How to Become a Corporate Lawyer in Canada

Last Updated on December 26, 2022 by

How To Become A Corporate Lawyer In Canada: The Essential Guide To Canadian Corporation Law For Lawyers and Paralegals could be the answer you’ve been waiting for. This simple, step-by-step guide covers all of the topics required to pass the National Canadian Law Exam (N.C.L.E.) and tackles questions like: What is a Corporate Lawyer? What is a Corporate Litigator? Why Do You Need A Corporate Lawyer? How Does A Corporate Lawyer Work? Why Isn’t Criminal law Important? How do I get my foot in the door with Corporate Law in Canada? Read on to find out more.

Details about corporate law school Canada, corporate lawyer in Canada salary, online law degree Canada and so much more can be found here. Feel free to keep reading to receive the most updated information. You will also discover related posts on how to become a lawyer, how long does it take to become a corporate lawyer and so much more right here on Collegelearners.

Are you interested in a career as a corporate lawyer? If so, you have come to the right place. Here at [company name], we specialize in helping people like yourself get into the legal field.

While there are many ways to become a corporate lawyer, one of the most common is by earning a law degree from an accredited school and passing the bar exam. However, this option can be challenging and costly for some people.

Another way to become a corporate lawyer is through an apprenticeship program that allows you to learn on the job with an experienced lawyer. This route has many benefits including lower costs and faster learning times than traditional education methods.

Because it’s hard for aspiring lawyers to know which path will work best for them, we’ve compiled this guide on how to become a corporate lawyer in Canada. This resource contains information about all three paths outlined above as well as tips for finding an apprenticeship opportunity or taking coursework online if those options interest you more than attending college full-time or studying law at university (which is also possible).

This guide will answer all your questions so that you can make an informed decision about how best to achieve your goals!

How to Become a Lawyer in canada for international students

To become a practicing lawyer in Canada, you need two to four years of a university program and a Juris Doctor/Bachelor of Laws degree from a recognized law school. Next, you must complete a period of articling, a bar admission course and exam, and be licensed in the province/territory where you plan to work. Expect a commitment of six to eight or more years.
Admission to law school is generally based on the following criteria:

High grade point average (GPA)

Some law schools require only two or three years of university study, while others prefer an undergraduate degree. Your application will likely be more competitive if you have completed your undergraduate degree. Consider selecting courses or a degree in which you have a strong interest, and include courses that will enhance and develop your skills in critical analysis, logical reasoning, written and oral communication. In addition, consider courses or a program that you can excel at to ensure your GPA is as high as possible to meet or exceed admission requirements. Athabasca University does not offer a law degree. Athabasca University offers many undergraduate courses and degrees to consider for the first phase of your education. .

Competitive LSAT score

LSAT (Law School Admissions Test) is a standardized test designed to measure certain skills necessary for success in law school. All Canadian and U.S. law schools require the standard LSAT. The test is administered by the Law School Admissions Counsel (LSAC).

Other admission criteria:

Other admission criteria may include letters of recommendation, work experience, community involvement, and a personal statement. Some schools have separate admissions categories for mature students and Indigenous students.

NOTE: This information is general in nature. Admission requirements to law programs vary from university to university. It is your responsibility to ensure your AU courses or degree will be accepted by the university you wish to attend. Review options for Canadian or American Law Schools.

Other factors:

Consider your own preferences and areas of interest when researching law schools. Just as a law school evaluates applicants for suitability, conduct your own law school research to identify those that best fit your own preferences and areas of interest.

Corporate Lawyer Salary

Next Steps

1. Research career information related to a career in law.

The following links contain information on duties, working conditions, skills, education, salary, employment prospects and opportunities:

2. Determine professional licensing requirements.

The educational requirements for registration may vary from province to province. Consult the Law Society for your home province.

  • Law Society of Alberta
  • Law Societies in Canada

3. Research post-secondary institutions you would like to attend.

Research post-secondary institutions offering a law degree. Review their calendar and admission requirements.

  • Alberta ALIS Educational Programs
  • Directory of Canadian Universities
  • The official Guide to Canadian Law Schools
  • Law Schools compiled by the American Bar Association
  • International Directory of Law Schools
  • School
  • Law School – Campus Access
  • Ivy Global LSAT

4. Contact an AU Counsellor

A counsellor can provide you with more information on this career path, and ensure the AU program you choose meets your goals. You can schedule a telephone appointment using the online appointment form,  email, or call 1-800-788-9041.

5. Become an AU Student

Once you complete these steps, you are ready to become an AU Student.

