Registration Information for Lawyers Entering the 2017-18 Licensing Cycle

(Revised January 2017)

Welcome to the Lawyer Licensing Process

This page provides information for candidates who have already submitted both parts of their application to the Licensing and Accreditation Department. It contains general information about the components of the Lawyer Licensing Process, including the Licensing Examinations and the Experiential Training Program, and also contains time-sensitive deadlines and dates of importance for candidates in the Lawyer Licensing Process. Please note that Lawyer Licensing Process deadlines are stated in business days, not calendar days, unless otherwise noted.

You must read this information thoroughly along with the Lawyer Licensing Policies and Licensing Examination Rules and Protocol available online.

A. Communicating with the Law Society
B. Fees and Payment
C. Study Materials and the Candidate Photo Identification Card
D. Barrister and Solicitor Licensing Examinations
E. Experiential Training
F. Good Character
G. Accommodations
H. Call to the Bar
I. Contacting the Law Society


A. Communicating with the Law Society

Your online web account is your primary means of communicating with the Law Society from the time that you submit your Lawyer Licensing Process application until you become licensed to practice law.

You are strongly advised to log in to your web account at least once a week to review any information sent by the Law Society. Many critical messages are sent through your web account, including information related to fee invoices and receipts; Licensing Examination registration, study materials, your examination results; filing requirements for articling placements; the Law Practice Program (LPP); and call to the bar ceremonies. You are also reminded to check your account regularly for information on any outstanding documents still required by the Law Society (e.g. proof of legal name documentation, final transcripts from the law school, etc.). It is critical that the contact information in your web account – including your mailing address, telephone number, and email address – is up to date at all times.

You can also communicate with Law Society staff directly through your web account. Replies are typically provided within two business days of receipt. Using your web account you can update your personal information or address, check your account balance and pay your fees. You can also view the status of documents you have submitted to the Licensing Process office under “My Submitted Documents”. Please note that the approval of a received document may take up to 10 business days. 

In your Law Society web account you will find your personal and confidential candidate identification number. You must always reference this number when corresponding with the Law Society. Please ensure that your candidate identification number, username and password are kept confidential at all times.

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B. Fees and Payment

If you applied by the December application deadline, your Licensing Examination, study material and experiential training fee invoices, will be posted in your web account in February 2017. Each of these invoices will include a specific deadline date by which you should make payment in order to complete registration. Please submit payment online with a valid credit card by the applicable deadline.

Please see the “Fees and Forms” page for a fees schedule which includes a detailed breakdown of applicable fees. The “Fees and Forms” page also includes access to information about billing, payment options and Financial Assistance.

You will be sent a separate invoice for each item billed. Each of the invoices will have the deadline listed. Please check your account regularly to ensure you pay for all invoices by the appropriate deadline. If your invoice includes a billing date which is the same as the due date, payment is due immediately upon receipt of the invoice.

Monthly Payment Plan

You may select to pay your fees in accordance with the Law Society’s Monthly Payment Plan. Information regarding the monthly payment plan will be posted online under “Fees and Forms/Monthly Payment Plan” at the time your invoice is posted in your web account. Please note that if you select a monthly payment plan option and you intend to be called to the bar prior to the end of the term of the monthly payment plan selected, all outstanding fees must be paid in full before you can be called to the bar.  An administrative fee will be applied for the administration of this plan. Please carefully review the payment plan selected so that you are aware of the date when final payment will be made, after which point you may be eligible for call.

Monthly Payment Plan payments begin in May 2017. Please review the website for specific deadlines of when to enrol in this plan. Any new invoices billed to the candidate can be added to the plan if indicated in writing to the Accounts Office by the candidate. Such additions will mean your payment plan amount will increase in order to include the fees added to the plan.

For further information on the Monthly Payment Plan or other Financial Assistance information, please visit the Candidate Supports page or the Fees and Forms page.

The Law Society Repayable Allowance Program

The Law Society has established the Repayable Allowance Program (RAP) to assist candidates who require financial assistance. For further information and to download a copy of the application, please visit the website under “For Lawyers/Become a Lawyer/Candidate Supports”.

Completed RAP applications and supporting documentation must be submitted by the applicable deadline listed in the RAP application.

For further information on the Repayable Allowance Program or other financial information, please visit the Candidate Supports page and the Fees and Forms page.

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C. Study Materials and the Candidate Photo Identification Card

Licensing Examination study materials will be released on April 24, 2017 in several ways, provided all fees have been paid.

NOTE: If you apply late in the Licensing Cycle or do not pay in time to collect materials during the prescribed distribution period, you are expected to access the materials online and print them or, request a shipment from the shipping company and pay the applicable shipping fee.

