(Calgary) October 18, 2021
– Calgary Region Immigrant Employment Council (CRIEC) and The ITL Network proudly announce a new collaboration to support internationally trained lawyers (ITLs) in their career path journeys. This one-year agreement brings together local and international expertise to provide ITLs with much needed connections, learning opportunities and mentoring.

“We are excited about the opportunities we can jointly create for ITLs”, noted CRIEC Executive Director Bruce Randall. “We have been working with ITLs since 2012 and each year see more and more outstanding lawyers arriving in Calgary. There is room for all lawyers including those trained here in Canada and those trained abroad, whether in private practice, in-house, clinics or government. ITLs bring unique perspectives that enrich their local legal communities and indeed, Canadian society itself”.

According to the ITL Network’s President, Cynthia Okafor, “As many ITLs grapple with limited resources and opportunities, there is a growing need for mentorship, and we are more determined than ever to collaborate with community partners like CRIEC, to find effective solutions for ITLs in the Canadian legal sphere. We couldn’t be more excited to get to work and look forward to a successful relationship”.

CRIEC and ITL Network are developing workshops, experiential learning and mentoring opportunities to support ITLs. Further announcements on upcoming sessions are forthcoming.

Founded in 2020, ITL Network, a new Canadian federal not-for-profit organization, seeks to promote and foster diversity and inclusion in the Canadian legal market and assist ITLs, as well as international law graduates, through the licensure process. ITL Network looks to positively change the narrative and perception of ITLs within the Canadian legal landscape through networking and advocacy.

Founded in 2010, CRIEC, a robust Alberta not-for-profit organization, connects newcomer professionals, including ITLs, with Calgary mentors drawn from relevant industries, professions and sectors, in occupation-specific mentoring partnerships. These connections are designed to support newcomer professionals secure and retain career paths reflective of their education, training, experience and future aspirations.

CRIEC and ITL Network teaming up for success – helping ITLs and their local communities thrive.

For further details, please contact:

ITL Network: Arianna Carlotti (Director of Mentorship), ariannacarlotti@itlnetwork.ca ; Idayat Balogun (Director of NCA Affairs), idayat.balogun@itlnetwork.ca

Calgary Region Immigrant Employment Council: Bruce Randall, Executive Director  bruce@criec.ca



Starting the licensing journey as an internationally trained lawyer in a new jurisdiction can be a nerve-racking ordeal. For experienced candidates, it can feel like starting a career from scratch given the various requirements they have to meet such as equivalency exams and courses. The need to foster a community to mentor and inspire internationally trained lawyers was the motivation behind the ITL Voices project! ITL Voices is a platform to mentor, inspire and support our diverse community of internationally trained lawyers and encourage them by shinning the spotlight on stories of legal professionals in Canada.

In our second edition of ITL Voices, a well-known guest joined us – Deborah Wolfe, the Executive Director of the National Committee on Accreditation (NCA). Most ITLs are familiar with her as the NCA is usually the first organization and the rite of passage to get licensed to practice in Canada. During the session we learnt an interesting fact about Ms. Wolfe, which is that she’s not a lawyer! She is a civil engineer who served as a former Military Engineer in the Canadian Armed Forces. She has previously worked with Engineers Canada, where she was responsible for accreditation of undergraduate engineering programs in Canada. Therefore, she has a wealth of experience in the accreditation and evaluation of foreign credentials.

Ms. Wolfe discussed the various options available to ITLs to satisfy their NCA assessments. After getting an evaluation, ITLs can either self-study and write their exams themselves or attend a Canadian law school that offers NCA courses or specific NCA programs. The law schools which offer specific NCA programs include the University of British Columbia, University of Alberta, University of Toronto, and Osgoode Hall Law School. It is important to note that some assessments may require ITLs to fulfill their requirements by going through a law school.

For ITLs from non-common law jurisdictions, Ms. Wolfe explained that the licensing process had been made easier for them through directed policies. If an ITL from a non-common law jurisdiction is a licensed paralegal or notary, they can take the NCA exams instead of attending a law school.  A popular question that has generated mixed reactions from internationally trained lawyers is the NCA’s shift to remotely proctored online exams. We asked Ms. Wolfe about this, and she clearly stated that the NCA would not be moving back to in-person written exams. She explained that online exams benefit both the NCA and candidates in terms of logistics and flexibility. ITLs can now write their exams from their home countries or anywhere in the world.

Ms. Wolfe also informed us that the NCA is introducing a Legal Research and Writing competency requirement for ITLs that get their assessment from January 1, 2022. She emphasized the necessity of this additional requirement because ITLs come from various jurisdiction where the standards and methods of legal research and writing may differ. We understand there have been different feelings about these developments, so we would love to know how you feel about them under this blog post!

We had an enlightening experience learning about the licensing process and the new assessment requirement from Ms. Wolfe. ITL Voices will bring many more amazing guests in the coming weeks, so make sure you stay tuned to our blog and subscribe to our YouTube channel!

