the NCA doesn’t generally accommodate any changes in the exam timings and dates, but it is worth trying. Even if mailing them does not work, the candidates always have the option to cancel the exam, that too without any penalty, but only if they do it at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled date and time of the exam.

How many exams would I be required to take to earn a certificate of qualification? 

There is no precise number of exams to be given to get your certificate of qualification. The number of exams is subjective and would depend upon the legal education and professional experience of a candidate. Generally, a candidate takes around 4-5 exams for the mandatory Canadian law subjects. If the credentials of an applicant are evaluated after January 1, 2022, then they are also expected to complete a legal research and writing course that is offered by an approved Canadian common law programme or by the NCA legal research and writing module that is offered by the Canadian Centre for Professional Legal Education.

Would I still be required to give an exam of five mandatory courses even if I am more experienced than the other candidates? 

Though the NCA takes a lot of factors into consideration while assessing an application, these factors do not cover the content of the core subjects of the exams, so every candidate has to give at least five mandatory exams. In short, yes, one has to give an exam of five mandatory courses even if they are more experienced than the other candidates

Can I get my exams graded sooner than the stipulated time of 10 to 12 weeks? 

No, the NCA doesn’t take any such requests. In order to mark each paper fairly, the examiner grades all the exams together and not in isolation. This allows them to re-read and re-evaluate the exams. It also ensures that the checking is done consistently and fairly. So, the candidates need to wait for the given time to get their results.

Does the NCA offer any tutorials or classes to help the candidates study for the exams? 

No, the NCA does not provide any free tutorials or classes for candidates. As already stated above, each candidate has to curate their own study materials. The NCA offers no reading materials or classes for that purpose.

Miscellaneous FAQs

How much does a lawyer earn in Canada? 

Though the average salary of a lawyer in Canada may differ depending on the province, lawyers generally earn a median salary of $116,940 in Canada. The highest salaries are seen in Alberta, Ontario and Newfoundland, Labrador. In Alberta, it is reported to be as high as $140,808, while it is $131,203 in Newfoundland and Labrador and around $115,621 in British Columbia.

How do I know whether I qualify to apply for the NCA process? 

If you are confused about the eligibility requirements of the NCA assessments and are unable to figure out if you qualify for the NCA process or not, then you can go for the self-assessment feature available on the official page of the NCA. The link to the website can be accessed by clicking here.

To know if your education helps you qualify for the NCA process, you would be required to answer the following questions:

  • Do you have a qualifying law degree?
  • In which country did you complete your law degree?
  • Did you get your law degree through distance education/ online programme?

After answering these questions, you will know if you are eligible to apply or not.

Is there a refund policy? If yes, what is the refund allowed? 

It must be noted that the assessment fee is $500, and the application fee is non-refundable. Next, when a candidate sits for the NCA exams, the fee is $590 plus taxes, and this may be refunded only upon request. However, if the candidate cancels the exam, an administrative fee of $100 plus taxes is charged. The exam appeal fee is charged at $250, and this is also non-refundable. The refund policy can be read in detail by clicking here.

What if I want to practice law in Quebec?

If you want to practice law in Quebec, you would be required to undergo evaluation by the Barreau du Quebec for lawyers and the Chambre des notaires du Québec for notaries.

Do I become a lawyer in Canada once I complete the NCA process? 

No, unless you are called to the bar in a different jurisdiction, you can’t be called a lawyer. To become a lawyer, you need to complete the bar admission process first with the Canadian Law Society.

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