The Legal Profession
A legal education gives one a better understanding of how private relationships function: those between individuals, but also between individuals and the state. As Quebec law belongs to the great Romano-civil law family, the Faculty offers an undergraduate degree in civil law. In domains of federal competence such as criminal law, however, it is the common law that applies. The Faculty accordingly initiates its students into the processes of both the civil law and the common law, starting with courses at the Bachelor’s degree level.
Legal studies allow students to contemplate numerous professional prospects. While such studies certainly render the lawyerly and notarial professions accessible, these are, by no means, the only options.
Students interested in becoming lawyers (“avocats”) must hold a Bachelor’s degree in Quebec law from one of the six law faculties that offer such an education. This must then be followed by undergoing the education provided by the École du Barreau du Québec.
Any candidate who wishes to obtain the recognized equivalent of a degree awarded by an educational institution located outside of Quebec or of such an education should address a request to the Equivalences Committee of the Barreau du Québec.
Students interested in becoming notaries must hold a Bachelor’s degree in Quebec law from one of the six law faculties that offer such an education. They must then follow the postgraduate program in notarial law. The Faculty offers this program, which culminates in the awarding of a degree in notarial law. It is also home to the Notarial Chair, which organizes numerous activities around notarial law targeting both students and practitioners.
The holder of a foreign law degree who wishes to become a notary in Quebec must make a request for an equivalence determination with the Quebec Chambre des notaires. This process will determine which courses the candidate needs to follow in order to be admitted to the notarial law degree program.
Other professions for holders of a law degree
If the majority of law graduates intend to become lawyers or notaries, an ever-increasing number are gravitating towards careers where solid legal training is considered to be a major asset. Indeed, legal training not only provides legal knowledge, but above all, it develops intellectual skills (capacity for analysis and synthesis, rigorous reasoning, etc.) and social awareness. It therefore frequently transpires that someone who makes headway in management, journalism or the trade union sector is the holder of a law degree, without this being a formal requirement.
By means of its Centre for Professional Development, the Faculty of Law provides its students with resources that aid and support them in their search for employment and internships.
For further information, visit the Centre de développement professionnel — CDP website [in French]