In order to lawfully practice law in Nunavut, you need to either:
- Get called to the Nunavut Bar in Nunavut (Regular Membership)
- 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).
Unauthorized Practice & Notices on the Practice of Law
For more information on what is and is not (unauthorized practice) considered as the practice of law and notices that provide guidance to lawyers ( arbitration, mediation, workplace investigation, etc.), visit the Legal Ethics and Practice Committee’s webpage.
Important update for Members of the Barreau du Québec
On November 26, 2020, the membership approved full regular membership for members in good standing of the Barreau du Québec. The Canadian Legal Advisor Certificate now only applies for a member in good standing of the Chambre des notaires du Québec.
Membership application updates
Unless we require further information from you, you will receive an update by the established timeline of twenty-five business days from the date your application was submitted to the Membership and Admissions Committee. Please note the CEO does not provide updates on membership applications unless we have advised you that your application has been forwarded to the CEO- Deputy Secretary.
Types of Membership
Regular membership allows lawyers to actively practice law in the Territory.
We encourage transferring applicants to acquaint themselves with the culture, geography, and history of Nunavut and its people using this Supplemental Reading List. The List was updated and shared at the June 16, 2022, Law Society AGM.
Learn about reactivating an inactive membership.
The Canadian Legal Advisor (CLA) Certificate is for a member in good standing of the Chambre des notaires du Québec (Bachelor of Civil Law.) CLA members are restricted to giving legal advice and doing legal work on:
- the law of Quebec,
- matters under federal jurisdiction, and
- matters involving public international law.
Canadian Legal Advisors are subject to specific rules with respect to marketing of services; see Rule 39.6 (10) of the Rules of the Law Society of Nunavut.
Members of the Barreau du Québec
Since November 26,2020 a member in good standing of the Barreau du Québec is eligible to apply for full regular membership.
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. Learn about the application process.
Renewing your RAC
The RAC 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). For more information, read the RAC Policy and information on how to renew your RAC online.
Amending your RAC to add new matters
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
From the date your completed application is received by the administrator, the Deputy Secretary requires up to a maximum of 10 (ten) working days to issue your RAC.
Supplemental Reading List
We encourage all applicants to acquaint themselves with the culture, geography, and history of Nunavut and its people using this Supplemental Reading List. The List was updated and shared at the June 16, 2022, Law Society AGM.
There are two combined membership options:
- Restricted Appearance Certificate (RAC) and Regular Membership
- Restricted Appearance Certificate (RAC) and Canadian Legal Advisor (CLA) - For members in good standing of the Chambre des notaires du Québec (Bachelor of Civil Law)
Both are appropriate if you urgently require the entitlement to practice law in the Territory. In such a situation, you will be issued a RAC in the interim (no limitation on the number of clients or files) while your application for regular membership or CLA is being reviewed by the Membership and Admissions Committee. Learn about the application process.
Standard of Service
Receipt - Applicants will receive a confirmation of receipt within three (3) working days, which could include a request to provide any outstanding information or materials.
Courtesy follow-ups for outstanding paperwork and/or information - Applicants will receive two (2) follow-up emails within a period of four (4) weeks before closing the application file.
The Membership and Admission Committee (MAC) will examine an application and provide a recommendation to the Executive Committee within fifteen (15) working days, assuming no further information is required from the applicant.
The Executive Committee will consider the MAC’s recommendation and provide their decision to approve (or not) the application for admission within ten (10) working days, assuming no further information is required from the applicant.