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the PLTC - at the Law Society of BC

Practical Tips...

As an articling student, you will attend the PLTC. If you are not from BC, or you went through the NCA process, the other students you meet here will help determine your success. You will realize that this is a "competition" and you should treat it as one. However, you will make many friends who will stay friends with you throughout your career.

Barrister and Solicitor Examinations (the "Examinations")

Tip 1: ensure you have downloaded all the material you are required to read from the Law Society website for the Examinations, in advance (the "Material").

Tip 2: you are required to learn the Material. So, read it, learn it, and index it before you attend the course [ you may find a copy of an old PLTC indices on the web, however, ensure that you update it].

Tip 3: if you use indices for the Examinations expand them to include the definitions and practice protocols - you will not have enough time to look these up during your Examinations.

Tip 4: during the Examinations, make sure you have tabbed your indices/notes for quick easy reference.

Tip 5: You must complete all your readings for the following day's class as this will assist you greatly during your Examinations.

Tip 6: you must take the practice management course (the "Course") before you are qualified to be called to the bar. You should not leave this to the last minute as it is lengthy and will take you several days. You can begin this as soon as you start articling.

Tip 7: You should begin the Course as soon as you can, as it does not have to be completed all in one sitting and the information is very helpful for your exams and for your articling. The course has many questions for you to answer. You should print a copy of them off as you answer each section and use them as a revision tool for the exams.

Assignments and Assessments

Tip 8: ensure you download a copy of "Modern Writing For Lawyers" from the Law Society website as soon as you get the opportunity. You should learn the rules in this booklet inside and out if you want to get good marks in your assignments and assessments.

Tip 9: you should pay great attention to detail during your written assignments and assessments.

Tip 10: you should not neglect your assignment, it is very important to understand your marks and amend your failings before your assessment is due.

Tip 11: you must pay attention to everything the instructor(s) say to you and follow their rules and tips.

Tip 12: you must not underestimate the written assessments or the interview. You should follow the instructor's rules and listen carefully to their guidance. If you fail an assignment, you should address your failings seriously before sitting your assessment. If you are not ready to sit an assessment, then defer it. You should make sure you understand the rules for the assessments.

Tip 13: you will find it very helpful to understand the purpose of an "Opinion Letter". In the USA, the Opinion Letter is used to provide your client with an opinion at a "moment in time". Then, as the case develops that opinion may change. In the UK, a legal opinion is more extensive and separate from the letter. You must learn what the purpose of this is in your province.

Tip 14: you must know Canadian English. It is not British English and it is not American English, it is most certainly Canadian English. Hence, Modern Writing for Lawyers.

Finally, the PLTC and the Examinations are achievable. However, there is a lot of reading and you must keep up if you want to be successful on the first occasion. If you are unsuccessful on the PLTC you will be able to attend it again. However, you will have to be "terminated" from the Law Society and re-apply after a twelve-months break. So, preparation, preparation, preparation...

Good luck.


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