On this page, you will learn about the complete process and requirements for how to become a lawyer in Saskatchewan. The process is split into two-stage where the first stage is the same throughout Canada, and the second stage is specific to Saskatchewan.
Requirements: Stage 1 of How to Become a Lawyer in Saskatchewan
This stage of becoming a lawyer in Saskatchewan is the same in every province and territory of Canada.
High School Diploma
As for many other professional occupations you need to start with finishing your secondary education.
Any Canadian law program is considered a graduate-level of university studies. Thus, you will at least need to complete a bachelor’s degree in order to apply for a JD program in Canada.
Before applying to Canadian law schools you will have to sit the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Your LSAT score will be taken into consideration when assessing your applications.
You must complete a law degree in order to practice law in Saskatchewan, and in other provinces and territories of Canada. You can complete your Juris Doctor (JD) in any law school in Canada or a foreign law school. If you have completed your degree from a foreign law school, you will have to receive assessment and recognition of it from the National Committee on Accreditation (NCA).
Did you know that you can finish law school in 2 years with a Graduate Entry LLB in the UK?
Applying to Law Schools
As in other provinces, you will have to apply to law school through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). It is often that for successful completion of the application form you will have to submit a personal statement, resume, letters of recommendation, and academic transcripts. For those applying to law schools in Saskatchewan, there is one law school in the province – USask Law.
Requirements: Stage 2 of How to Become a Lawyer in Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan is home to nearly 3,500 lawyers and the College of Law at the University of Saskatchewan, which caters for the majority of this provinces’ legal talent supply. The qualification process requires law graduates to complete the following:
- Practice Readiness Education Program; and
- A period of articling.
Although there is no formal deadline, it is advisable that graduates register promptly as students-at-law through completing the Application for Admission as Student-at-law at the application fee of CA$183.75.
In the process of doing so, your Canadian Common law degree from the University of Saskatchewan results will be communicated to the Saskatchewan Law Society to determine student eligibility. Common law degrees from other provinces need written confirmation as to their date of issue, whilst international law degrees must undergo a Certificate of Qualification conversion.
Practice Readiness Education Program
Crucially, Saskatchewan’s most important admission criterium is completing the Practice Readiness Education Program, known as PREP. PREP lasts nine months and is designed to equip entry-level lawyers with the necessary professional environment capabilities. The course covers foundational modules of Lawyers Skills, Practice and Self Management, and Professional Ethics and Character. The Foundation Workshops and Virtual Law Firm stages offer practical preparation for the final one-week Capstone assessment.
Articling Application Process in Saskatchewan
The bilateral process of applying for articling positions in Saskatchewan is as follows:
Application – easily submittable through the VI Portal or directly to firms. Applications are typically formed of a cover letter, a curriculum vitae, law degree and post-secondary academic transcripts and letters of reference or a list of references. Bear in mind that some vacancies and applications can be processed via Saskatchewan’s College of Law website.
Interview – Saskatchewan law firms will additionally contact successful candidates to schedule an interview compatible with the deadlines below.
Articling Application Deadlines in Saskatchewan: How to Become a Lawyer in Saskatchewan
Below are outlined the articling deadlines for Saskatchewan.
- VI Portal is open for application from early October to mid-November.
- Interviews are sent out shortly after in mid-November, a week before the virtual interviews were carried out in late November.
- In early December offers are sent out.
- The VI Portal begins receiving applications in mid-March and closes in mid-May, which is longer in length than what the other Canadian provinces offer.
- The interview stage is split into two phases – one that takes place in late May, followed by the second interview the day after.
- Offers are usually sent out at the beginning of June.
Is It Worth Becoming a Lawyer in Saskatchewan?
Saskatchewan binds together a balanced dive into the innovative future with respecting the traditions of cherishing the middle-sized and smaller law firms. Merchant Law Group LLP is just one example proving that small firms can become provincial leaders and expand beyond that into the adjacent Canadian territories.
This Western Canadian province is also famous for its amazing public sector career-starting opportunities, namely in the face of the articling roles towards the Saskatchewan Ministry of Justice and Attorney General. The Ministry raises a high bar for those consumed by the idea of completing an articling period in various divisions under the overarching scope of criminal law. Not to mention the inclusion of a good starting salary (CA$4,212 per month or just over CA$50,500 per annum).
The Ministry will also pay articling students’ fees towards registering in the Law Society. It will also pay for expenses, such as all the CPLED and reference materials (Bar Admission Course) fees, the full cost of Regina Bar Association Introduction of Students Dinners and the CBA student membership emoluments.
Saskatchewan has grounds of established equality in the weekly working hours between men and women – 48 hours for both genders (back in 2019). A relative egalitarian approach was taken towards financially appraising minority and non-minority groups as well – respectively, the former earned CA$50,000, whereas the latter made CA$49,000.
In conclusion, the Law Society of Saskatchewan produced an Articling Program Assessment Research Report (APARR). It confirmed that seven in ten articling students returned positive reviews of their articling experience. 90% of these also registered satisfaction with the law firm they articled with, therefore, are likely to share their opinions in persuading others to apply for articling in their firm. If that sounds good to you, then follow the articling recruitment deadlines to secure your place as an articling clerk in Saskatchewan.
By Georgi Minchev