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Accommodations

Revised October 2020

Candidates may request accommodation in the Lawyer Licensing Process or the Paralegal Licensing Process based on a ground listed in the Human Rights Code, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.19.
Candidates should review the Policy and Procedures for Accommodations for Candidates in the Lawyer and Paralegal Licensing Process prior to submitting an accommodation request.
 

Lawyer and Paralegal Examinations

  • Accommodation Policy and Examination Rules and Protocol
    In accordance with the Declaration signed by the candidate as part of the application for admission to the licensing process, candidates seeking accommodation for the licensing examination(s) must read and review the Law Society’s licensing examination Rules and Protocol and Policy and Procedures for Accommodations for Candidates in the Lawyer and Paralegal Licensing Processes (Policy). These documents contain important information about the Law Society’s licensing examination process, its duty to accommodate candidates, the Law Society’s procedures and strategies for accommodation, and candidates’ responsibilities when requesting and receiving accommodation. Candidates must follow the procedures set out in the Policy to make an accommodation request. General guidelines for requesting accommodations for the licensing examinations are provided below.
  • Examination Accommodation Inquiries

    Due to the nature of accommodations, unless otherwise indicated, candidates and others, including those who may be providing supporting documentation for a request for an accommodation, must direct their inquiries to accommodation coordinators in the Law Society’s Examination Administration team. Accommodation coordinators in the Examination Administration team are dedicated to managing accommodation requests and delivering examinations with accommodations on behalf of the Licensing and Accreditation department. Representatives in other teams within the department, such as the Licensing Process team, will not have access to the necessary information and will be unable to address phone or email enquiries regarding accommodations.

    The Examination Administration team’s accommodation coordinators are often able to respond most quickly to email enquiries sent to examinationaccommodation@lso.ca. Given the sensitivity and complexity of accommodations, email correspondence can be valuable in providing coordinators with an opportunity to complete any necessary groundwork before responding to enquiries. Accommodation-related enquiries may entail longer response times than other types of inquiries because investigation and review is often required. Voicemail and email messages will generally receive a response within 2 to 4 business days; however, response times may be longer during peak periods.

  • Making an Examination Accommodation Request

    Request Documents

    The candidate must make a written request for accommodation to Examination Administration, using Form A - Candidate Request for Licensing Examination Accommodation (Form A) and, where applicable, Form B: Health Care Professional Recommendation for Licensing Examination Accommodation (Form B). Form A is required for all requests. Form B is required except in cases where the grounds for accommodation is unrelated to a disability, an illness, an injury, a medical condition, or a pregnancy- or maternity-related need. A psychological or psychoeducational assessment may also be required in addition to the Form(s) (see Requirements for Supporting Documentation in the Policy).

    Forms are available through the following links:
    Form A: Candidate Request for Licensing Examination Accommodation (Form A)
    Form B: Health Care Professional Recommendation for Licensing Examination Accommodation  (Form B)

    Request Deadlines

    Candidates entering the licensing process must submit the required completed form(s) and any supporting documentation at the time of the application to the licensing process

    Candidates already registered in the licensing process who have a new or emerging need for accommodation, or who are requesting a change to an existing approved accommodation plan, must submit a request as soon as the candidate discovers the need for the accommodation or revision to an accommodation plan, and, in any event, no later than the deadline posted for the sitting of the licensing examination for which the candidate has registered (see the relevant Dates to Remember page for lawyers and for paralegals).

    Candidates who do not submit a request for accommodation or a request for a revised accommodation on or before the deadline for the applicable licensing examination may have to defer to a future sitting of the licensing examination (many accommodations require the assistance of third-party service providers, rendering late requests unable to be implemented until the next sitting of the licensing examination).

    Priority for addressing accommodation requests will be given to candidates who have met the applicable deadlines. Applicants who register for a licensing examination by the required deadline for the sitting of the licensing examination without accommodation and who request an accommodation after the deadline for accommodations may request to write the licensing examination without any accommodation or defer to a later sitting.

    Submitting the Forms and Supporting Documentation

    Accommodation coordinators in the Examination Administration team will correspond with the candidate through the candidate’s personal e-mail address on file or through the candidate’s online account. It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure that the candidate’s personal email address is up to date.

