Bar Admission Program

Learn about the Society’s new Bar Admission Program consisting of PREP and the Cultural Competence Workshop.

Are you an applicant who began your admission requirements prior to January 1, 2020? Learn more about the bar exam, including what the bar exam tests, the format, how to prepare and more.

What is the Bar Admission Program?

The Bar Admission Program is the program used by the Society, together with articles, to determine whether an Articled Clerk is competent to be called to the Bar. 

The Bar Admission Program currently consists of two components:

  • Practice Readiness Education Program (PREP)
  • Cultural Competence Workshop

What is the Cultural Competence Workshop?

As part of the Bar Admission Program, articled clerks are required to attend a one-day Cultural Competence Workshop, which will take place each year in July. 

The upcoming Cultural Competence Workshop will be July 6, 2020, from 9:00 AM-5:00 PM at Dalhousie Law School.  The Society will send articled clerks further workshop information via email.

What is PREP?

The Society has partnered with the Canadian Centre for Professional Legal Education (CPLED) to deliver the Practice Readiness Education Program (PREP). 

PREP will help articled clerks gain practical legal knowledge and competencies in lawyer skills, practice management, professional ethics, and the personal attributes needed to successfully practice law in Canada using a consistent, integrated approach that combines interactive, transactional learning and simulation within distinct phases. 

Prior to commencing PREP, articled clerks will view an online orientation to introduce them to the program, which contains the following phases:

Procertas Legal Technology Assessment:

  • Assessment and training on Word, Excel and PDF.

Foundation Modules

  • Online modules that combine self-directed study and interactive assessments with multimedia learning to provide a foundation in all the CPLED competencies. 

Foundation Workshops

  • A one-week face-to-face workshop in which articled clerks interact with each other and their facilitators to practice the skills learned in the Foundation Modules. 
  • The workshop includes role-playing in the areas of interviewing, negotiating and advocacy, as well as simulations that cover the skills of legal writing, legal drafting, ethics, client relationship management and practice management. 
  • The workshop will prepare articled clerks to manage a legal matter during the Virtual Law Firm. 

Virtual Law Firm

  • Returning to the online environment, articled clerks will work as lawyers in a virtual law firm, where they will manage the full lifecycle of cases in business law, criminal law, family law, and real estate. 
  • Articled clerks will be assessed and provided feedback by assessors with practice area expertise and will receive coaching and mentoring from a practice manager. 
  • The feedback and coaching received in this phase will assist clerks in improving their level of competence in all areas in preparation for their final evaluation, the Capstone.

Capstone

  • The Capstone is the final assessment for articled clerks and must be successfully completed to be eligible to be called to the Bar.
  • This final simulation will require articled clerks to demonstrate entry-level competency in all areas of the PREP competency framework.
  • This one-week face-to-face simulation will span the skills and competencies learned throughout PREP and will conclude with clerks submitting a final reflection on the entire program and preparing a professional development plan. 

How do I register for PREP?

Articled clerks, or firms on their behalf, must register directly with CPLED for PREP.  The Society is not involved in the registration process. 

The registration process allows articled clerks who are entering the June intake to select from the three available schedules for the face-to-face phases. 

When selecting a schedule for phase two, Foundation Workshop, articled clerks will automatically select the corresponding schedule for phase four, Capstone. 

Articled clerks will register in phase two, Foundation Workshop, and corresponding phase four, Capstone, on a first-come, first-served basis

Find detailed schedules for the June and January intakes for PREP, including a list of key dates, on the CPLED website

Please note the schedule is subject to change.

How do I pay for PREP?

Articled clerks must pay tuition for PREP directly to CPLED using online bill payment, Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), or wire transfer only. 

If needed, a payment plan option is available

Once registration is completed, an invoice including payment instructions will be generated. 

Articled clerks will not receive access to the PREP materials until their tuition has been processed.

How much does PREP cost?

Find the PREP tuition amount on the CPLED website

The Society sets the tuition amount payable by or on behalf of the articled clerk annually.

What are the PREP Technology Requirements?

To participate in PREP, an articled clerk requires a laptop computer and access to high-speed internet.

As well, at various stages throughout PREP, articled clerks will be required to record themselves and participate in online meetings that will require a webcam, speakers and microphone.

The following computer requirements are suggested for using the learning management system (D2L):

  • Operating system:  Windows 10 or Apple iOS latest version
  • Chrome and Firefox are the supported browsers. Clerks must use one of those two browsers for full functionality in the learning environment. The internet browser must be up to date (installed or updated within the last month).
  • Enable the browser’s JavaScript and cookies
  • Install Adobe Flash Player 10.1 or greater for desktop systems

Reliable high-speed internet when using D2L with recommended connection speeds at least 50 Mbps for downloads and 10 Mbps for uploads. Test your connection speed.

How do I contact CPLED?

Please contact CPLED with questions at admin@CPLED.ca.

How will my articling start date affect my completion of the Bar Admission Program and my call to the Bar?

Calls to the Bar take place quarterly. The call dates normally fall in January, April, June and October but may be moved for multiple reasons.  PREP has one intake commencing in June and if numbers permit a second intake in January. The timelines accommodate articled clerks commencing June 1.

June Start

Articled clerks who start their articles on June 1 will be called in June of the following year if they do not encounter any changes to the schedule and successfully complete the Bar Admission Program.

Non-June Start

Articled clerks who start their articles on any date other than June 1 may have their call to the bar delayed due to the timelines set for the delivery of Bar Admission Program or the call dates set by the Court.

Examples of delays due to timelines (presuming the articled clerk has successfully completed the Bar Admission Program):

  1. An articled clerk commencing September 1 would complete their articles August 31 of the following year.  The articled clerk would not be able to commence PREP until January (provided there are sufficient numbers) and would not complete the Bar Admission Program until November.  The articled clerk, therefore could not be called until January.
  2. An articled clerk commencing November 1 would complete their articles on October 31 of the following year.  The articled clerk would not be able to commence PREP until January (provided there are sufficient numbers) and would not complete the Bar Admission Program until November.  The articled clerk, therefore could not be called until January.
  3. An articled clerk commencing February 1 would complete their articles January 31 of the following year.  The articled clerk would not be able to commence PREP until June and would not complete the Bar Admission Program until April.  The articled clerk, therefore could not be called until June.