Jan. 11, 2023
Program for internationally trained lawyers improves diversity in legal profession
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."