Bachelor of Law in Canada
The Bachelor of Law is the first step that students interested in practicing law take. Law school is typically considered to be very difficult, but the rewards are especially beneficial. While Canada can be a very appealing location to study law, the educational system for this country is more complicated than most others, meaning international students should be sure to thoroughly research the process before beginning. To take the first step toward holding a Bachelor of Law in Canada, search for a program that fits your needs.
What is a Bachelor of Law in Canada?
The Bachelor of Law is an entry-level degree program in Canada that starts law students out in their education. In Canada, there are two systems that students must be familiar with. Quebec has a unique law education system that differs from the rest of Canada. If you are studying in Quebec, you will have to earn a Bachelor of Civil Law instead, as Quebec uses a system of civil law. As with any other university program in Quebec, a college diploma is required before you can begin the undergraduate studies.
Outside of Quebec, a common law system is used. This means that a traditional Bachelor of Law degree can be earned. However, most universities have now replaced the Bachelor of Law with a Juris Doctor degree. After graduating, you may be interested in continuing your education by earning a higher level degree.
Because Canada employs a dual law system, many universities offer programs that prepare students to work in either system. Regardless of where you study in Canada, the program usually involves three years of study. The exact duration does depend on the program and school of study, however. Upon graduation, students should have a stronger understanding of the law system in Canada. The law programs in Canada typically include:
- Courses in legal writing, tort, contract writing, and general law
- Extra-curricular law activities
What Are the Benefits of Getting a Bachelor of Law in Canada?
By choosing to study law in Canada, students benefit from a shorter amount of time to reach qualification to practice law. Instead of a doctorate being required before it is possible to become a lawyer, this level of education, along with the master’s degree, is usually reserved for law professors. Instead, after earning a Bachelor of Law, graduates must become licensed with the Law Society associated with their chosen Province. This process takes just one additional year.
Law graduates also benefit from an increase in the level of position they can attain. The typical salary also increases. Most interested in practicing law must get a lower level position first, which leads to more advanced work. Because internships are a standard requirement, it is much easier for students to get started in the working world. Other benefits include:
- Opportunity to start specialising
- Increased career options
- Many competitive schools to choose from, including McGill University, University of Toronto, and University of British Columbia
What Kind of Career Can You Expect with a Bachelor of Law in Canada?
The primary career that law students are interested in is lawyer. While advancing to that point, a position as a paralegal or legal secretary will likely be necessary. The system is set up for students to gain one of these kinds of jobs while studying.
Paralegals and legal secretaries are responsible for minor administrative duties, such as transcribing, document retrieval, and scheduling, as well as legal research. The foundational experience that is attained from these kinds of position is instrumental in preparing to practice law.
Additionally, it is important to decide what your specialisation will be while studying. There are many types of lawyers, so you should have a firm idea of what area you are interested in by the time you graduate. The law specialisations include:
- Trial lawyer
- Bankruptcy lawyer
- Civil rights attorney
- Legal consultant
- Employment lawyer
Regardless of how you choose to specialise, there are several responsibilities that are universal to all lawyers. These include creating legal documents, representing clients, managing legal processes, and providing legal consultation.
Students interested in beginning their education in law should start by searching for a program that will help them advance. It is wise to do extensive research of multiple programs and schools in Canada before enrolling.