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Law societies federation alters national requirement effective Jan. 1

Thursday, December 28, 2017 @ 11:11 AM | By John Chunn

After a comprehensive review, the Federation of Law Societies of Canada has announced revisions to the national requirement that will go into effect Jan. 1, 2018.

The national requirement specifies the competencies and skills graduates must have attained and the learning resources and academic programs that law schools must have in place. It applies to both new and existing Canadian common law programs and to internationally educated candidates whose qualifications are assessed by the National Committee on Accreditation (NCA).

Effective Jan. 1, the reference to “legal and fiduciary concepts in commercial relationships” will be deleted from the list of required private law knowledge competencies set out in paragraph 3.3(b) of Section B (Competency Requirements). In addition, the word “presumptively” will be removed from paragraph 1.1 of section C. The updated national requirement is available here.

As a result of the change to the national requirement, the NCA’s assessment policy has been revised to remove the requirement for all NCA candidates to demonstrate competence in business organizations.

The revised policy will apply to all NCA candidates whose files are ready to be assessed on or after Jan. 1, 2018.

The national requirement was adopted by the Council of the Federation in 2009. Approved by Canada’s law societies in 2010, it came into effect on Jan. 1, 2015. The national requirement must be reviewed at least every five years with the first review to be completed by 2018. The first review, carried out by the National Requirement Review Committee (NRRC), included consultation with a wide variety of stakeholders.

The NRRC’s report was issued in April 2017.