    Form A: The candidate submits Form A and any supporting documentation by scanning them and attaching them to one email message and sending it to examinationaccommodation@lso.ca.  The email subject line should read: “Form A, Candidate Last Name, Candidate First Name, Law Society ID Number.”

    Form B: The candidate must complete the Release of Information section of Form B and provide it to the health care professional. The health care professional completing Form B submits it and any supporting documentation directly to the Law Society by scanning and attaching them to one email message and sending it to examinationaccommodation@lso.ca. The email subject line should read: “Form B, Candidate Last Name, Candidate First Name, Law Society ID Number.”

  • Completeness, Examination Accommodation Planning, and Implementation of the Plan

    There are three stages to the pre-examination accommodation process:

    1. Reviewing the accommodation request for completeness

    At this stage, the Examination Administration accommodation coordinators review forms and any supporting documentation to determine completeness. Where appropriate, staff may request additional information from the candidate or a health care professional. A request for accommodation will be deemed incomplete where a candidate

    • submits an incomplete Form A or Form B;
    • fails to file one or both required forms; or
    • fails to submit other required documentation or information (including in response to a request from the Law Society).

    A request will be deemed late where any of Form A, Form B, or other requested information or documentation is submitted after the posted deadline. Because not all accommodation requests are straightforward, candidates are strongly encouraged to submit Form A, Form B, and supporting documentation well in advance of the deadline, as requests that remain incomplete or do not contain sufficient information after the deadline are deemed late.

    Incomplete requests may affect the Examination Administration team’s ability to develop an accommodation plan and implement it in time for the candidate’s chosen licensing examination date. If this occurs, the candidate may have to choose between deferring the examination date to a new sitting to allow the Examination Administration team sufficient time to review the accommodation request or writing the examination without accommodation (which is generally not recommended).

    Where an accommodation cannot be made or the candidate considers the Law Society’s accommodation plan (see #2 below) to be unsatisfactory, the candidate may appeal the decision by following the procedure set out in the Policy.

    2. Developing and communicating the examination accommodation plan.

    Based on the complete request, Examination Administration will develop the Law Society’s examination accommodation plan for the candidate. Staff may offer candidates alternative accommodations to those requested.

    Once finalized, details of the plan will be communicated via the candidate’s personal email address on file with the Law Society or the candidate’s online account. Please note that implementation of the plan will not commence until the candidate is registered for an examination (see below).

    3. Registration and implementation of the accommodation plan.

    Once the accommodation plan is finalized, it will remain unchanged unless the candidate takes steps to revise it (see Request Deadlines above) or the Law Society takes steps to revise it. If the plan is based on a temporary condition, it will expire in accordance with the date indicated on the confirmation.
    An approved plan will generally be automatically implemented upon the candidate registering for an examination and completing their financial arrangements with the Law Society.
    Once a complete request is submitted by the deadline, further information will be provided as follows:

    • In-person, paper-based licensing examinations: approximately 10-15 days prior to the licensing examination date (or earlier), details setting out the date, time, and location of the candidate’s sitting will be provided to the candidate.
    • Online licensing examinations: approximately 10-15 days prior to the candidate’s scheduled licensing examination date (or earlier), a final accommodation plan will be provided to the candidate. The candidate will receive confirmation of the candidate’s examination date and time from the Law Society’s online service providers and should contact the service provider directly for scheduling questions. More information on online licensing examinations is available through the licensing examinations webpage.

    For more information regarding accommodations for licensing examinations, candidates are invited to contact Examination Administration staff at examinationaccommodation@lso.ca.

Law Practice Program

Lawyer Call to the bar

  • Accommodation for the Call to the Bar Ceremony in the Lawyer Licensing Process

    The Law Society provides accommodation and assistance at in-person call to the Bar ceremonies upon request by candidates. Examples of accommodation include accessible seating, mobility assistance, oral and visual interpreters, and personal frequency modulation systems. Candidates are invited to contact the Law Society via their online account to discuss requirements.

    Once received by the Law Society, these requirements would be provided to the ceremony venue in order to implement any accommodations provided to the candidate or their guest.

    Candidates who are seeking to be called to the bar by a name other than their legal name in connection with a ground listed in the Human Rights Code may submit a request for accommodation to licensingprocess@lso.ca. All requests for accommodation must be made by the candidate at least one month prior to the Call to the Bar ceremony or administrative call date.

    For more information please contact licensingprocess@lso.ca.

Terms or Concepts Explained