A Quick Guide to the NCA's
What are the NCAs?
Perhaps the most daunting part of the NCA exams, is in not knowing exactly what it is about. This post is one step in the right direction by giving you a general overview as to what you can expect. Check out our other posts for more insight into your exams.
The National Committee on Accreditation (NCA) of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada assesses the legal education and professional experience of individuals who obtained their credentials outside of Canada or in a Canadian civil law program. This assessment is done before an individual may apply for admission to a law society in a Canadian common law jurisdiction, and is based on both the academic and professional profile of each applicant.
There is a five-step process involved in each NCA assessment:
You submit your application with required documentation and payment.
The NCA reviews and assesses your credentials.
The NCA notifies you of assignments or deficiencies.
You complete your assigned requirements / NCA Law Exams.
The NCA issues a Certificate of Qualification to you and the requested Provincial Law Society(ies)
When you become accredited you have a few more hopes to jump through before you can become fully licensed in your province.
For those new to the process, it can be quite confusing initially. Below you will get some insight into the stages you will likely be approaching soon.
STEP 1: Submit Your Application to the NCA
The application is submitted through your online portal here.
In your application, you will add your personal details as well as your education details. Once completed, you may need to send my official transcript directly to the Federation of Law Societies of Canada in order for them to confirm your Education merits.
You are also required to pay an amount to submit your online application.
STEP 2: Receive Assessment Results
Once a file is assessed by the NCA, you may be asked to complete one or more exams and/or complete specific law school courses within a prescribed time frame. Usually, NCA assessments will focus on the core common law subjects in which applicants must demonstrate competence, including five Canadian subjects which are mandatory for all applicants.
Canadian Administrative Law (mandatory)
Canadian Constitutional Law (mandatory)
Canadian Criminal Law (mandatory)
Foundations of Canadian Law (mandatory)
Canadian Professional Responsibility (mandatory)
STEP 3: Complete the NCA Law Exams
Completing your NCA exams are
The exams are all self-study; the NCA supplies the syllabus and suggests materials, but each applicant has to study all the materials. You can find access to free notes for your studies on our blog here.
Check to make sure you have the latest syllabus.
The exams are open-book, that means you can bring in any resource you want. BattLaw Resources helps you save time through providing you with the essential material you will want for exam day.
Candidates are able to attempt multiple exams or as few exams in each exam session as you wish. Generally, most applicants attempt 2-4 NCA Law exams per session with varying degrees of success. You must however complete all the subjects assigned within the time frame indicated in your Assessment Result Report.
We write about more tips and resources on our blog, but now offer a prep course that touches on these topics and more.
Exam results usually take between 10 – 13 weeks to come out after the exams — just in time for the next round.
STEP 4: Request Certificate of Qualification
Upon successful completion of these requirements, the NCA issues a Certificate of Qualification. Most law societies in Canada require the NCA’s Certificate of Qualification to access their bar admissions process.
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