Before moving toward How to become a lawyer in Ontario, you need to understand what a lawyer is,
A lawyer is a licensed person who advises and helps people with their legal matters. That’s very general right, there are different types of paths you can go down, different types of law you can practice, and many things you can do as a licensed attorney and a lawyer in Canada.
In order to become a lawyer in Ontario province of Canada, you will need to follow some of the steps. It’s a complete process that usually starts in high school and ends in Law School.
The work and job of a lawyer are really difficult and it is a job of responsibility.
Become a Lawyer in Ontario: 9 Things to Know
Without proper guidance and understanding, it will be difficult to become a lawyer. If you want to become a lawyer in Ontario, then this article is going to be a great one. Here you get the whole information from getting to high school to becoming a lawyer. So let’s start with high school and what you can do in high school if you think you might want to become a lawyer.
1. What Should You Do in High School?
In high school, your focus should be getting into a good college. Okay because that’s going to come in handy when it’s time to get into law school. Getting into the best college you can get should be your number 1 priority.
But, what does that mean?
Do everything you can to get the best grades you can in high school, so you can get into a good college. In high school, you should be not focused on what type of lawyer you want to become. That really doesn’t need to be your focus, because you’re very early in the process. At this point, you don’t even need to be sure you want to go to law school and be a lawyer.
But if you think you might, these are the things that you should be focusing on:-
- Getting Good Grades
- Doing internships and extracurricular activities.
- Things you can do that are more lawyer geared. (like Debate)
As far as internships, if you have an opportunity to maybe intern at some law firms or any sort of legal entity that’s cool but it’s not required. Again you’re very early in the stage. Your main focus should be getting into the best college you can and trying to get as much scholarship money as you can, so you don’t have to take out student loans or lessen the burden of your parents to pay for your education.
These internships can be done at any corporate law office.
With your high schooling, you need to be focusing on SAT which is the college entrance exam. Ideally, you should start thinking about that your junior year that way you kind of have scores and that way you kind of know what your options are as far as for you. Your SAT along with your GPA is going to determine what kind of college you can get into.
2. What Should be the Things to Focus on in Undergraduate Degree?
Now we get to college. Now you’re in college what should you be focusing on? Similar to high school you should be focusing on your grades in your undergraduate degree. GPA is a huge determining factor in what law school you’re going to. Try to achieve the best grades you can in the undergraduate degree.
From day one your grade should be a focus point. College is all about experiences, having fun, trying new things, and meeting new people and those are all important but do not lose sight of why you are there. You’re there to get a great education so you can have whatever career you want and particularly if you want to be a lawyer you have to go to college, you have to graduate from college so you can get into law school.
Most Canadian law schools in Canada accept authorized or recognized colleges or universities.
3. College Experience and the Law Society.
Much like high school, your college experience should be preparing you to present yourself as a package to law school right. You’re going to present an application to law school and they’re going to look at certain things so, you should also be focusing on extracurriculars that are going to look good on your law school application.
Again if you want to gear more towards law school and become a lawyer in Canada then get involved in pre-law societies such as UTPreLaw, or can enroll in Ontario’s Law Practice Program for more handful experience in an internship with law firms, the government, or any sort of legal entity that you can find which will give you a good experience.
Law Practice Program is a four-month training course that will give a lot of knowledge about how a lawyer does his work.
3.1 Community Services
Community service, for example, you wanted to be someone who helps domestic violence survivors so, maybe volunteering at shelters or for other entities that help survivors of domestic violence. That way the things you’ve done and your experiences back up what you say that you want that application.
3.2 Exploring Law School
Another thing you should be doing is exploring law schools in the legal field to make sure it’s what you want to do. Law school is a huge commitment and a legal career is a very demanding career. Watching videos on YouTube, reaching out to people on LinkedIn for informational interviews, reaching out to any lawyers about what their experience is what types of law there are, and just understanding what you are possibly getting yourself into.
