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Dialogue on Licensing

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Latest Update – December 2018

The Law Society of Ontario’s governing body approved an option for lawyer licensing that retains the two, current transitional training pathways, with significant enhancements, as recommended by the Law Society’s Professional Development and Competence Committee.

While both articling and the Law Practice Program/Programme de Pratique du droit (LPP/PPD) will be retained, enhancements include paid articling and LPP/PPD work placements, in accordance with Law Society requirements — with limited exceptions.

As well, measurements, audits, or other forms of monitoring will be provided for greater oversight of articling and LPP/PPD work placements, and mandatory education and training will be required for articling principals and LPP/PPD work placement supervisors.

To allow time for development, these enhancements will be implemented May 1, 2021.

Law Society Benchers also approved the following recommendations from the Professional Development and Competence Committee:

  • Candidates will continue to have the flexibility to complete the Barrister and Solicitor Licensing Examinations and a transitional training requirement in any sequence, within three years;
  • Consideration of some form of skills testing in the licensing process, as outlined in the report, to be further considered by the Committee; and
  • The Law Society will reach out to the legal academy to explore areas of collaboration in integrating more experiential learning into the law school experience.


Report to Convocation: Professional Development and Competence Committee - Options for Lawyer Licensing

Background

Convocation, the Law Society of Ontario’s governing body, decided to undertake a comprehensive analysis of the lawyer licensing process following its 2016 review of the Pathways Pilot Project which included the Law Practice Program pilot and enhancements to the Articling Program. The goal of this analysis is to formulate long-term recommendations for an appropriate and sustainable licensing system for lawyers in Ontario.

In the spring of 2017, the Law Society engaged directly with the professions and stakeholders and held a series of facilitated in-person and webcast discussions about the realities, challenges and opportunities of lawyer licensing.

Drawing on those discussions and extensive research, the Law Society’s Professional Development and Competence Committee developed and consulted on four options for pathways to licensure (PDF) from May to October 2018.
 
On December 10, 2018 convocation was asked to determine one of the two licensure models put forth by the Professional Development and Competence Committee: Current Model with Enhancements and Examination-Based Licensing. The proposed models were based on a comprehensive analysis of the licensing process which looked at the realities, challenges and opportunities of lawyer licensing in the province, and included extensive consultation with the profession and others.
 
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