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Finding a job in Canada may be different than in your home country and you may need help finding job vacancies, updating your resume, writing cover letters, preparing for interviews, and understanding what Canadian employers are looking for.

The National Occupational Classification (NOC) is Canada’s reference on occupations. It provides job descriptions, occupational statistics and labour market information.
The NOC classifies the following legal occupations in Canada:

4112 Lawyers and Quebec notaries

Credentials recognition

One of the first things you need to do is to find out the requirements to work as a lawyer in Canada. Therefore, after you get your immigration visa, get in touch with the regulatory body in the province or territory where you intend to settle in Canada. They will advise you about the required documentation and the fees for assessment. It is highly recommended that you take this step before you arrive in Canada.

Contact the professional association in the province or territory you will settle in before you move to get more information about the schedule of exams and take that into consideration when deciding the actual date of your departure to Canada.

It’s important not to rush your application and only do that once you are fully aware of the licensure procedure and the regulatory body’s expectations from you.

Whether you are an internationally trained lawyer immigrating to Canada, a Canadian citizen who has obtained their legal education abroad, or even a prospective immigrant, your qualifications will be assessed by the National Committee on Accreditation (NCA). You can apply while still in your home country – your citizenship, nationality and residency are not factors in the assessment process.

To apply for an NCA assessment, you will be asked to submit some or all of the following:

a completed application form which you will find on its website

  • an original set of your final academic transcripts (copies will not be accepted)
  • a current detailed Curriculum Vitae (your education and work experience)
  • payment of a non-refundable application fee, which includes all applicable taxes.

As well, you need to send the following documents directly to the NCA by the institutions referred to below:

  • an official copy of your academic transcripts issued by the institution where you obtained your legal education
  • a certificate or letter of membership in good standing issued by the local regulatory authority which governs your admission to the practice of law in that jurisdiction (if applicable)
  • an official copy of your transcripts issued by the local regulatory authority which governs your admission to the practice of law in that jurisdiction (if applicable)

Though at the moment, language competency is not a requirement, NCA examinations require a high level of language competency both in reading and writing. As well, to practice law in Canada you need to have a high level of competence in listening, reading, speaking, and writing.

For more detailed instructions on how to apply for an assessment, consult the application form on NCA’s website.

Your application will normally be processed, and an assessment mailed to you, within three months of receiving all required documentation.

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Credentials assessment services

If you are planning to enroll in a college or university program to upgrade your skills, contact the institution in which you plan to study and find out the steps you should take and the credential assessment agency you should use.

World Education Services (WES) – Ontario
International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS) – Alberta
The International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES) – British Columbia

To find more organizations and agencies providing credential evaluation, assessment and qualification recognition services click here. You can also visit the Foreign Credentials Referral Office for information, path-finding and referral services on foreign credential recognition to help internationally trained workers like you succeed and put their skills to work in Canada more quickly.

Best locations

Demand for lawyers is linked to population growth and the volume of business activity, such as real estate transactions, mergers and acquisitions, bankruptcy, and can therefore be cyclical. Demand for legal services involving real estate transactions, mergers and acquisitions, for instance, tends to decline during a recession, while those involving bankruptcy activities increases. One growing area of demand in today’s complicated business environment is corporate regulatory compliance – helping companies keep up with government and other regulatory rules.

Choosing a City.

Major employers

The federal, provincial and municipal governments employ lawyers. So do prosecutor’s offices, educational institutions and private businesses, particularly businesses providing scientific or technical services. In addition, lawyers can join partnerships or law firms, or open their own private practices.

You can also visit the Canada’s Best Diversity Employers website to check for law firms. This special designation recognizes Canada’s best employers for recent immigrants. These employers offer interesting programs to assist new Canadians in making the transition to a new workplace — and a new life in Canada.