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Certified Specialist Application Materials

Important: In response to COVID pandemic measures, intermittent remote working conditions are currently in place for Law Society staff. At this time, the preferred, and most effective, method of the receipt of Applications for Certification and Statements of Reference is by email to the Certified Specialist Program at

Prior to applying to the Law Society of Ontario’s Certified Specialist Program (“CSP”), applicants are asked to review the Administrative Policies Governing the Certified Specialist Program (“Policies”). The Application for Certification  is common to all specialty areas and must be completed by all applicants.  The Standards for Certification must also be included in the application, specific to the specialty area to which an application is being made. 

As part of the application process, the appropriate number and type of reference forms must be received from referees as defined in the applicable Standards for Certification. Reference Forms can be submitted to the CSP in any of the following formats: 

  • Emailed directly to the Certified Specialist Program at by the referee, provided that no one else is copied on the email (currently the preferred method)
  • written hard copy in a sealed envelope – mailed directly to the Law Society’s Certified Specialist Program;
  • written hard copy in a sealed envelope, with the signature of the referee along the seal – included in the application package sent by the applicant; or

 Also required with the application, is a claims history from LawPRO. When requesting a claims report from LawPRO, be advised that it may take up to ten (10) business days from the date upon which any such request is received by LawPRO to process your report. In cases of high volumes of requests, your claims request may take longer to process. Please ensure that you take this date range into consideration when making your application.

Review of new applications for the CSP takes a minimum of 45 business days to ensure appropriate service standards are met. All necessary supporting documents must be properly completed and included with the application or processing delays will result. Once a new application is reviewed and has been confirmed by Professional Development and Competence Counsel to comply with the Policies, the application will be presented to the Certified Specialist Board for final approval at their next scheduled meeting.

Do not hesitate to contact the Certified Specialist Program at if you have any questions with respect to your application.

Materials Common to all Applicants

Areas of Specialization

Bankruptcy and Insolvency Law

Citizenship and Immigration Law
(Immigration/Refugee Protection)

Civil Litigation

Construction Law

Corporate and Commercial Law

Criminal Law

Environmental Law

Estates and Trusts Law

Family Law

Health Law

Indigenous Legal Issues

Intellectual Property Law

Labour and Employment Law

Municipal Law

Real Estate Law

Taxation Law

Workplace Safety and Insurance Law

Terms or Concepts Explained