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Melvaarde

UNISA LLB Degree accreditation by NCA

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Melvaarde

Good day

I would like to find out if there are any lawyers that obtained his or her LLB degree through UNISA and immigrated to Canada (and had the degree assessed by ÑCA) after 2015. The reason for this is that 2015 the NCA policies for assessment had changed and a long distance degree is not an acceptable mode of study anymore but there are ways to satisfy the deficiency and I would like to get advice from someone who had gone through that on how to continue forward. Thank you Mel?

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Hopefully yours

Hi @Melvaarde, I obtained my LL.B degree through UP and I haven't had my degree assessed through NCA yet, but from reading their website you can meet the requirements by doing a 2 year in-class study with a few Canadian Law subjects at an approved Canadian law school or should you wish to do a 2 year in-class course (LL.M i.e.) in SA, you can meet the requirements by writing the corresponding NCA examinations. However, if I were you, I would contact them via email (info@flsc.ca) or 001 613 236 7272 and get the correct information. Please keep us updated for future applicants sake...

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Petronel

Hi @Melvaarde. We have the same problem! My degree is through Tuks so we shouldn't have a problem. Hubby's LLB is through UNISA. From my research it seems he would have to go to UNI that side for a whole 2 years! That is just insane! I would also have to write the NCA subjects but at least we can start that from this side. We haven't sent our stuff to NCA yet as we sort of lost hope on both being admitted that side. Please keep us posted if you do send your degrees for evaluation!

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Melvaarde

I will email them today. According to their guidelines it seems like extra education and practical experience does compensate a bit so if that helps you guys. Ive literally just finished my degree so I dont have either ?! But I will post any response from them. But as per the TUKS and UP degrees according to some of the attorneys I spoke to in Canada you will need to do 9 subjects eg Constitutional, Tort, crim etc and then bar exam. But again they immigrated prior to 2015, so there might be some changes. 

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Petronel

Thanks @Melvaarde. We didn't get round to mailing them yet. Will be interesting to hear what they say! 9 Subjects is still a lot!

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Moni5

Hi @Melvaarde I obtained my LLB through Unisa and have been practising for 2 years. Please let me know if you hear anything from NCA. I'll try to contact them as well. 

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Melvaarde
1 hour ago, Moni5 said:

Hi @Melvaarde I obtained my LLB through Unisa and have been practising for 2 years. Please let me know if you hear anything from NCA. I'll try to contact them as well. 

Hi moni. Will do. Are you practising in canada or SA? 

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Moni5

@Melvaarde - Practising in SA. 

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Petronel

This is from the NCA website FAQ:

10. Why has the NCA requirement for a distance education degree changed from 8 one-semester courses at a Canadian law school and six NCA challenge exams to two years of in-class study at an approved common law institution?

The NCA requirement for distance education has changed in order to comply with the National Requirement, which came into effect in January 2015.  The National Requirement is a uniform standard that graduates of Canadian common law programs must meet to enter law society admission programs. It specifies the competencies and skills graduates must have attained and the law school academic program and learning resources law schools must have in place. The National Requirement applies to graduates of existing and prospective Canadian law schools and NCA candidates.

With respect to what constitutes a Canadian law degree, the National Requirement states that:

  • The law school’s academic program for the study of law consists of three academic years or its equivalent in course credits.
  • The course of study consists primarily of in-person instruction and learning and/or instruction and learning that involves direct interaction between instructor and students.

Primarily is defined as two-thirds (or two years) therefore, all candidates must complete two years of in-class instruction during their legal education.

11. I obtained my qualifying law degree through a distance education program.  How can I meet the NCA policy requirements of fulfilling the two year in-class requirement?

In order to meet the NCA policy requirement for distance education, you must complete two full years of in-class study as outlined in section 1.3.2.2.4 of the NCA’s Policies and Guidelines. This course of study must include successful completion of the following NCA core subjects:  Canadian Administrative Law, Canadian Constitutional Law, Canadian Criminal Law, Foundations of Canadian law, Canadian Professional Responsibility, Contracts, Torts, Property and Business Organizations, plus any other NCA approved courses to total two years of study. Such courses may include: Family Law, Remedies, Taxation, Evidence, Civil Procedure, Commercial Law, Trusts and Real Estate.

If you are not able to meet all of the nine NCA core subject areas requirements within your two years of in-class attendance at an approved law school, you will be required to complete the outstanding requirements by writing the corresponding NCA challenge exams.

Please note that the five mandatory Canadian subject areas must be taken at an approved Canadian law school or, if you have already completed the two-year in-class requirement, by writing the corresponding NCA examinations.