In Person Distribution

The Law Society photo identification card must be presented at all Licensing Examination locations, or when entering legal facilities and venues during the Lawyer Licensing Process, the Articling Program, the Law Practice Program or when accessing the Law Society building. It is important you keep this card in a secure place and inform the Law Society immediately if you suspect it has been lost or stolen. Lost or stolen Law Society photo identification cards must be replaced by contacting the Licensing Process staff at the Law Society and a fee of $15 (plus applicable taxes) will be charged. Each card has an expiry date. It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure the card is valid on the day when their Licensing Examinations are to be written. Expired cards may be replaced free of charge. Such requests must be received in writing at least 3 weeks prior to the examination date.

Location:
The Law Society of Upper Canada
130 Queen Street West
Basement Level, Materials Distribution Room

Distribution dates/times:  (Also posted on the Dates to Remember page)

During the study material distribution period indicated below, candidates who paid for the materials in advance are expected to attend in person if they wish to pick up a paper copy of the study materials. Candidates must present valid government issued photo identification in order to have the materials and the candidate identification card released on:

April 24-28, 2017               9:30-5 pm

Saturday, April 29, 2017       9:30- 5 pm

May 1-5, 2017                      9:30-5 pm 

(closed from 12:30 to 1:30 pm)


Online Access

Access to the online study materials commences April 24, 2017 mid-day onward and is available for the duration of the Licensing Cycle.

Study materials will be available by logging into your web account and clicking on “Study Materials” on or after the first date of distribution.


Shipping Requests

Once you receive your access information on April 24, 2017 at approximately noon, you will be also able to access the online shipping request site to place an order for shipment.

If you intend to pick up your materials, DO NOT place an online shipping request.

Your Law Society candidate photo identification card will be provided to you either in person when you pick up the materials or by shipment if you have requested to receive the materials by that method.

If you do not intend to pick up in person or place a shipping order, please note your candidate identification card will be available for pick up at the examination site provided you show valid government issued photo identification at the site.

The Law Society photo identification card must be presented at all Licensing Examination locations, or when entering legal facilities and venues during the Lawyer Licensing Process, the Articling Program, the Law Practice Program or when accessing the Law Society building. Lost or stolen Law Society photo identification cards must be replaced by contacting the Licensing Process staff at the Law Society and a fee of $15 (plus applicable taxes) will be charged. Each card has an expiry date. Expired cards may be replaced free of charge, upon request. Such requests must be received in writing at least 3 weeks prior to the examination date.

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D. Barrister and Solicitor Licensing Examinations

You must successfully complete both the Barrister and the Solicitor Licensing Examination as part of your licensing requirements. Both Licensing Examinations are open-book and multiple choice, prepared for by self-study of the study materials provided by the Law Society. Each examination is seven (7) hours in length and are divided into two parts.

Candidates may request accommodation in the Lawyer Licensing Process based on a condition that arises from an enumerated ground listed in the Human Rights Code, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.19. For further information please see section G below, or Accommodations

The examinations are scheduled in June, November and March of each Licensing Cycle. See the Licensing Examinations page for more information, including dates, times, locations, rules and protocols, instructions and detailed descriptions of the entry-level competencies that are tested in each Licensing Examination.

The Law Society provides candidates with the study materials once the material fees are paid and they have been released. As the examinations are open-book, you can mark up your study materials and bring them into the examination Testing Area. You are to note however that all materials permitted into the Testing Area must remain in the Testing Area upon completion of the examination.

Each candidate will be required to present a valid Law Society photo identification card at any Licensing Examination. All examination and study material fees billed to your account must be paid in order to write the Licensing Examination.

Your Licensing Examination result will be sent to your Law Society web account approximately 6-8 weeks after your examination date. If you are unsuccessful, you will be permitted to register, pay and rewrite within the same Licensing Cycle for one of the other scheduled sittings. You will be required to download and print another set of study materials from your online account if you are rewriting in the same Licensing Cycle. If you are rewriting in a different Licensing Cycle, you will be invoiced and must pay for a revised set of study materials.

Please also refer to the “Fees and Forms” page if you need to defer an examination sitting or must register for a re-write of an examination.

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E. Experiential Training Program

The Experiential Training Program is one of the required components of the Lawyer Licensing Process. In order to complete the Experiential Training Program of the Law Society, a candidate must complete either the Articling Program or the Law Practice Program. Candidates who have been licensed to practice law in another common law jurisdiction and have at least 10 months of common law practice experience may be eligible for an exemption from the Articling Program. Lakehead University law candidates who complete the J.D./Integrated Practise Curriculum do not have to complete further experiential training to satisfy the Experiential Training component of the Licensing Process.