By: Christianah Adeyemi




September 30 is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and an opportunity to recognize and commemorate the legacy of residential schools and honour the Call to Actions from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

A federal statutory holiday was created by Parliament after the discovery of approximately 200 burial sites on a former residential school in British Columbia. Weeks later, a preliminary finding of 751 unmarked graves at a cemetery near the former Marieval Indian Residential School was found. Since then, more than 300 other potential burial sites have been identified, and searches are underway at sites across Canada. While the discoveries have shocked many and led to an outpouring of grief and news coverage globally, Indigenous people and advocates say it had long been known and talked about that some of the children who were removed from their families and forced to attend residential schools never made it back home.

While September 30th has been observed as Orange Shirt Day since 2013, the timing of this day further reinforces the significance of reconciliation as Indigenous children were removed from their families around this time of the year and forced to attend the residential schools. This is an opportunity for us to reflect, listen and learn. It should be used as a day to honour those impacted by the residential school system and further learn the indigenous culture and perspectives. Reconciliation may mean being open to challenging and sometimes uncomfortable conversations, and the ITL Network recommends to all members of the Internationally Trained Lawyers community to take this day as an opportunity to listen, learn, reflect, and act on the calls to action of the truth and reconciliation commission.

Below is a list of recommended resources to get started:

Indigenous Canada Coursehttps://www.coursera.org/learn/indigenous-canada
Indigenous Canada is a 12-lesson Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) from the Faculty of Native Studies that explores Indigenous histories and contemporary issues in Canada. This course is offered by the university of Alberta, and you can register for free.

Canada Residential School Historyhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFbLMNgTXeI

Hon. Murray Sinclair – Impacts of Residential Schoolshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPPHdKC_ZA8

We are all treaty people – Learn the history of the land you are on – Check out: native-land.ca and whose.landland back resources and Yellowhead Institute.org 


Join The ITL Network at Osgoode’s Internationally Trained Lawyers Day on Thursday, May 27, 2021 for a unique opportunity to connect and celebrate internationally trained talent in Canada.

Now in its 7th year, Osgoode’s Internationally Trained Lawyers Day (OITLD) is designed to bring together Canada’s diverse, internationally trained talent with experienced members of the global legal community to discuss tips and strategies on how to make your international training stand out in the Canadian legal landscape.

During this full-day event, take part in highly informative sessions from legal associations including the National Committee on Accreditation (NCA), the Law Society of Ontario (LSO), The ITL Network as well as a number of public, private and diversity association members to gain advice and insight into making your impact within Canada’s legal sector.

Registration Link – https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/osgoodes-internationally-trained-lawyers-day-oitld-2021-tickets-145280358463?utm_medium=button&utm_source=opd+website&utm_campaign=OITLD

We are thrilled to welcome Aishwerya Kansal to The ITL Network Board!

Aishwerya is an Internationally Trained Lawyer and an Alumna of Osgoode Hall Law School. Prior to moving to Canada, she was a Trademark, Copyright and Contractual IP Associate with the globally recognized, IAM Strategy 300 Global Leaders IP Boutique firm, Anand & Anand. Presently, she is an Innovation Clinic Fellow with the IP Osgoode, Intellectual Property Law & Technology Program which is supervised by Bereskin & Parr and Norton Rose Fulbright LLP. She is also a member of CAN-TECH and sits on the committees of Artificial Intelligence, Women in Tech and Diversity.

Please join us in welcoming Aishwerya Kansal to the Board!

By: Sam Khajeei & Kenny Okunola | 

The recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (the Court) in the case of 2483038 Ontario Inc. v. 2082100 Ontario Inc. (2020 ONSC 475) (the Fit for Life Decision) highlights the importance of ensuring the delivery of a compliant franchise disclosure document (a FDD) upon the grant of a franchise and serves as a reminder to franchisors and their principals of the significant consequences of failing to do so.  

In this case, the franchisee entered into a franchise agreement with the franchisor for the operation of a “Fit for Life” restaurant in Ontario. The franchisee opened for business on or around December 14, 2015 and ceased operating on or around August 11, 2017 after delivering a notice of rescission to the franchisor. The FDD delivered by the franchisor to the franchisee contained a signature block on page 4 of the FDD where there was some corporate information about the franchisor being disclosed. This was where Mr. Samuel Davis (Mr. Davis), the sole director and officer of the franchisor, had signed the FDD rather than the “Certificate of Disclosure” on page 27 of the FDD.

Continue reading “Tales of Flawed Disclosure: The Importance of the FDD Certificate”


It all seemed like yesterday when I was finishing up my NCA exams and looking forward to the start of my Human Resources Certificate course at the Chiu School of Business, Bow Valley College, Calgary AB.

I get asked a lot, why HR? For me, it was the fastest way to learn about the legislative framework of employment and labour relationships as well as gaining relevant knowledge on HR functional areas. Having wielded the position of HR Manager and Legal Manager in 2014, I know very well that there is some overlap. I cannot begin to quantify what I have learnt on Employment Standards, Privacy, Discrimination, Human Rights, Duty to Accommodate, Occupational Health & Safety, Worker’s Compensation, Termination Procedures, Labour Relations, Grievances, Arbitration, amongst many others.

Continue reading “Beginning Again: My Licensing Journey Chronicles.”