Practicing Law in Nunavut

In order to lawfully practice law in Nunavut, you need to either:

  1. Get called to the Nunavut Bar
  2. Obtain a Restricted Appearance Certificate (RAC) from the Law Society of Nunavut. 

Many lawyers practising in the South are familiar with the National Mobility Agreement, which allows lawyers the ability to practice for a certain period of time in other jurisdictions without a formal call. 

The National Mobility Agreement does not apply in Nunavut. Nunavut is signatory to the Territorial Mobility Agreement ( November 2011).

Types of Membership

The Canadian Legal Advisor (CLA) Certificate is for lawyers with a Bachelor of Civil Law. CLA lawyers are restricted to giving legal advice and doing legal work on:

  1. the law of Quebec,
  2. matters under federal jurisdiction, and
  3. matters involving public international law.

Canadian Legal Advisors are subject to specific rules with respect to marketing of services (see Rule 39.8 of the Rules of the Law Society of Nunavut).

Learn about the application process.

A Restricted Appearance Certificate (RAC) allows lawyers to actively practice law in the Territory on up to three (3) legal matters for the period of one year. It must be renewed prior to each anniversary of the day it was granted or when the three (3) legal matters have been completed (whichever comes first). Learn about the application process.

If a RAC has been issued for one matter, it may be amended by submitting a request in writing to the administrator of the Law Society of Nunavut to permit the addition of up to 2 matters. Unless the RAC has been amended, the holder is not authorized to engage in the practice of law other than as described in the RAC. For more information, read the RAC Policy.

Timeline to issue your RAC application:

From the date your completed application is received by the administrator, the Deputy Secretary requires 7 (seven) business days to issue your RAC.

There are two combined membership options: 

  • Restricted Appearance Certificate (RAC) and Regular Membership
  • Restricted Appearance Certificate (RAC) and Canadian Legal Advisor (CLA)

Both are appropriate for a lawyer who urgently requires the entitlement to practice law in the Territory. In such a situation, a lawyer would be issued an RAC in the interim while their application for regular membership or CLA is being reviewed by the Membership and Admissions Committee. Learn about the application process.