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U of Calgary launches foreign-trained lawyers program

Friday, May 28, 2021 @ 1:42 PM | By John Chunn

A new program offered by the Faculty of Law at the University of Calgary will help foreign-trained lawyers complete the education requirements to be able to practise law in Canada.

According to a news release from the university, the 12-month program gives students the opportunity to complete course requirements for the National Committee on Accreditation (NCA), network with legal professionals in Calgary and across Alberta, and move closer to joining the legal marketplace in Canada.

“We are extremely excited to launch our foreign-trained lawyers program, and to help improve access to justice in Alberta and across Canada,” said law school dean Dr. Ian Holloway in the university’s press release. “Demand for a program based in Calgary has been growing for a number of years, with calls from the Law Society of Alberta, the Canadian Bar Association and the Calgary Refugee and Immigrant Employment Council to develop training opportunities for internationally trained lawyers in southern Alberta.”

The program will begin in September 2021, with applications open from June 1 to July 1. The program includes six courses, offered in the evening, as well as professional development training, student support and mentorship, and articling and career placement assistance, which provides a comprehensive pathway for internationally trained lawyers to integrate into the Canadian legal services market.

The program will be of interest to international students who have obtained their legal education in other countries and/or are already practising law in other countries but wish to immigrate to Canada, or have already immigrated to Canada; Canadian citizens and permanent residents who have obtained their common law legal education outside of Canada; and Canadian citizens and permanent residents who have obtained a civil law degree within or outside Canada.

The Faculty of Law recently hired Dr. Kellinde Wrightson as the new associate professor and director of the Foreign-Trained Lawyers Program. A native Australian, Wrightson herself went through the process to become an accredited lawyer in Canada and understands the needs of these students.

“Our Foreign-Trained Lawyers Program is the only program of its kind in southern Alberta, and offers a high-quality education in Canadian common law and a unique two-term professional development course tailored to assist students develop their professional skills in such areas as professional writing and oral communication, writing resumés for articling positions, interviewing skills, marketing and promotion, networking events, and mentoring,” said Wrightson in the release. 

Applications for the program will open on June 1, 2021. More information can be found here.