Once, you’re sure about wanting to go to law school and be a lawyer you should be exploring law school okays. You should have a good knowledge about the top law school so that you can aim for it
Explore those law schools and learn all you can take up all the information you can about law school and the legal field.
4. Law School Admission Test (LSAT)
Another thing that you’ll need to do is take the LSAT and that’s the law school admissions test. It’s similar to the SAT but it’s for your admission to law school. The LSAT score will be the determining factor for your admission to the law school or not. Your LSAT score and your grade score will decide which law school you will get into.
If you want to go to a top Law school, you need to look at those schools’ requirements to see what grades and what else that score you should be aiming for. If you know you want to go to a particular school, knowing and exploring those schools will allow you to make goals for yourself for grades as well as the LSAT.
It is a mandatory step for getting admission to a Canadian law school. Now there are a bunch of courses out there and the prices range is different. It’s an investment, your LSAT score will help determine what kind of law school you can get into.
Now after completing the undergraduate degree and the LSAT Test, you are ready for Law School.
5. Law School Applications and the Application Process.
The law school application process is the next step for you to become a lawyer. You have to submit the application regarding the law school admission, and you will likely submit a resume, along with the fees.
There are all sorts of ravers and things like that, but yes your law school application, then you’re putting out law school application to law schools. It is recommended that you should be doing that the second semester of your junior year or the first semester of your senior year because at that point you have a good amounts worth of classes to go into your GPA, as well as you’ve already taken the offside and have hopefully gotten a decent score or a score that you’re comfortable with to apply to law schools.
On that note, you should absolutely be applying to scholarships as well as you know applying to those law schools. Whether that be through academic scholarships directly with the law schools that you got or the college that you go to or you know just a one-off scholarship.
There are so many scholarships out here guys you just have to look for them just google them and apply for the one which suits you the best and the one which is fit for you.
6. In Law School to Practice Law.
You’ve applied, got in, found your housing, moved to wherever you need to move and you’re starting your first year to practice law. It will be mostly legal research work in the first year. It is mostly a three-year course. There are part-time options but most people go full time you have your 1l 2l and 3l year.
Once you get past your first year, a lot of people will work during the school semesters. The summer is an important time for your internship.
The summer is a good time for law students as you will be going through the OCI. It stands for on-campus interviews, you will interview with law firms, government jobs, and entities looking for legal internists to try to secure internships, associateships, and externship positions in order to get legal experience.
However, if you don’t get the chance to participate in on-campus interviews, there are all sorts of things you can do:-
- You can go for resume jobs.
- Check out many websites which regularly post about internships.
- Contact the counsellor of the college as they have a collection or a bunch of many websites which post about the internships regularly.
7. Networking and Involvement in Other Things.
The one thing that you should be focused on in college is networking. There are so many things that you can be involved in law schools there are tons of legal organizations you can join.
You can do clinics. If you’re interested in transactional work that gives you exposure to the more transactional types of work such as drafting contracts and negotiating contracts because that is not as common in law school.
8. Bar Exam
The requirements vary state by state, but in every state, you have to pass what they call the Bar exam. You need to pass the Bar Exam in order to get a license as a lawyer or to become a lawyer in Canada.
So after graduating from law school, you need to start preparing for the Bar Exam which in most cases happens after two months of graduation.
There are basically two sections in the Bar exam:-
- Barrister Examination tests:- criminal law, public law, civil procedure, family law, and professional responsibility.
- Solicitor examination tests:- business law, ethical and professional responsibilities.
9. Application Process
In addition to the bar exam, you also have to submit an application that needs to be admitted, and then there will be a fitness and character check. You have to tell them anything that kind of goes against your moral character to make sure that you refit to be a lawyer.
Another test that you have to take is much easier and less intense and it’s just a multiple choice it’s called the MPRE.
MPRE is a multi-state professional responsibility examination. Now you’ve taken your bar exam, you submitted your application, and you’re just waiting on your bar exam results.
This was the complete pathway to becoming a lawyer in Ontario or majorly Canada. The one thing that you need to have in your mind is to study hard and have a good grade because that is going to make the process a lot easier.