6. Contact an AU Academic Advisor.

Once you have applied and selected an AU program of study, Academic Advisors help you select courses and develop a program plan. (For courses or programs at another institution, you must contact that institution direct for assistance.)

Foreign lawyers in Canada: How to become Accredited by the NCA?

Corporate Lawyer in Canada Salary

Law FirmsStarting Salary (CAD)
Baker and McKenzie*$118,000
Blake, Cassels and Graydon$100,000
McCarthy Tetrault$114,000
Fogler, Rubinoff LLP*$92,500
Gardiner Roberts LLP*$80,000
Goodman and Carr$80,000
Heenan Blaikie$95,000
Norton Rose Fulbright$100,000
Miller Thompson LLP$95,000
Thompson, Rogers*$80,000

*Firms that provide bonuses on top of salary.

Training and education | Islamic Finance Resource

Top Careers for Law Graduates in Canada

With a law degree in Canada, students can work as an Advice Worker, Chartered Accountant, Civil Service Administrator, Data Analyst, Data Scientist, Forensic Computer Analyst, Human Resources Officer, Patent Attorney, Stockbroker or as a Trading Standards Officer.

The provision of legal services by lawyers in Canada is stratified into a number of market segments:

  • Sole practitioners;
  • Small and medium-sized firms;
  • Large regional or national firms;
  • Mega and multi-jurisdictional firms;
  • In-house counsel as well as lawyers working in other corporate areas;
  • Government and non-profit organizations.  

Some of the jobs for law graduates in Canada are:

Jobs for law graduates in CanadaAverage Annual Salaries (CAD)
Law Clerk52,800
Legal Assistant61,900
Research Assistant87,700
Lawyer cum paralegal instructor91,800
Associate Attorney150,000
Intellectual Property Speacialist120,000

Unsure about getting into practice? There are limitless job opportunities in Canada for students who do not want to practice law after the completion of their law education.   

Law Graduates Demand in Canada

When planning to pursue your career as a Lawyer or Quebec Notary in Canada, irrespective of where you have graduated from- Indian or Canadian Universities, you will be required to be a member of one of the law societies of Canada. Each Canadian province has at least one law society. Based on which province you want to find jobs as law graduates in Canada, you are required to be associated and governed by the respective provincial law society. There is an overall 14 provincial and territorial law societies in Canada. 

The expected outlook for jobs for Indian law graduates or law graduates from Canada is considered fairly good for each province within the country. As per 2018 reports, it was recorded that overall of 106,600 lawyers was working in Canada. These positions were held both national and international law graduates. 

As per the predictions of labor supply and demand by, 46,000 new jobs for law graduates are to arise in Canada within the time frame of 2019-2028. These jobs are expected to arise from both replacement and expansion demand, suggesting that you will not only get an opportunity to replace the retiring professional but new jobs will also find their way into the industry.

In the same report, it was also prompted that within the same time frame of 10 years the number of job seekers will reach around 46,600. The analysis of projected numbers released indicates that a balance is expected to continue in recent years for the labor supply and demand of the legal industry in Canada. 

Palm Coast Corporate Lawyer - Chiumento Law, PLLC

How To Become A Corporate Lawyer In Canada

Law is one of the essential pillars of democracy. Though it is quite tough to crack CLAT exam, the hurdles may inspire many students to attempt the herculean task to be a successful lawyer.

What corporate lawyers have to do?

There are so many compartments in this discipline. Corporate law is one of the lucrative subsets of them. Corporate lawyers have to know all aspects about commercial transaction. They should have knowledge of accounting, bankruptcy, licensing tax law etc. Corporate law is the body of law as well as rules and regulations administrating formation and function of a corporation. Now you may ask what is corporation. Corporation is a legal body whose principal task is to conduct business. It has its own legal responsibilities and rights. A corporate lawyer should be liable to the corporate world. Most corporate lawyers work for law firms.

How to become a corporate lawyer?

First of all, you have to take an admission in a renowned law school. For that, you have to pass relative exams. While preparing for the exam, you can take a part-time job at a local law firm. It will help to understand the entire scenario. After admitting in a law school, you should take classes on taxation law or business. Obtaining the law degree, you should extend your education to become a corporate lawyer. You can complete Masters of Laws (LLM). It is a globally recognized law degree which will enhance your probability to become a successful corporate lawyer.

