Law Basics 101

Before becoming a barrister or solicitor, students must answer affirmative to the Barristers’ and Solicitor’s oath, which follows:

Do you sincerely promise and swear (or affirm) that you will diligently, faithfully and to the best of your ability execute the offices of Barrister and Solicitor; that you will not promote suits upon frivolous pretences; that you will not pervert the law to favour or prejudice anyone; but in all things conduct yourselves truly and with integrity; and that you will uphold the rule of the law and the rights and freedoms of all persons according to the laws of Canada and the Province of British Columbia?

After they complete all the training they need, there are various fields of law that they can choose from. Most of them are categorized like this:

Law in the Public Interest: This allows them to work in the public’s interest, meaning that they will be working for public interested groups, or doing legal aid work.

Private Practice: Where they will be working for individual clients, people, or corporations. They may work with small law firms, or in law firms with over 100 lawyers. They often specialize in an area of the law ranging from corporate law or family law.

Government: Those working with the government means that they will have the government as their client. They could prosecute criminals, defend them, or work for a specific ministry.

Each province or territory has regulations (rules for admission, or rules for foreign practitioners wanting to transfer to Canada) for the lawyers inside of its boundaries.

To qualify (or re-qualify) to practice law, you must first apply to the National Committee on Accreditation for a certificate. This certificate is nationally accepted (except for Quebec) when territories or provinces assess candidates for admission to their bar. The NCA looks at the subjects that have been studied, the markings received, and the standing of the student. After the future practitioner gets the certificate, they must apply to the law society in the province or territory where they plan on practising the law.