Please note that you must be registered in the Lawyer Licensing Process and have successfully completed all LL.B/J.D. requirements or attained the NCA Certificate of Qualification before commencing the Articling Program or the Law Practice Program.

Option 1: Articling Program

The Articling Program is one of two options you may have selected when you applied in order to satisfy the Experiential Training Program requirement of the Lawyer Licensing Process. To complete the Articling Program, candidates must work in an articling placement for a period of 10 consecutive months under the direct supervision of an approved Articling Principal. If you had not secured an articling position at the time of submitting your application, please notify the Law Society through your web account as soon as an articling position is secured, so that your records may be updated and you are billed accordingly.

See the Articling Program page for more information.

Option 2: Law Practice Program (LPP)

If you have selected the Law Practice Program (LPP) to satisfy the Experiential Training Program requirement of the Lawyer Licensing Process, please note the LPP is currently held once a year. The LPP was recently approved to continue for an additional two Licensing Cycles: 2017-18 and 2018-19. 

The LPP consists of a four-month training course from late summer to December 2017 and a four-month work placement from January to April 2018. The program must be taken in sequence. Ryerson University provides the English LPP. The University of Ottawa provides the French LPP.

See the Law Practice Program page for more information regarding this program. 

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F. Good Character

The Law Society Act requires that an applicant for admission as a licensee of the Law Society of Upper Canada be of good character. This is an ongoing requirement for applicants throughout their licensing term. If your answers to any of the Good Character questions have changed from the time you submitted your initial application, you are required to submit a Good Character Amendment Form found online on the Fees and Forms page.

Please note that you cannot be licensed until your good character status is clear. Please review further information available on the Good Character page.

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G. Accommodations

Candidates in the Lawyer Licensing Process may request an accommodation based on a condition that arises from an enumerated ground listed in the Human Rights Code, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.19.

In order to receive accommodations for a Licensing Examination, candidates will be required to submit the following documents: (1) an Accommodation Request Form; (2) a Supporting Documentation Form for Medical Professionals Recommending Accommodation (where applicable); and (3) an Agreement and Undertaking regarding Licensing Examination Accommodation. If you received an accommodation in the past through another organization or institution (such as the Law School Admission Council or your law school) based on a condition that arises from an enumerated ground, please also include documentation outlining the previous arrangement(s). Proof of prior accommodation is not a guarantee of the same accommodation in the Licensing Process, as all requests are assessed individually and within the context of the Licensing Process. All identifiable information is held in strict confidence and will not be released to anyone without your written consent.

The Law Society of Upper Canada's policy regarding accommodations for candidates is available on the Policy and Procedures for Accommodations page.

For further information about Accommodation please contact Examination Administration at: examinationaccommodation@lsuc.on.ca

IMPORTANT: SUBMISSION DEADLINE - All requests and supporting documentation must be received in Examination Administration 30 business days prior to the Licensing Examination. For deadlines, see the Accommodations page.

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H. Call to the Bar

To be eligible to be called to the bar of Ontario, you must successfully complete all requirements of the Lawyer Licensing Process, submit all required documentation and pay any outstanding fees by the prescribed deadlines. Candidates entering the 2017-18 Licensing Cycle may be eligible for a call to the bar in June 2018 provided all requirements are met. Detailed information concerning upcoming call ceremonies is distributed to eligible candidates and posted on the Lawyer Licensing Process website on an ongoing basis, as soon as the information becomes available and as soon as candidates become eligible.

If you intend on being called to the bar in June 2018, you must commence your 10-month articling term by August 8, 2017. If you commence the 10-month articling term after this day, you may not be eligible to be called to the bar in June 2018 but may be eligible for the call ceremony scheduled in September 2018. If you complete the Law Practice Program from September 2017 to April 2018, you may also be eligible for the June 2018 call ceremony.

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I. Contacting the Law Society

Licensing and Accreditation Hours of Operation and Location:

The office is open between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. 

The address is 130 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON, M5H 2N6.

Please send any inquiries via your Law Society account. You may also call 416-947-3315 to speak to staff regarding the Lawyer Licensing Process. Please note the office receives a high volume of calls in the weeks leading up to the registration and payment deadlines.

Candidates may make payment in person at the Client Service Office on the main floor of the Law Society Building.

If you are visiting the Law Society during the in-person distribution period, you may access the Law Society by public transit in a number of ways:

 

  • Candidates traveling by streetcar should take the Queen streetcar and get off at Queen and York.
  • Candidates traveling by subway should take the Yonge-University-Spadina line to Osgoode station.
  • Candidates traveling on the GO Transit system should get off at Union station and can walk to Osgoode Hall or take the subway to Osgoode station.

 

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