Bar of Quebec
|Bar of Quebec|
|Formation||May 30, 1849|
Oversee professional legal practice
The Bar of Quebec (Officially known by its French designation: Barreau du Québec) is the provincial law society for lawyers in Quebec, Canada. It was founded May 30, 1849, as the Bar of Lower Canada (Fr: Barreau du Bas-Canada).
It has its beginnings in 1693 when, as a Royal Province of the French colonial empire, Canadien lawyers first tried to obtain official recognition but were refused by Governor Louis de Buade de Frontenac who upheld the 1678 edict by the Sovereign Council that denied recognition of the legal profession.
For nearly a century, the Canadien lawyers would not be given recognition until after becoming British colonial subjects. In the new British Province of Quebec, in 1765 Governor James Murray authorized the creation of the "Community of Lawyers" (Communauté des avocats) which granted commissions to its members that allowed them to practice law in the triple capacity of lawyer, notary and land surveyor. The precursor to the present-day Bar of Quebec, the Community of Lawyers, adopted the first-ever code of ethics and conduct.
The Bar of Quebec became an independent corporation in 1849 through the Act to incorporate the Bar of Lower Canada (11-12 Vict. , c.46.) and was granted sole responsibility for admission to the study and practice of law. The Act authorizing the incorporation of the Bar of Quebec was influential elsewhere and inspired the formation of similar corporations, such as the State Bar of California.
Admission to the Bar of Quebec is a prerequisite for practicing law in Quebec.
Quebec applicants must be graduates of the law faculty of one of six universities: the University of Montreal, the University of Quebec at Montreal, McGill University, Laval University, the University of Ottawa, or the University of Sherbrooke. In addition, applicants must attend a four- or eight-month course at the École du Barreau (Bar School), and complete a six-month apprenticeship. Finally, applicants must pass a character and fitness examination before the Comité de vérification du Barreau du Québec (Verification Committee of the Bar of Quebec). Practicing attorneys must complete 30 hours of continuing legal education every two years.
Lawyers from other Canadian provinces and foreign lawyers can become temporarily admitted (for not more than twelve months) by submitting an "Application for a Special Authorization to Practice Law in Quebec."  They can also obtain semi-permanent or permanent full admission on application. Full admission for lawyers from elsewhere in Canada requires, among other things, that the applicant demonstrate adequate profeciency in French and successfully complete examinations on civil law and legislation. Foreign applicants may be admitted only by obtaining an undergraduate degree from a Quebec law school or by approval of the Bar of Quebec's Equivalences Committee, which may impose applicant-specific conditions for admission.