Students in the second cohort of the Foreign-Trained Lawyers Program
Students in the 2022-2023 cohort of the Foreign-Trained Lawyers Program

Jan. 11, 2023

Program for internationally trained lawyers improves diversity in legal profession

Law school program has tripled enrolment since launching in 2021

While only in its second year, UCalgary Law's Foreign-Trained Lawyers Program (FTLP) has seen tremendous success. The program has grown from 10 students in its first year, all of whom graduated with a post-bachelor's certificate in November, to more than 30 students for the 2022-2023 cohort. 

Not only does the one-year program give internationally trained lawyers the academic requirements needed to become accredited to practise law in Canada, it also gives students networking opportunities and real-world insights into practising law in Canada from the program's director, Kellinde Wrightson, PhD, who herself in an internationally trained lawyer. 

I'm giving them a toolbox to take out to the real world with them of things I learned in my first few years of practising law in Canada. The students really like the practically of that, and they really appreciate having access to that first-hand knowledge.

The FTLP has several showcase features. It includes a unique two-term professional development course, which focuses on pre-articling skills training and which is designed to equip internationally trained lawyers with the practical legal skills necessary to compete in the articling placement marketplace. The program also boasts a dedicated career adviser to help students find articling positions and secure a career in the legal profession. 

"The most exciting part of this program for me is the chance to make a meaningful contribution to the journey of foreign-trained lawyers and to be part of a vibrant and diverse community," says Wrightson. "There is very much a family feel among the students in the program and it’s important to continue that in the future."

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