Since the Law Society of Nunavut's (LSN) formation in 2000, the Nunavut Statutes Examination (Examination) has been prescribed and established for students-at-law as a 'special examination' (defined as "an examination at university standards in subjects pertaining to substantive law in force in Nunavut" [emphasis added]) through its authority under section 8(1)(c) of the Legal Profession Act ("LPA").
The special examination is separate and apart from the requirements for a student-at-law to be qualified for admission to practice law in the Territory under section 18(2) of the LPA, which are that the student-at-law:
- graduate from an accredited law school;
- complete 12 months of continuous service under articles as a student-at-law;
- take a bar admission course (currently the Canadian Centre for Professional Legal Education's (CPLED) Practice Readiness Education Program (PREP)); and
- pass a bar admission examination (currently the final capstone assessment of CPLED PREP); and
- be of good character.
In 2020, the LSN Executive Committee began working – both internally and with a third-party – to update the Examination to ensure its continued defensibility. This process entailed looking at the validity of score interpretations, test reliability and test fairness, among other factors. This led to the creation of a revised Examination, which was first administered in May 2022. Changes to the Examination, including its policies and protocols, negatively impacted the cohort of students-at-law seeking qualification for admission in 2022, which included a record number of Nunavummiut and the largest cohort of Inuit to move through the Nunavut bar admissions process in over 15 years.
In January 2023, the Taskforce on the revision of the Nunavut Statutes Examination was created, whose important work resulted in a Report shared at the June 2023 Annual General Meeting. As a result of the Report and a review of the legislative requirements, the Executive is currently reconsidering the establishment and prescription of a special examination for students-at-law to be qualified to practice law in the Territory.
However, prior to making a final determination about the Examination and considering what, if any, special examination may be required in accordance with the LPA, the Executive is seeking feedback from the membership. This feedback will be consolidated and considered at a special meeting in early 2024.