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Licensing Examination Study Materials

General Information 
Study Materials and Licensing Cycles
Accessing Study Materials
Materials FAQ

General Information 

Once you have applied to the Licensing Process and selected an examination sitting, or registered or deferred an examination sitting, you will require the applicable examination Study Materials.

The information below is intended to provide general information regarding the Study Materials and how to obtain them in preparation for an examination sitting. It is each candidate’s responsibility to thoroughly review the information as well as all the Examination Rules and Protocol, schedules, policies, deadlines, and procedures pertinent to the Licensing Examinations and the Licensing Process.

  1. Once your application or examination registration/deferral form has been processed, you will receive your invoices: one for your examination(s); and one for the study material(s) for the Licensing Year within which the examination is held.
  2. If you are re-writing an examination within the same licensing year, your current material(s) would still be valid for that licensing year’s sittings. You are required to access and print the PDF of the Study Materials from your online account if you are re-writing in the same Licensing Year.
  3. Access to your materials will be provided only if payment is received in full by the Law Society and materials have been released for the Licensing Year. You must pay for the Study Materials in addition to the examination fees in full as part of the registration process. You will not be permitted to sit an examination unless all fees relating to examinations and Study Materials are paid in full by the registration deadline and the required transcript or NCA Certificate of Qualification is filed with the Law Society.
  4. You will have digital access to your study material in the form of a PDF in your online account approximately 2 business days after your payment has been processed, provided the materials have been released for that Licensing Year. Otherwise, you will have access to them after 12pm on the day of their release. Materials will be available up to the final examination sittings of the Licensing Year.
  5. Please go to the Dates to Remember page related to Lawyer candidates and Paralegal candidates to view the release date of the Study Materials. Please also see the Examination Deadlines and Dates section for information on applicable registration deadlines for each sitting of the examination. 
  6. Once materials are available, you are required to arrange printing of the Study Materials so that you have a printed copy available to you in your examination Testing Area. The Law Society will not be providing printed copies of the materials and candidates are expected to arrange printing their materials.  NOTE: Electronic copies of the materials are not permitted in the Testing Area. You must ensure you bring a paper copy to the Testing Area on the day of the examination.
  7. Your Law Society identification card will be mailed to the address on file with Licensing and Accreditation, in time for the first time you write an examination.

Study Materials and Licensing Cycles

One of the requirements to be licensed in Ontario is to successfully pass the mandatory licensing examination(s). Lawyer candidates must successfully complete a Barrister examination and a Solicitor examination. Paralegal candidates must successfully complete one licensing examination. The Law Society develops study materials on which the exams are based which support all examined competencies on each Licensing Examination. Candidates do not require additional study materials to prepare for an examination. It is therefore essential that you review the Study Materials carefully in preparation for a Licensing Examination. All competencies that are tested on the examinations are posted in detail on the website under the Licensing Examinations tab at left.

Study Materials are released at the beginning of each Licensing Year and are valid up until the final examination sitting of that Licensing Year. Each Licensing Year typically has three sittings of each examination.

The lawyer Licensing Year begins on May 1 of one calendar year and ends on April 30 of the following year. 

The paralegal Licensing Year begins on June 1 of one calendar year and ends on May 31 of the following year.

The examination Study Materials are revised each year and candidates are expected to keep this in mind when they register within or between cycles: for instance, candidates who defer or re-write an examination to a subsequent Licensing Year will be invoiced for the revised Licensing Examination study materials and will not be reimbursed for the previously purchased materials. Once materials are released to a candidate, the fee is non-refundable.

All Licensing Examinations are developed with reference to the Study Materials current to that Licensing Year. Candidates are required to purchase the version of the study materials that is current to the Licensing Year in which they register to write.

Please refer to the Dates to Remember page for specific release dates related to Lawyer candidates and Paralegal candidates.

Accessing Study Materials

The exact release day for the Study Materials will vary slightly from year to year. These dates can be found under the Dates to Remember page for Lawyer candidates and for Paralegal candidates

Online Access

Online access is provided once materials are released for the Licensing Year and the fees are paid, up until the end of the Licensing Year. Candidates will be notified through their online account when the materials are available in their online account. They are required to download and print the PDF file of the materials available from their online account so that they may refer to them during their examination. Printed copies of the Study Materials are not available through the Law Society and candidates are required to arrange printing their Study Materials so that they have adequate time to prepare for their selected sitting.

Confidentiality and Security of the Study Materials

The Law Society maintains strict confidentiality and security of the study material contents. Stringent protocols and measures have been put in place to ensure that the integrity and security of the Licensing Examinations and the Study Materials is maintained. These measures are designed to eliminate any unfair advantage among candidates and avoid the high cost of replacing the study materials and examinations. These protocols have been implemented at all phases of the creation and distribution of the study materials, especially in the areas of development, review, translation, printing, transportation, and disposal of the materials. 

