How Long Does It Take to Become a Lawyer in Canada?

Becoming a professional lawyer is quite challenging, and it takes lots of time. From studentship to entering the actual trial in court, a lawyer’s journey is divided into many phases. If you are interested in knowing the steps and duration of becoming a lawyer, continue reading this blog.

The Must Do Steps of Becoming a Lawyer

Here in this section, we will discuss the steps of becoming a lawyer first. Later, we will explain each step briefly with surpassing durations.

  1. Academic Education
  2. Apprentice Period
  3. Attending the Bar council / Lawyer examination
  4. Lawyer Career as Junior

To complete all those steps, individuals need to perform well in different institutions to seek academic and practical knowledge. Then he will be declared a professional lawyer.

Academic Education and Duration to Be a Lawyer

The Law is a study of theory and practical knowledge. Legal studies is already a developed sector. Therefore, subject-wise, law study starts at the undergraduate level. After completing school and college-level education, a student gets the opportunity of studying Law.

Generally, a bachelor’s degree in Law requires at least 4 years of undergraduate-level education. The bachelor’s law degree is well known as an LLB or Juris doctor programmed in Law. Although a bachelor’s degree duration is 4 years, some law schools offer 3 year Juris degree.

After obtaining the LLB degree, some students may go for an LLM degree equivalent to a Master’s degree. The LLM degree is for those who want specialized knowledge in a specified law sector. Notably, a bachelor’s degree is enough to start a formal career as a lawyer. The bar council will allow you to sit for a lawyer certification examination with a bachelor’s degree in Law.

So, count 4 years on the academic education required to be a professional lawyer. However, you can add the basic levels of education and spend time within that 4 years duration. Hence, you can not do a bachelor’s degree without finishing your school and college-level degree. For academic education of being a lawyer, you will need at least 16 years of education time.

A lawyer must be professional and passionate about completing academic tasks. Otherwise, the dream of becoming a lawyer will go in vain.

Apprentice Period of Lawyer                    

If you are not familiar with law student life, you will not understand the meaning of apprentice lawyer. An apprentice lawyer starts practical work under the professional lawyer in the court. Apprentice lawyer learns and gathers experience from a qualified lawyer’s supervision. 

Although the duration of an apprentice lawyer is 1 year, it will continue until getting the bar council’s approval.

However, an apprentice lawyer is not qualified to file cases in court like a competent lawyer. He only assists in completing the tasks of complete lawyers.

Some apprentice lawyer works in law firms as legal assistants. They prepare drafts of cases, write law-related articles on law firms’ websites and prepare necessary legal documents for cases.

Attending the Lawyers Test Examination

After completing the minimum period of apprentice duration, a law background student becomes eligible to attend the bar council examination. To pass the lawyer’s assessment, a student must pass both written and viva examinations.

After passing the first written examination, the person will have the chance to attend the viva examination. On a viva examination, seniors’ lawyers will check the student’s eligibility with logical questions. Then they will provide a remark basis on each individual’s performance.

Preparing for the advocacy examination and passing the test 1 to 3 years will require based on every individual’s hard work and merits.

Join As a Junior Lawyer and Duration

Appointing a junior lawyer is the last stage of establishing a lawyer’s career. A lawyer needs to struggle as a junior for at least 3 to 4 years on the court premises. During that time, a lawyer works under the supervisor of the most senior lawyer.

After the struggle period, the real journey of a lawyer begins.

Count of Total Duration to Be a Lawyer

To find out the actual duration to be a lawyer, you will need to count academic, apprentice, and lawyer test times. We have already found that it takes at least 7-8 years to be a lawyer except for the school and college.

Surprisingly, some professional lawyers are not directly practicing civil or criminal matters. They focus on tax, family matters, legal advising, or other matters. To appoint yourself in any particular area, you will require completing that field’s pre-requisite courses.

Those courses have a duration of about 1-2 years. So, their journey is slightly longer than the general lawyers’ point of view.

So, to be a special lawyer in a particular field will take 9-10 years of total duration. We all know that; studying for an extended period in a specific subject is challenging for any individual.

Conclusion

Overall, the matter of becoming a lawyer is quite challenging and time-consuming. Along with long duration, to be a professional lawyer, you must have good academic results, professionalism, determination, and will to do hard work.

Considering the academic and apprentice sessions, becoming a professional lawyer will take about 7-8 years.

FAQs

See the most relevant queries answers from this section. 

How Many Do Lawyers Study?

In general, the academic education time of lawyers is 4 years. However, it will take around 5-6 years of academic education for special lawyers. Those mentioned periods are for the general practicing lawyers. But to be a renowned lawyer, you must be studying for the whole time of your career.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Patent Lawyer?

To be a patent lawyer, you must finish your school and college time. After that, it will take about 7 years to be a complete patent lawyer. But for people who have study gaps, the time will be extended.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Medical Lawyer?

To become a medical lawyer, you need to complete a bachelor’s in Law and 3 years of special study on this topic at law school. Overall, the duration of becoming a medical lawyer is 7 years.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Corporate Lawyer?

After finishing an undergraduate degree from any department, you can move on to become a corporate lawyer. However, to learn corporate laws, you need to study at a law school for at least 3 years. So, if you have done an undergraduate on another subject, you can try to be a corporate lawyer.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Lawyer in Alberta?

The academic duration of becoming a lawyer in Alberta is 5 to 7 years. Plus, add a minimum of 1 year’s apprenticeship duration.