You could consider any of the following options to complete requirements:

  1. One year of an LL.M., plus a Legal Practise Course (LPC) or Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) in the UK.
  2. Two one-year LL.M. programs (If you choose this option, you could complete an LL.M. at any approved law school in any common law jurisdiction, however, you would need to take the five mandatory Canadian subject areas at an approved Canadian law school, or successfully complete the five corresponding NCA challenge exams after completing two full years of in-class study).
  3. One two-year LL.M. program

All NCA applicants are responsible for researching options to meet the two-year in-class requirement and are required to seek pre-approval from the NCA with respect to their course selection to ensure that the courses they intend to take fulfill the NCA requirements assigned.  To seek pre-approval, simply prepare a proposed plan of study and forward it to nca@flsc.ca.

 

 

This is why we haven't spent the money on an assessment yet because we pretty much know what they are going to say! :-(

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Petronel

@Melvaarde have you received any feedback on this? We will be getting into the EE pool soon and need to make some decisions.....

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Melvaarde

No petronel. No response from NCA. Been too busy with husbands doc's and registration to even sent requests again. Sorry

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Petronel

No problem @Melvaarde! Once you get going with the admin on immigration it just takes over your life! :o

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Melvaarde

Hahaha I know! And I have hubby's engineering registration as priority number 1 therefore my qualification accreditation has to take the back seat🙈

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Melvaarde

Morning Petronel. What a coincidence..the NCA responded last night with the following: Distance Education Policy
If you have received your law degree through distance education, please consult section 1.3.2.2.1 on page 4 of the National Committee on Accreditation’s (NCA) Policies and Guidelines document (http://flsc.ca/national-committee-on-accreditation-nca/nca-resources/policies-and-guidelines/), as well as section 1.3.2.2.4. on page 5. These policies outline institutional and distance education requirements, respectively.  Please note that NCA’s policies are subject to change from time to time.  All applicants will be assessed according to the policies in place at the time of their assessment.

In-class Study Completed as Part of Distance Education Program
Attendance in-class at a local satellite campus may affect the outcome of your assessment, but an assessment must be completed to determine if that is the case.  If you have participated by means of in-class sessions, in addition to submitting the documentation outlined in the Assessment Application, you are required to have the institution where you studied send a letter directly to the NCA outlining the nature of the in-class study, the subject areas covered and the number of hours spent in class. Regarding the University of London, please note that the in-class component may only be recognized for those institutions that hold affiliate status.
Meeting the NCA Requirements for Distance Education
In order to meet the NCA policy requirement for distance education, you must complete two full years of in-class study at an approved law school. This course of study must include successful completion of the following NCA core subjects:  Canadian Administrative Law, Canadian Constitutional Law, Canadian Criminal Law, Foundations of Canadian Law, Canadian Professional Responsibility, Contracts, Torts, Property and Business Organizations, plus any other NCA approved courses for a total of two years of study. Such courses may include: Family Law, Remedies, Taxation, Evidence, Civil Procedure, Commercial Law, Trusts and Real Estate.
 
Options Available
You could consider any of the following options to complete your requirements:

1. One year of an LL.M., plus a Legal Practice Course (LPC) or a Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) in the UK;
2. Two one-year LL.M. programs (if you choose this option, you could complete an LL.M. at any approved law school in a common law jurisdiction, however, you would need to take the five mandatory Canadian subject areas at an approved Canadian law school or write the corresponding challenge exams after the two years of in-class study); or
3. One two-year LL.M. program.

Applying for Assessment
If you wish to proceed with an assessment by the NCA, please fill out the Assessment Application form (http://flsc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/forms1.pdf) and forward it to our office, along with payment of $410 Canadian plus applicable taxes (credit card only) and a current C.V. You may also include original copies of any pre-law university education transcripts. Any documents with respect to your legal education or licensure are considered official documents and must be forwarded from the issuing institutions (see page 2 of the application form).

The result of the assessment will inform you of the courses/requirements you need to fulfill to become accredited in common law jurisdictions in Canada.

Upon Completion of Your Requirements
Upon successfully completing your NCA requirements by the stipulated deadline (typically five years), you will receive a Certificate of Qualification (not a Canadian law degree, but the equivalency to a Canadian law degree). At this time, you may approach the law society (common law) of your choice to begin your Bar admission process.

Please direct any articling/licensing inquiries to the law society of the province or territory where you wish to practice (http://flsc.ca/about-us/our-members-canadas-law-societies/).

I trust this information has been of assistance. If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact our office again

Sincerely,

Assessment Department

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Petronel

Thanks @Melvaarde! It is as we feared...2 years of study and then the bar exam for hubby! Not good news!

