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How Long Does It Take to Become a Lawyer?

June 12, 2022BY Immigrationincanada

If you have a strong passion for justice, compassion for the victim and a willingness to work hard, you must have thought about becoming a lawyer.

And so, the most important question arises – how long does it take to become a lawyer?

Now the answer can vary from person to person. Completing the study period of a lawyer would take six to seven years. And for some people, it may take more than that who want to practice in the legal field before entering law school.

Here is everything you need to know about the study plan for becoming a lawyer.

What Degree Do You Need to Become a Lawyer in Canada?

Before pursuing a career in the law department in Canada, you will need to complete the required degrees. Depending on the degree, you can calculate how long it takes to become a lawyer in Canada.

The requirements for becoming a lawyer in Canada are as follows:

  1. Undergraduate degree from a recognized university after completing high school studies. Or, a Bachelor’s Degree from a reputed law school combined with a college program
  2. Successfully passed Bar Exam
  3. A certain period of working as an articling student (a period when you will work with a legal service team to learn legal research, drafting memoranda or letters)

On the other hand, if you want to work as a Notary, you will need the following Degrees:

  1. You will need to complete a Bachelor’s Degree and a Diploma Degree in Notarial Law (DDN) Or
  2. You have to obtain a Master’s degree in Law (specialized in Notarial Law) and a certificate from a vocational training program of 32-week.

What Steps Do You Need to Follow to Become a Lawyer in Canada?

You will need at least three years to complete the undergraduate degree of Law called—Juris Doctor. You need to follow the below step-by-step instruction:

  • Step 01: Graduate with a diploma from your high school
  • Step 02: Obtain an undergraduate/bachelor’s degree
  • Step 03: Prepare for and take the LSAT exam
  • Step 04: Get admitted to a law school
  • Step 05: Earn the law/JD Degree
  • Step 06: Pass the bar exam to become licensed
  • Step 07: Work as a lawyer

How Long Does It Take to Become a Lawyer in Canada?

If you are still confused about the time duration you need to consider for studying, let us break it down.

Stage 01: Completion of Undergraduate Degree:

Estimated Time: Three to four years

The surprising fact about being a lawyer is – you don’t need to study specifically Law for your undergraduate degree. Almost all undergraduate degrees take four years to complete. So, as a first step, you need to complete the Bachelor’s Degree successfully.

Although there is no specific requirement for your undergrad study, you can choose any departments below to study. But it is better to learn in a major related to the sector of Law you want to practice. Try to choose a major that you will enjoy researching, exploring, conducting critical discussion, preparing a speech or writing papers on.

Among these majors, you can choose either one or two:

  • History
  • English
  • Economics
  • Sociology
  • Philosophy
  • Journalism
  • Criminal justice
  • Political Science
  • Business administration

Studying the subjects mentioned above will prepare you to face the difficulty of studying Law. Also, you should select business studies or management if you want to go for corporate Law.

Remember that your grade points in the undergrad will help you get admitted to your desired law school.

Know More: How to Become an Immigration Lawyer in Canada

Stage 02: Prepare for the LSAT

Estimated Time: Six months to a year

Also, if you decide to be a lawyer, you should prepare for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). LSAT is a test to analyze your argumentation skill, logical and critical analysis, thinking and reasoning, and other additional skills required to be a lawyer.

Eventually, your CGPA, LSAT score, letter of recommendation, and experiences in speech, writing and leadership will determine whether you are ready to be a law student or not.

To obtain the highest score on your LSAT test, you should consider preparing with a pre-law program. Since the LSAT test is competitive, you must study hard in your undergrad. You can try looking for a tutor available at your university or college, study groups or online resources.

Also, check out the LSAT resources for preparing yourself. And do not get disheartened when you get a low score on the first exam. Study again and take a retest to reach a satisfactory score.

Many students prefer to get additional diploma degrees in more than one related field to prepare for law school.

Stage 03: Earn Your Juris Doctor Degree from Law School

Estimated Time: Three years

Everyone asks a typical question – is it hard to become a lawyer? The answer is yes. From the very beginning of studying Law, hard work and dedication to studies will be required.

After a year of preparation and study for the LSAT test, you will be able to get admitted to a law school. You will have to study for the Juris Doctor Degree at this stage.

The foundation courses you will learn in the law school consists of the following majors:

  • Property Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Constitutional Law
  • Civil rights Law
  • Contract Law
  • Torts
  • Legal writing and research
  • Courtroom procedures

After completing the core courses, you will need to choose the topics related to your career and the field you want to practice in the long run.

The law school will provide courses to develop such expertise.

  • Family law
  • Administrative laws
  • Labour law
  • Human rights
  • Tax Law
  • Patent Law

Additional skills you need to build:

  • Legal writing
  • Legal research
  • Practical experience in internships

Stage 04: Pass the Bar Exam

Estimated time: 9 to 12 months after completing the JD Degree

You are almost at the end of your journey of becoming a lawyer. The last test you must take after studying in law school is the Bar exam. You may need to take more than one bar exam to practice in different provinces in Canada.

Every province in Canada has separate bar exams you will have to attend while switching places. To pass the bar exam successfully, you may try to obtain work experience to help you with the exam questions.

The internship is known as articling. You will need to work under a licensed lawyer supervising the training. This internship will help you understand any loopholes you missed during your study.

Final Stage: Apply for a Job Post as a Lawyer:

When you can successfully defend the bar exam, all that remains is initiating your career as a lawyer. You will have to start as an associate in a law firm. Or you can create your law firm.

And if you want to become a judge instead of a lawyer, you still have a long way to go. You can practice Law in three fields-

  1. Law in the public interest
  2. Private practice
  3. Government

Additional Degrees You Can Get:

Lawyers who want to do more research in specialized subjects must continue studying at the postgraduate level.

You can still obtain the following degrees for higher studies in Law:

  1. Masters of Law or LLM programs that require almost two years
  2. Doctor of Philosophy will take 4 to 8 years to complete.


So the straight answer, how long does it take to become a lawyer, is more or less seven years to become a successful lawyer. The sad part is that lawyers must learn throughout their careers to sharpen their knowledge on various cases and critical situations.

Therefore, people who have the patience to study hard and can work in a law firm along with study should go for this career. You can always choose to study only, but it will help you understand the cases more intensely when you work simultaneously.


We have added a frequently asked questions section to help you with the questions you may have in your mind.

How many years will it take to become a lawyer?

If you can complete the undergraduate in four years and law school in three years, it will take seven years to become a lawyer. Additional few years may add if you want to experience the legal field before applying for the law school.

Do lawyers make good money in Canada?

Lawyers in Canada receive a good sum of money. They receive $51.28 for every hour of their service and $100,000 every year.

How much does law school cost in Canada?

The cost of tuition for Canadians and international students varies a lot. Canadian students need to pay $12,597, whereas international students make $22,531 per year. The average total cost of law school in three years is $205,744.

What kind of lawyer makes the most?

Medical Lawyers are one of the highest-paid lawyers in Canada. In the legal field, they make $138,431 on average. After that, intellectual property lawyers, trial lawyers, and tax lawyers make the most money a lawyer.

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