It takes a little more than law school -

It takes a little more than law school

What you have to do on top of your degree, bar exam and articling to become a lawyer


We’ve all heard of the bar exam and articling (essentially an internship) as steps potential lawyers have to take before they can actually start working but every province also requires law graduates to take an additional training course. However, the length of these courses, and the costs, vary widely across the country.

British Columbia has a 10-week full-time course and exam costing $2,500. Plus one year of articling

Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba have slightly different versions of a part-time course developed by the Canadian Centre for Professional Legal Education. The course is mostly online and takes about six hours per week over 24 weeks, and is done during one year of articling. There is no exam, instead there are nine “evaluations” during the course. The cost in Alberta is $2,552, in Saskatchewan it’s $2,450 and in Manitoba it’s $1,600.

Ontario has two exams (barrister and solicitor) and requires 10 months of articling. They also require a short, online, “Professional Responsibility and Practice Course,” which is completed during the articling period with their principal (that’s the lawyer the student is apprenticed to). The cost is $2,400. Ontario had a more intensive course but dropped it due to poor attendance. The Law Society of Upper Canada does recommend a 90-hour optional exam prep course at Osgoode Hall, it costs $1895.

Quebec requires a four-month course with three exams (two tests during the course and a final). The course is full time and costs $4,065. There is also an optional prep course, before the required course. It’s also four months and costs $700. Quebec requires six months of articling.

New Brunswick has a four-week, full-time course with two exams (civil procedure and statutes of New Brunswick). The cost is $1,200. 48 weeks of articling is also required.

Nova Scotia has a five-week full-time skills course followed by an exam and one year of articling. The cost is $3,500

Prince Edward Island requires potential lawyers to take the Nova Scotia course and exam, plus a two week PEI course which cost $600. One year of articling is also required.

Newfoundland and Labrador has a seven to eight-week full-time course, plus exams. The cost is $2,542.50. One year of articling is required.

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