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Beginning a Placement

Candidates should note that, as a result of COVID-19, for those commencing an articling placement between May 1, 2020, and April 29, 2022, the minimum required length of the articling placement is eight months.

For candidates commencing a placement after April 29, 2022 the required minimum length of placement length will be communicated in late 2022.

Flexibility within the Articling Program

Instead of completing a traditional full-time placement with one principal in Ontario, candidates may decide to complete their articling requirement in other ways. Below are explanations of flexible options that the Law Society supports.

Types of Articling Placements

  • Ontario Articling

    An Ontario Articling Placement is one served with an approved principal who is providing the articling candidate with an experience that substantially deals with laws and practices applicable to the practice of law in the province of Ontario.

    This type of articling placement is considered “full-time”. No credit will be given for more than eight hours of work per day, and one workday is equal to a minimum of seven working hours. The placement must be completed within a candidate's licensing term.

    • Examples of Ontario Articles:
      • An articling placement served with an Ontario-called principal in Ottawa who is providing the articling candidate with an experience that substantially deals with Ontario criminal law.
      • An articling placement served with an Ontario-called principal in New York who is providing the articling candidate with an experience that substantially deals with Ontario estate planning law.
      • An articling placement served with an Ontario-called principal in Saskatoon who is providing the articling candidate with an experience that substantially deals with Canadian income tax law.
  • Joint Articling

    A joint articling placement is served under the direct supervision of two or more principals at the same time, who agree to share the services of a candidate during an articling placement. 

    Articling with two or more principals separately during the articling term would NOT be considered  a joint articling placement, but rather two separate placements with two separate filing requirements (Example: Principal A for the first half of an articling term and Principal B for the remaining months).

    • A candidate registered in the Lawyer Licensing Process must file a Joint Articles of Clerkship form no later than 10 business days after the articling start date.
    • This form must include a proposed schedule that has been agreed upon by all parties.  If the form cannot accommodate the proposed schedule, a detailed schedule must be attached as a separate document. 
    • Articling candidates and principals who wish to enter into a joint articling arrangement must be sensitive to conflict of interest concerns. Prior to commencing the joint articling relationship, all parties must review the Rules of Professional Conduct concerning Conflicts from Transfer Between Law Firms.
    • The Law Society will not grant credit for time spent in an articling placement that has started more than 10 business days prior to the date the Joint Articles of Clerkship form is filed, and will only grant credit for placements supervised by an approved Principal(s).
    • Each joint articling principal must file their own Experiential Training Plan and Record of Experiential Training using the online Articling Program Reporting Tool
    • Examples of Joint Articling Arrangements
      • Candidate articles with Principal A on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday and Principal B on Thursday and Friday for the duration of their placement term.
      • Candidate articles with Principal A in the mornings from Monday to Friday and afternoons with Principal B from Monday to Friday.
  • Part-Time Articling

    A part-time articling placement is served under the direct supervision of a principal on a part-time basis for a continuous term that is equivalent to the required placement term. 

    • A Candidate registered in the Lawyer Licensing Process must file a Part-Time Articles of Clerkship form no later than10 business days after the part-time articling placement start date.
    • This form must include a proposed schedule that has been agreed upon by all parties. If the form cannot accommodate the proposed schedule, a detailed schedule must be attached as a separate document. 
    • The proposed schedule must indicate a term that is equivalent to articling for 8 months on a full-time basis..
    • No credit will be given for more than eight hours of work per day, and one workday is equal to a minimum of seven working hours. The placement must be completed within the candidates’ licensing term. 
    • Remember: The Law Society will not grant credit for time spent in an articling placement that has started more than 10 business days prior to the date the Joint or Part-Time Articles of Clerkship form is filed, and will only grant credit for placements supervised by an approved principal(s). 
  • National and International Articling

    A national or international articling placement is completed in a Canadian province other than Ontario or outside of Canada. The placement must be  supervised by a lawyer in good standing who has been called to the bar in another Canadian or international jurisdiction, or by an approved principal who will not be providing the articling candidate with an experience that substantially deals with the laws and practices applicable to the practice of law in the Province of Ontario.

    The placement must be approved prior to the candidate’s start date, which can only be done after the  Application for National or International Articling Placement is complete.

     

    In order to avoid unauthorized practice issues, Candidates and supervising lawyers are required to consult and comply with the home province’s rules and regulations regarding the permitted use of the designation of articling candidates during the placement as well as any rights of appearance in courts and tribunals that pertain thereto.

    Upon completion of a national/international articling placement, the supervising lawyer shall submit the Certificate of Service under Articles

    • Examples of National Articling Placements:
      • An articling placement served with a principal in Quebec who is providing the articling candidate with an experience that substantially deals with Quebec civil law.

      • An articling placement served with a principal in British Columbia who is providing the articling candidate with an experience that substantially deals with British Columbian wills and estates law.

    • Examples of International Articling Placements:
      • An articling placement with a principal in Hong Kong who is providing the articling candidate with an experience that substantially deals with Hong Kong real estate law.
      •  An articling placement in Boston with a lawyer called to the Massachusetts’ Bar who is providing the articling candidate with an experience that substantially deals with U.S. trade laws.
      • An articling placement with the War Crimes Tribunal under the direct supervision of a judge.

      Upon completion of an international articling placement, the supervising lawyer shall submit the Certificate of Service under Articles.
    • To apply for National or International articles, the following is required:
      1. Application for National or International Articling placement.

      2. The application fee is $160.00 (plus applicable taxes). The Law Society of Ontario will invoice your online account in the amount of $160.00 (plus applicable taxes).

      3. An original Certificate of Good Standing that must be sent directly from the issuing jurisdiction of the proposed supervising lawyer to the Licensing and Accreditation department at the Law Society of Ontario.

        The proposed supervising lawyer must be: 

        • Actively engaged in practice of law for 3 of the 5 years immediately preceding the intended articling placement.
        • An exemplar of the profession, having regard to all circumstances including but not limited to your experience, competence, ethical standards, and professional conduct record.

        Any documents that are not in English or French must be translated by an Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario (ATIO) Certified Translator. You may wish to refer to ATIO's Directory of Certified Translators on its website at https://atio.on.ca/.

        The original Certificate of Standing must be sent by the governing body of that jurisdiction directly to a certified translator. The certified translator must then send both the original and translated copies of the Certificate of Standing directly to Articling at the Law Society of Ontario.

        If the lawyer is licensed in Ontario, an Application to Serve as Articling Principal should be filed instead.
      4. A description of the proposed legal experience. Specific examples and descriptions of the proposed legal experience must be provided that assist in demonstrating the articling candidate’s fulfillment of the experiential training competencies.

      5. A description of the proposed legal supervision that has been signed by the Supervising Lawyer.

      Please note, the Application for National or International Articling Placement must be complete prior to your intended articling start date.

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