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Event aimed to help internationally trained lawyers with accreditation

Organizers at York University say process can be isolating
|Written By Gabrielle Giroday
Event aimed to help internationally trained lawyers with accreditation
Meghan Thomas says the process of going through accreditation can be ‘really challenging.’

Internationally trained lawyers are invited to an event at York University on June 12.

Meghan Thomas, director of the professional graduate and international programs at Osgoode Hall Law School at York University, says the event attracted approximately 150 people last year.

“The message that we’re trying to send with this is that internationally trained lawyers represent a really diverse and deep pool of talent,” says Thomas.

The majority of internationally trained lawyers are people who immigrated to Canada, she says, but a smaller number are Canadians who attended foreign law schools.

“Most of the people who attend are people who are currently in the accreditation process,” she says. The event is useful for internationally trained lawyers, she says.

“What we’ve learned over time is that the process of going through accreditation can be really challenging and it can be hard to access all of the information that you need about the different phases of that process up front,” she says.

“What we want to do is bring together a whole variety of different kinds of information and resources, so they can get it at a time when it’s going to help them the most.”

She says going through the process of accreditation and licensing in Ontario can be tough and can take anywhere from a minimum of two years to up to five years.

There can be outliers to that amount as well.

“Depending on your circumstances, the process can be quite isolated and isolating,” she says. The event will include an afternoon program that’s focused on legal employers, and lawyers who attend will be eligible for a CPD credit.

“This year, we’re actually doing a specific session in the afternoon for lawyers in the broader legal community who want to learn about internationally trained lawyers,” she says.

“What I generally hear when I talk to employers is ‘Well, I don’t really know how to assess these credentials. I don’t know how I would fold these candidates into my recruitment process . . . so how do I figure out how this works?”

Those who are interested in attending can contact Thomas at mthomas@osgoode.yorku.ca.


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