Federation launches national consultation on accreditation of Canadian common law degrees

Posted on September 24, 2008

The Federation of Law Societies of Canada has launched a national consultation on issues relating to the criteria for approving common law degrees for the purpose of entry into bar admission programs in Canada. A comprehensive consultation paper prepared by the Federation’s Task Force on the Canadian Common Law Degree canvassing the issues and exploring possible approaches to approval of law degrees has been circulated to a number of national and provincial legal organizations, law deans and legal educators and is available here.  

The Task Force was established in June 2007 to consider a number of issues related to legal education and to make recommendations for the consideration of and possible adoption by member law societies. In particular the Task Force was asked to,

  • review the criteria currently in place for approval of a LL.B/ J.D. law degree for the purposes of entrance to law societies’ bar  admission/ licensing programs and determine whether modifications are recommended;
  • if modifications are found to be necessary, propose a national standard for the approved LL.B./J.D. degree; and
  • consider these matters in relation to the existing criteria for review of the credentials of internationally trained applicants and those  with civil law degrees from Quebec by the Federation’s National Committee on Accreditation.

The Task Force is chaired by John J.L. Hunter, Q.C., President of the Law Society of British Columbia. The other members of the Task Force, representing law societies from across Canada, are Susan Barber, Babak Barin, Professor Vern Krishna C.M., Q.C., Brenda Lutz, Douglas A. McGillivray, Q.C., Grant Mitchell, Q.C., Donald F. Thompson, Q.C., Alan D. Treleaven and Catherine S. Walker, Q.C.

The Federation is most interested in receiving input on the issues raised and questions asked in the consultation paper. Your written comments are requested by December 15, 2008. Please send comments to the attention of:

Federation of Law Societies of Canada
Task Force on the Canadian Common Law Degree
c/o Sophia Sperdakos, Policy Counsel
Law Society of Upper Canada
130 Queen Street West
Toronto, Ontario, M5H 2N6