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Melvaarde

Maybe his practical experience will count some points. (Trying to be positive☺) Will keep you updated if I hear anything more.

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Petronel

We will cross that bridge when we get there! Still waiting for hubby's WES and my IELTS results. Then we will be able to get into the EE pool and see what our final score is. The we will start making decisions on law accreditation

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Luis Dos Santos

Hi all,

 

Just some info about the LLB degrees and the NCA. I had my TUKS degree evaluated by the NCA and was given 9 modules to complete. I'm currently studying and completing them as we speak. I'm working full time so I decided to split my exams over 3 sessions. I'm writing 2 now on the 24th and 25th of October. Completing these 9 modules will give me an additional 50 CRS points. With that said my wife and I have not yet submitted our EE application as yet because we are still awaiting the return of our Education Evaluations. Something interesting to note is that WES evaluates (Full Time) LLB degrees as the equivalent of a 3 year Bachelors Degree in Canada thus giving you 112 CRS points for Education and 25 CRS points for Education transferability. IQAS on the other hand is said to evaluate (Full Time) LLB degrees as the equivalent of a professional degree needed to practise in a licensed profession thus giving you 126 CRS points for Education and 50 CRS points for Education transferability. This difference in the evaluations might be the difference between receiving your ITA or not. So for those of you not interested in pursuing a legal career in Canada and find that doing the NCA exams will be a waste of time, then I would suggest trying to have your education evaluated by IQAS. The waiting time is apparently much longer than with WES, but in the end it could be worth the wait.

 

 

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Petronel

Thanks @Luis Dos Santos. I received my WES with a LLB from Tuks. WES accredited my degree as a first professional degree needed to practice in a licenced profession. But I'm sure NCA will then give me 9 subjects to write as well

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Spacefrog

@Luis Dos Santos How does the process work for completing the 9 extra modules and can it be completed via correspondence/distance learning? I was thinking of going over and finding any old job while I did the conversion, but if I can start the process now that would be great!

Interestingly, my LLB from RAU was evaluated as the equivalent of a 3 year bachelors degree through WES.  I wish I had known about IQAS, it could have saved me a lot of unnecessary stress, but luckily I have my PR now so its water under the bridge.   

I need to start the NCA process, did you find it difficult or easy to get the original transcripts of your board results from the law society?  (I think this is required in addition to university results?), I don''t have anything and we are talking almost 15 years ago, so i really hope that isn't a hassle.     

  

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Luis Dos Santos

@Spacefrog it’s quiet an easy process...register a profile on the NCA website and you’ll be given an NCA reference number. Once you have the reference number contact your university and have your academic transcripts and degree certificate sent directly to the NCA. You don’t need board results to be sent, only a certificate of good standing from your law society. The letter of good standing must be sent to the NCA directly from the Law Society. Once they receive all your documents your evaluation will appear on your online portal within 2 weeks. From the online portal you’ll be able to register and pay for as many exams as you would like to do in one sitting. Once you have registered and paid for the exams you’ll have to email the NCA to request them to allow you to write the exams in SA. They will provide you with venue details and contact details of the person in SA that you will need to confirm the exam with. In SA the venue is the Sandton chambers and contact person is Maria. She is really helpful. 

Exams are done 4 times a year, Jan, May, Aug, Oct. 

Edited by Luis Dos Santos

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Petronel

Wow @Luis Dos Santos. Thanks for the info. Great to know we can write in SA! What is the volume of one subject like?

I also just wish to add that my LLB degree is the old 5 year degree which was accredited as a professional degree. It's not the new 4 year degree so that might be why I received a higher accreditation.

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Luis Dos Santos

@Petronel the volume is similar to what you would expect for a subject at University. Slightly overwhelming for those of us who haven't studied in years but it's easily doable. Also the NCA only require a 50% to pass. I bought subject notes off of the following website www.nca-tutor.com and they basically summarize all you need to know for the exams. Past papers are near impossible to come by so I've been told to practice my essay structure as they require a very specific structure when answering questions.

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Hi, I had my 4-year LLB from Tuks assessed through Wes...they accredited my degree as a 4 year bachelors as well, however, I entered it as a “masters/professional degree” on CIC profile, and they gave me the 126 score for professional degree, and I received my PR visa.  I attached the section on their website which deals with the law degree to my degree and WES report.  I still have those documents, if anyone needs it you can pm me and I will forward it to you...37 points extra on you CRS could mean an ITA :ilikeit:

Edited by Hopefully yours
Correction
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Luis Dos Santos

@Hopefully yours PM sent. This would make my life so much easier thanks!

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