Bar Admission ceremonies occur throughout the year for applicants who are eligible as members of the NSociety. The major Bar Admission Ceremony, predominantly for articled clerks, takes place every June in Halifax. A member of the judiciary oversees these official court proceedings. Applicants have the option of making their official declarations and Oaths in three languages: English, French, or Mi’kmaq.
After the ceremony, applicants sign the Roll of Lawyers, and only then are they allowed to practise law in Nova Scotia.
The Society’s Credentials Committee may excuse applicants from appearing in person in certain exceptions.
Several weeks prior to the ceremony, eligible applicants for admission are contacted by Society staff and must provide documentation and any applicable fees necessary for Call.
During the ceremony, attendees may use cameras and video cameras discreetly; however, this is at the discretion of the Presiding Justice.
COVID-19 Pandemic & Virtual Calls to the Bar
Since the start of the pandemic, all Bar Admission ceremonies have been done by paper or virtually. We have not held any calls to the Bar in-person.
The June calls to the Bar will be held virtually during this time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During a virtual call to the Bar, those being called sign in online and take their oath of admission virtually in front of the Justice who is assigned to that call date.
The admittees are permitted to invite guests to join virtually who are able to see the entire ceremony and watch them take their oath. We are also able to record the ceremony for future viewing.
We recognize that this is not ideal, however, it is a way to preserve the ceremony and still permit both those being called and their loved ones to participate in such an important day.
The calls held at other times of the year are done by paper. The applicant swears their oath virtually in front of the Director, Education & Credentials, and the Director submits the applications to the court in paper.
The Justice presiding reviews the documents and grants the orders admitting the applicants. Although applicants are appearing virtually before the Director, rather than a Justice, they are welcome to invite guests to watch them take their oaths virtually.
During this difficult time, we must work together to ensure the safety of everyone involved. We hope to return to in-person calls once the pandemic is behind us.
2021 Call to the Bar Dates
- January 15, 2021 10:30 a.m.
- April 16, 2021 10:30 a.m.
- June 18, 2021 time TBD (virtual ceremony)
- November 19, 2021 10:30 a.m.
June Bar Admission Ceremony
We publish a program booklet with the June admission list, applicant biographies, text for the Oath on Admission and the optional Oath of Allegiance, and welcome greetings from the Bench and Bar.
What to Wear
Applicants are required to appear wearing traditional legal attire, namely a waistcoat, a robe, a wing collar shirt, tabs and black or dark gray trousers or skirt and black shoes. Please note that the Society does not provide or rent legal attire.
Once you’re called to the Bar
We’ve created the NSBS Guide for New Lawyers, our primer for new members.