Corporate lawyer in Canada

You have to complete three years Bachelor’s degree, prior to entering law school. Students of BA or BS degree can apply for entry into Canadian law school. But first of all, you have to pass the Law School Admission Test or LSAT to be a member of Canadian law school. Here we should remember that Canadian education system is regulated on a provincial level. So questions or exam pattern may vary from province to province. You can first decide on a law school and contact. Tax consultation service in Toronto is a highly demanding sector. You can opt for University of Toronto Faculty of Law. After obtaining a degree from here, you have to do ‘articling’ or 10 month apprenticeship. Find a firm related with corporate work. It will help you to become a successful corporate lawyer.

Corporate law is a field where you have to face tough competition. So work hard to cherish your dreams!

How Foreign And Domestic Law Graduates Can Compete In A Tight Legal Market

How long does it take to Become a Corporate Lawyer in Canada

There are a few ways to become a corporate lawyer in Canada. One is to attend law school there, get your degree and license, then specialize in corporate law. Another is to get your law license in the United States, move to Canada and qualify as a Canadian attorney. A corporate lawyer can work as an in-house company lawyer, or for a law firm specializing in corporate law.


Once you graduate college, take the LSAT to qualify you for Canadian law school. After you graduate, study for and then take the bar exam.

Getting Your License

To get into a Canadian law school, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree or at least 90 hours of coursework. Each school sets its own standards; if you have a school in mind, contact them or visit the website to find out what they want from applicants. Any law school you attend will require you pass the LSAT, the SAT test for law students. Once you’re in, you’ll need to finish a Bachelor of Laws or Juris Doctor program to qualify for bar membership. That typically takes three years.

After you graduate, you study for the bar exam. Each Canadian province sets its own requirements. In Ontario, even if you’re only interested in business law, you’ll have to study other topics, such as real estate, wills, family law and constitutional law. You’ll actually have to take two exams: one for barristers – litigators – and one for solicitors. Then comes “articling,” a 10-month apprenticeship under a licensed lawyer. If you perform satisfactorily, your province’s law society will call you to the bar.

Become a Corporate Lawyer

Articling isn’t just about getting credentialed. It’s also your chance to get your feet wet. Find a firm that does corporate work, even if it’s a small one, and ask about articling there. The ideal firm will give you a chance to work in different areas, such as mergers, finance and insolvency law, perhaps trying both solicitor and barrister work. Some provinces will let you article at more than one firm so you can broaden your experience. You’ll get the hands-on training you need along with connections that can help you find a job, and you’ll learn what area of Canadian corporate law you like best.

Moving North

If you got your law degree in the United States, or even if you have an established corporate U.S. practice, you’ll have to prove yourself all over again in Canada. First, apply to the Federation of Law Societies in Canada (NCA) for accreditation. Even if you’ve already studied up on laws such as the Canada Business Corporations Act, the NCA may test you to confirm your qualifications. Next, take the Canadian bar exam for the province you want to move to. After you pass, you join the province’s law society. The society can waive articling for an experienced lawyer, but it’s a case-by-case decision.

How to Become a Corporate Lawyer in Canada

How to Be a corporate Lawyer in Canada

Before we dive further into the details of jobs for law graduates in Canada, let us have a brief overview of what is required to become a practicing lawyer in Canada. Whether you wish to study in Canada or your home country, the beginning to the process is similar, which is, getting an undergraduate pre-law major. Now if you plan on completing LLB from Canada, you will have to follow the route given below

  • Apply for LSAT exam for getting your place with Canadian Law Schools
  • Get your law degree from an accredited law school. You can choose to study Joint, One-year, or Dual programs offered at these law schools.
  • Now, you will need to complete the province’s Bar Admission Course
  • Following this, you will need to take-up CPLED (Canadian Center for Professional Legal Education) Bar Admission Courses and pass the bar admission examination. 
  • You are now eligible for membership with law societies.

In case you have completed your law education from a foreign educational institution, you will need to present your education to NCA (National Committee on Accreditation) and get is assessed. After the assessment, you will be required to sit for NCA exam. On fulfilling the NCA requirements you an request a Certificate of Qualification, which can be used to get into the Bar Admission Process.

Jobs for Law Graduates in Canada

Canada offers several job opportunities in various fields of law education. Most of your opportunities for working as a lawyer in Canada will be within three broader categories- Private practice, working with the government, or working public interest. A practicing lawyer as per earns between 37,000-294,000 depending on the firm, level of experience, province/city in which you work, and other such factors. Some of the highest paying provinces are Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia. Among these provinces, the highest paying cities are Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Ottawa. Given below is a graphical representation of the highest paying cities for law graduates in Canada:

Note: The salaries given also include bonus values and are an annual average. The wages offered may vary depending on the firm and other factors.

