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Introduction to Professionalism Case Studies

Participation in study groups (or roundtable sessions) consisting of two or more licensees qualifies as an eligible educational activity under the Continuing Professional Development requirement.  The Law Society’s Professionalism Case Studies are designed to provide a suggested basis for study group discussion sessions on professional responsibility, ethics, practice management, and/or equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI), and are offered as a resource to licensees at no charge.
 
Each Professionalism Case Study is a description of an actual situation (with the names and other details disguised to protect confidentiality), and involves a professional responsibility, ethics, practice management or EDI (“professionalism”) decision, challenge, opportunity or issue faced by a lawyer or paralegal.  Study group participants will be expected to put themselves in the position of the decision maker in the case to identify and analyze the legal, professional and personal challenges he or she faces.  They will also be asked to develop alternatives and an action plan for resolving the issues in accordance with the lawyer or paralegal’s professional obligations under the Rules of Professional Conduct or Paralegal Rules of Conduct.  Professionalism Case Study discussions may range from 30 minutes to one hour in length, depending on the complexity of the case and the engagement of the participants.
 
The Law Society recommends that licensees who wish to participate in a study group appoint one member to act as the facilitator for the discussion session.  Cases and guides for participants and facilitators are available on the Law Society’s website.  The facilitator guides include learning objectives, suggested topics and sample discussion questions.  They do not offer the answers to the questions.  It is the responsibility of the individual study group members to analyze the issues, generate alternatives and develop an action plan to address the problems presented in the cases in accordance with the relevant Law Society rules.
 
We welcome your feedback on the Professionalism Case Studies and invite you to send us any practice tips that arise from your study group discussion sessions to the Law Society of Ontario, Professional Development & Competence Department at rc@lso.ca or by fax at 416-947-3370.