All Study Materials are the exclusive property of the Law Society and are protected by copyright. In order to preserve the confidentiality and security of the Licensing Examinations, candidates are always strictly prohibited from disclosing to any person or organization, reproducing (through memorization or by any other means) or publishing any part of the Examination and study materials. If a candidate decides to bring print materials and/or other aids to the examination site, all materials, notes, and textbooks must be brought by the candidate into the Testing Area prior to the start of Part 1 of the Examination Sitting. Candidates are not permitted to bring any additional materials into the Testing Area after the Licensing Examination has begun (including for Part 2 of the Examination Sitting).

For more information, please see this link for Lawyer Licensing Examinations and this link for Paralegal Licensing Examinations.

Materials FAQ

Q: When do I get my Study Materials?
A: The material release dates are available on the Dates to Remember page for Lawyer and Paralegal candidates. If the materials have been released for that Licensing Year you will have access to them online about two business days after your credit card payment has been processed. Other forms of payment may take longer to process (please see Billing and Payment for more information on paying fees).

Q: Where will I find my materials electronically once they have been released?
A: Please log into your Law Society account and go to “My Examination Study Materials”.

Q: I just paid for my materials. They are not appearing in my account, when will I receive them?
A: If you’ve just made a payment by credit card online or through the Client Service Center in person, please allow one to two business days for your payment to be processed. NOTE: Your materials might not have been released yet. Please visit the Dates to Remember page for Lawyer and Paralegal candidates to verify the materials release date.

Q: I wrote last year. Can I use my old materials to study? 
A: Study Materials are revised each year and you are required to purchase and pay for the revised Study Materials for the Licensing Year you are writing in. Please note the study material fee must be paid as part of the registration process.

Q: Why can’t I use my old materials? There can’t be that much of a difference.
A: Licensing examinations are based on the Study Materials which are revised each year. You will not be permitted to write an examination without purchasing revised materials.

Q: Is the purchase of materials mandatory? 
A: Yes unless you are re-writing in the same Licensing Year.

Q: Can I use my friend/colleague/partner’s set of materials?
A: You are required to purchase and pay for your own set of materials as part of the registration process. The Law Society will invoice you for the required set of material once you register for a sitting.

Q: Can I sell or give away my materials?
A: No, the materials are intended for your personal use in preparing for your examination. Please see the section on the inside cover of your materials for further information. 

Q: What if I find an error or typo in the content of the Study Materials?
A: Please send a message through your online account stating the exact page, section, and nature of the error. 

Q: Can I be reimbursed for my materials?
A: Once materials are released to you through your online account, study material fees cannot be refunded.

Q: I ordered French materials, but they are in English in my online account. What do I do?
A: You are able to access them in French as well: Please log out and close your browser. Then make sure to access the French site (click Français at the top of the page). Log in from the French site and you can access your materials in French. 

Q: Can I bring my materials into the Licensing Examination Testing Area?
A: Yes, you are required to bring a printed copy of your Study Materials into the testing area since the examinations are open-book, self-study examinations. Please be sure to read the Licensing Examination Rules and Protocols and the information in the “Licensing Examination” section online for further information on permissible items in the Testing Area.

Q: Can I highlight or write in my materials when I am preparing for my examination?
A: Yes you may. However, please be sure to read the Licensing Examination Rules and Protocols for further information on preparing for your examination and what is permissible to bring into the Testing Area. 

Q: What happened to my online materials? They have disappeared.
A: Your materials will only be available in your online account during the Licensing Year for which they are valid. Please consider saving them to your personal computer if you wish to keep a copy of the PDF. Once the winter exams have occurred, candidates will no longer have access to that years study materials as we prepare for the new licensing year’s materials release.

Q: Can I copy the material? My printing shop says they need written confirmation that they can print the material.
A: The Study Materials you have purchased are copyrighted to the Law Society. You may not sell, distribute, or reproduce them for others; however, you can make copies for your own personal preparation for the examination. Please have the shop refer to the section at the front of the materials.

Q: Does the Law Society have printed copies of the Study Materials available and can I request a shipment? 
A: The Law Society does not produce printed copies of the materials available for distribution or shipment. Candidates are expected to download and save their study material PDF and print their own materials from this PDF file for examination preparations.

If you have questions regarding materials that are not addressed in this section, please send a message to the Licensing and Accreditation department through your Law Society account by going to ‘My Messages’ and then to ‘Compose Message’.

Terms or Concepts Explained