Becoming a Lawyer in Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan CPLED Bar Admissions Program
Applying for the CPLED Bar Admissions Program
CPLED is the acronym for the Canadian Centre for Professional Legal Education. CPLED is an organization formed by the Law Societies of Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta to better meet the needs of the legal profession and the public in relation to the articling process and the licensing of new lawyers. It was developed after extensive research, planning and cooperation between the three provinces.
In addition to other Law Society requirements, students seeking admission to the Saskatchewan Bar must successfully complete the CPLED Bar Admissions Program.
Registration for the CPLED Program (Rule 159)
Students must submit the following to The Law Society of Saskatchewan:
- A completed Saskatchewan CPLED Program Registration Form;
- the CPLED Program Fee; and
- a recent photo of yourself (passport photo is recommended).
Fees for the Saskatchewan CPLED Program
The Program Fee is payable when you register for the Program; please see the Bar Admissions Calendar for this year's deadlines. Any Program Fee received after the deadline will be subject to the Late Fee of $150 plus GST.
The CPLED Bar Admissions Program
All inquiries about the Saskatchewan CPLED Program should be directed to The Law Society of Saskatchewan - Bar Admissions Office.
The Law Society and the Law Foundation of Saskatchewan fund the Saskatchewan CPLED Program in approximately equal amounts. The Saskatchewan CPLED Program fees account for only a portion of the cost of the Program.
The Goal of the Program
The CPLED Program is the licensing process for students-at-law. The CPLED Program, in combination with the articling process in a law firm, court or organization, provides the basis for determining whether a student-at-law has met the requirements and qualifications to be admitted as a practicing lawyer by the Law Society. The Program builds on the training and education obtained through a law degree and helps develop and assess the skills necessary to competently serve the public upon admission to the practice of law in Saskatchewan.
The goal of the Program is that students achieve competence in the basic areas that are likely to be encountered in a general practice in Saskatchewan at the level of a first year lawyer. In addition, the Program aims to ensure students recognize and understand a lawyer's ethical responsibilities.
Focus of Instruction
The emphasis of the CPLED Program is on building and assessing the skills that research has shown are essential for a lawyer in the first five years of practice. Students will be expected to develop the skills necessary for the practice of law and demonstrate appropriate application of the law by solving the problems of 'virtual' clients. These problems will expose students to a number of typical practice activities based on fact scenarios designed to assess students' knowledge and understanding of various substantive areas of law.
Throughout the Program students will be required to identify, analyze and resolve legal and ethical problems in a manner that is consistent with appropriate professional attitudes and conduct. Students will be required to display ethically sound judgment and professionalism throughout the Program.
The skills in the CPLED Program are based on the Competency Profile adopted by the Benchers of the Law Society in December 2001. Students will be required to demonstrate competency in each of the following skills areas:
Legal Research and Writing
Interviewing and Advising
Written Advice and Advocacy
|Drafting Litigation Pleadings
Ethics and Professionalism
Structure of the CPLED Program
The CPLED Program consists of twenty weeks of online learning divided into a series of online modules. In addition, there are three one-week modules which take place in a classroom setting ("face-to-face"). Content of the modules is common across Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, however, there will be slight variations due to substantive law and procedural issues unique to each province. There will be additional subject matter specific to the province in which you are taking the CPLED Program provided during the face-to-face sessions.
During the online modules, students will read materials and prepare Assignments and Competency Evaluations that will be submitted online. Students will participate in these modules while working at their articles.
The Assignments will give students an opportunity to practice the skills they are learning and are designed to help them prepare for the Competency Evaluations. An online "Learning Group Facilitator" will review the Assignments and provide each student with feedback that will help them improve their performance of the skill.
Students and their principal should discuss the student's schedule to ensure that they have some time during regular office hours to participate in the online modules. During online modules articling students will spend 10-15 hours a week on the CPLED Program. They may need more time when the area of law or skill is new to them.
During the three face-to-face modules, the instructors will introduce students to the essential elements of each skill that they will be learning. In class students will have the opportunity to discuss and practice these skills and receive feedback on your performance. There are no written Assignments or written Competency Evaluations during the face-to-face sessions.
Instead, students will be required to demonstrate competency in the following areas: Oral Advocacy, Interviewing and Negotiation.
Face-to-face modules are each one-week long. The first and last face-to-face modules are held in Saskatoon while the second face-to-face module is held in Regina (locations to be announced). During face-to-face modules, sessions are generally scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. Please refer to the Bar Admissions Calendar for additional details.
Assignments and Competency Evaluations (Rule 160)
Students are required to prepare and submit original work according to the instructions provided and within established timelines. Assignments and Competency Evaluations will be assessed as "Competency Demonstrated" (CD) or "Competency Not Yet Demonstrated" (CNYD). The criteria that will be applied to assess whether competency has been demonstrated is based upon the Competency Profile.
Students must demonstrate competency on all Assignments and Competency Evaluations in order to successfully complete the program. Students are required to resubmit assignments during the module if they receive a CNYD. Students are required to complete a Supplemental Competency Evaluation if a standing of CNYD is attained on a Competency Evaluation. All Supplemental Competency Evaluations are scheduled at the end of the CPLED Bar Admissions Program. These requirements are subject to the rules and policies of The Law Society of Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan CPLED Program and are outlined in the Program Handbook.
Please refer to the Module Schedule for information regarding the dates and deadlines of the assignments and competency evaluations.
As a component of the Saskatchewan CPLED Program, students will receive access to a comprehensive set of procedural and substantive resource materials in addition to materials specific to the module content. Students will be able to download and print these materials through their own computer.
The Saskatchewan CPLED Program Resource Materials are included in the online materials. However, if students wish to purchase a complete set of Saskatchewan CPLED Program Resource Materials in hard copy, please indicate this in the appropriate section of the Registration Form. Students will be invoiced for these upon receipt of the materials. If you are not currently enrolled in the CPLED Program and wish to order a set of the Saskatchewan CPLED Resource Materials, use the CPLED Bar Course Materials Order Form.
During the program students will be referring to the materials published by The Law Society of Saskatchewan, including:
The Program Handbook
The Program Handbook is the source for the rules, administrative policies and requirements set by the Law Society for students in the Saskatchewan CPLED Program. Please read through the Handbook carefully; students are asked to retain it as a reference throughout the Program.
Guidelines for the Education and Guidance of Articling Students
The Guidelines for the Education and Guidance of Articling Students were recently passed by the Admissions and Education Committee.
The Guidelines provide guidance on various issues including; Terms of Employment, Orientation to the Firm, Ethics and Professionalism, Mentoring and Teaching, Workload and Expectations, and the CPLED Bar Admissions Program. The Guidelines recognize that the articling experience is a cornerstone in the development of competent young lawyers. While Principals have the primary obligation to supervise their students, every lawyer who works with a student shares in that obligation. The Law Society of Saskatchewan relies on both Principals and firms to ensure students become competent and ethical professionals. In order to ensure this goal is met, Principals and firms that wish to take on an articling student are asked to implement policies and measures to ensure the Guidelines are met.