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Rights of Appearance for Law Students

A law student who is currently enrolled in an accredited Canadian law school may appear before Ontario courts and tribunals on certain matters, provided the law student is employed under the direct supervision of a licensed lawyer. A law student appearing before a court or tribunal must identify him/herself as a “law student” or “summer student”.

  1. Part I of By-Law 7.1 sets out the tasks and functions that a law student may perform and the supervision required in performing them. It is the supervising lawyer’s responsibility to set the parameters within which the law student operates. In determining what to delegate to law students, the supervising lawyer should be guided by Part I of By-Law 7.1.
  2. Law students working in a law office may appear as agents in courts and tribunals with similar rights of appearance to those of a Lawyer Licensing Process candidate, provided there is direct supervision by the supervising lawyer. The following examples, which are not exhaustive, illustrate where it may be appropriate for law students to appear, subject to direct supervision by a lawyer:
    1. matters before the Small Claims Court,
    2. matters before a tribunal, where a non-lawyer has a right of appearance,
    3. matters related to the Provincial Offences Act, and
    4. in certain criminal matters, where appropriate.

Please note that, by law, Ontario courts and tribunals control their own processes. Although these Rights of Appearance set out certain matters for which the Law Society’s governing legislation and By-laws permit law students to appear, it is always advisable to consult any applicable enabling legislation and rules of practice and/or procedure of the court or tribunal in question, or to contact the court or tribunal in advance to obtain express permission whenever possible.