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Exemptions

Lawyers and paralegals who are in the 10%, 25%, or 50% fee-paying categories for an entire calendar year are automatically exempt from the CPD Requirement as long as they do not practise law or provide legal services, including on a pro bono basis.  In the limited circumstances outlined below, the CPD Requirement will or may be reduced for lawyers or paralegals in the 100% fee-paying category.

Change in Status and Fee-Paying Category During the Year

Lawyers and paralegals in the 100% fee-paying category who will not be working or whose work changes for a portion of the calendar year may change their membership status to the 10%, 25%, or 50% fee-paying category for that portion of the year. Status changes may be made online using the Law Society Portal.

Lawyers and paralegals who change their membership status to the 10%, 25%, or 50% fee-paying category for a portion of a calendar year will be automatically exempted from 1 CPD Hour for every full month in which they are in one of those categories, and will be responsible for completing 1 CPD Hour for every month or partial month in which they are in the 100% fee-paying category. However, lawyers and paralegals who are in the 10%, 25%, or 50% fee-paying category are required to fulfill the CPD Requirement if they practice law or provide legal services during this period,  including on a pro bono basis. 

Application for Exemption from CPD Requirement

Lawyers and paralegals who wish to remain in the 100% fee-paying category but will not be able to fulfill the CPD Requirement may seek an exemption from the requirement in circumstances falling within the Human Rights Code, such as parental leave or a leave of absence from practice due to illness. Lawyers and paralegals seeking an exemption are required to submit a Application and Declaration Form (PDF).  Lawyers and paralegals who are eligible for an exemption will be exempted from 1 CPD Hour for every full month in which they are on leave from practice, and will be responsible for completing 1 CPD Hour for every month or partial month in which they practise law or provide legal services.

Lawyers and paralegals should be aware that there is no exemption from the CPD Requirement on the basis that the lawyer or paralegal (i) practises law outside of Ontario, or (ii) is too busy, such as being involved in a long trial.

Lawyers and paralegals seeking more information about exemptions should email cpdexemptions@lso.ca.

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