As we can see, Toronto and Montreal are the highest paying cities for a lawyer, finding out the firms in Toronto and Montreal that will offer you a handsome package will help in shortlisting your options. Some prominent law firms in Toronto and Montreal along with their salaries are discussed below:

Other Jobs for Law Graduates in Canada

After completion of your law degree, if you decide not to continue as a practicing lawyer there are five major sectors you can explore: 

  • Education and Academic Administration: Apart from teaching in a college or a university, students can also opt for non-teaching positions in the universities. Law schools, in Canada welcome legally-trained individuals to work in admissions, alumni relations, career services and law libraries.
  • Banking and Finance: f the students have any experience in securities, trusts and estates, tax or banking law, then they can use it in banking and finance industry. Career options include that of a Risk Manager, estate planning advisor, trust officer, financial planner, commercial loans officer and mutual fund administrator.
  • Conflict Resolution: Fields such as arbitration, mediation, and negotiation are growing. Individuals with strong communication and dispute resolution skills get hired by labor unions, hospitals, school associations, universities, and government agencies.
  • Government and Politics: In provincial and federal governments, lawyers often get hired as policy analysts. They gather and research information and analyze issues in written reports. They coordinate in developing strategic policy. Issues in the policy will be related to health, transportation, education, and environment.     
  • Human Resources: Companies look for talented professionals to recruit new staff. Lawyers van also work as hiring coordinators, human resources administrators, or training manager. Other career options like law firm administrator, head of associate recruiting, marketing director, etc. are also open.
  • Legal Consulting: If a student is tech-savvy, then he can use his knowledge about legal software to work as an IT consultant. Option of a legal nurse consultant is also available if a student has a nursing background.  
  • Legal Writing, Editing, and Publishing: Several lawyers use their research skills and work as freelance legal writers and editors. They not only contribute articles for legal publications but also write do-it-yourself law books. In Canada, you can also work as a columnist for newspapers and magazines or write content for law firm websites.

Salaries offered at such job roles are as follows:

Job RoleAnnual Average Salary (CAD)
Law Professor149,000
Paralegal Instructor90,700
Legal Writer/Editor111,000
Contracts Manager129,000
Fraud Examiner134,000

Apart from these, a law degree can also be useful for you if you want to make career in non-traditional jobs. These jobs include that of an Administrator, Investigator, lobbyist, ethics officer, probation officer, consumer advocate, law librarian, auditor, etc. Skills valued the most in law, in Canada include handling volumes of work, understanding the importance of client service, understanding the value of getting clients back promptly, a disciplined work ethic, and paying attention to detail. 

As far as the law jobs are concerned in Canada, the clients now expect more say in the services provided. As an increasing number of lawyers and non-lawyers are entering the marketplace, the trend may even become more pronounced. With the rise in need, the jobs for law graduates in Canada are becoming more and more pronounced. Recruitment firms such as Life After Law, Counsel Network, ZSA, RainMaker Group, Robert Half Legal, Marsden International, or NagataConnex Executive Legal Search specialize in placing lawyers in the Canadian marketplace. Skills valued the most in law, in Canada include handling volumes of work, understanding the importance of client service, understanding the value of getting clients back promptly, a disciplined work ethic, and paying attention to detail. 

The country’s welcoming behavior for international lawyers also makes it easy for Indian law graduates to find a job in Canada. Additionally as lawyers are categorized as skilled workers obtaining a PR for Canada is also easier for an employed lawyer with an international law degree. 

The process of becoming a corporate lawyer in Canada is not only rigorous, it’s also time-consuming. If you’re serious about becoming a corporate lawyer in Canada, then you need to be prepared to commit yourself to the process.

You’ll need to make sure that you have the legal education required by law schools and colleges. You’ll also need to take a number of exams, including the LSAT and LSAT Subject Test. And once you’ve completed all your studies and earned your degree, you’ll need to apply for admission into law school or college.

Once accepted into law school or college, you’ll be able to continue working on your legal education. You’ll study corporate law as well as other areas of law like criminal law and family law. And after graduating from law school or college with good grades, you’ll need to take another exam called the Bar Admission Course (BCC).

This exam assesses your ability to think critically about various issues that may come up at work—and it’s designed specifically for those who want careers in corporate law! If successful, this will allow you to practice as a lawyer in Canada without having gone through any apprenticeship programs first (which is usually required for most professions).


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