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Beginning a Placement

  • Step 1 – Ensure your application to the Lawyer Licensing Process is complete

    Your registration in the Lawyer Licensing Process will be complete when you have submitted the following documents:

    • Part 1 – Electronic Application

    • Part 2 – Hardcopy commissioned version of the Electronic Application

    • Educational requirement – Official Transcript or NCA Certificate of Qualification

  • Step 2 – Ensure your Articling Principal has been approved
    You must confirm that your principal has been approved to serve as an articling principal before starting the placement. If you are unsure whether your principal is approved, enquire through your online account.

    Time served under an unapproved principal may not be credited as time spent articling.
  • Step 3 – Will you be pursuing a 10 month Ontario Articling placement?

    Candidates may choose to complete their articling placement in Ontario, or another province or country. 

    • Candidates who article in Ontario must file an Articles of Clerkship form within 10 business days of their articling start date.
    • Candidates who choose to article outside of Ontario, must file an Application for National or International Articling Placement in advance of their articling start date.
    •  The Law Society may not grant credit for time spent in an articling placement that has started more than 10 business days prior to the date an Articles of Clerkship form is filed with the Law Society. If the form is filed later than 10 business days after the start date of the articling placement, the candidate will be invoiced a late fee of $100 (plus applicable taxes).
  • Step 4 – Review your Experiential Training Plan
    • Principals who have previously filed a training plan do not need to refile this document. Candidates can access the plan by clicking on the “Experiential Training” tab of their online account.
    • Planning Time Off? The Law Society will recognize a maximum of 10 days off within the 10 month articling placement. These days can be used for (but are not limited to) vacation, study, exams, or sickness. When more than 10 days are taken by an articling candidate during the placement, this time can be added in business days to the end of the articling term, or a compassionate abridgement must be sought.

    For example, if the student takes 15 days off, 5 days will be added on to the end of their articling term. You may not shorten the length of articles by not taking time off during your placement.

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 three years of the start date of the placement.
    • Examples of Ontario Articles:
      1. 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.
      2. 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.
      3. 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 who agree to share the services of a candidate during an articling placement. 
    • 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 should review the Rules of Professional Conduct concerning Conflicts from Transfer Between Law Firms.
    • The Law Society will not necessarily 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 is responsible for filing their own Experiential Training Plan and Record of Experiential Training using the online Articling Program Reporting Tool
  • 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 10 months.  
    • A Candidate registered in the Lawyer Licensing Process must file a Part-Time Articles of Clerkship form no later than 10 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 10 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 three years of the start date of the placement. 
    • Remember: The Law Society may 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). 

    • Examples of acceptable equivalent arrangements:
      • 110 weeks at 2 days per week which includes up to a total of 10 business days of Time Off
      • 88 weeks at 2.5 days per week which includes up to a total of 10 business days of Time Off
      • 73 weeks at 3 days per week which includes up to a total of 10 business days of Time Off
      • 55 weeks at 4 days per week which includes up to a total of 10 business days of Time Off
  • National and International Articling
    • Must be approved in advance prior to the candidate’s start date, which can only be done after the application is complete.
    • A national or international articling placement is in a Canadian province other than Ontario or outside of Canada. The placement is 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.
    • If the Candidate wishes to serve their articling placement with a lawyer who is not a member of the Law Society of Ontario, the lawyer must apply for approval as a supervising lawyer from Articling, Licensing Process, Licensing and Accreditation Department of the Law Society of Ontario. A Certificate of Good Standing, which includes the name and years of legal experience of the supervising lawyer and confirmation that the lawyer is in good standing with their governing body should be sent directly from the issuing jurisdiction to Articling , Licensing Process, Licensing and Accreditation Department at the Law Society of Ontario.
    • If the lawyer is a member of the Law Society of Ontario, the lawyer must apply for approval as an articling principal.

     
    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:
      1. 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.

      2. 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:
      1. 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.

      2. 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.

      3. 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.

      The approval process takes approximately 2 weeks provided all required documentation is filed.

    • 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) or you may pay by certified cheque or money order payable to the Law Society of Ontario

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

      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

      1. A description of the proposed legal experience and a description of the proposed legal supervision that has been signed by the Supervising Lawyer

      Please note that this application will not be considered complete unless specific examples of the proposed legal experience are provided. The supervising lawyer should provide descriptions of those specific examples that assist in demonstrating the articling candidate’s fulfillment of the experiential training competencies for candidates.

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