Paralegal Licensing Process Policies

Table of Contents

Part I: Definitions
   Definitions
Part II: General
   Purpose
Part III: Education Requirements
   Education Requirements for Registration into the Licensing Process
Part IV: Application for Registration into the Licensing Process
   Applying for Registration
Part V: Registration into the Licensing Process
   Registration
Part VI: Good Character Requirement
   Good Character Requirement
Part VII: Candidate Obligation to Keep Information Current
   Candidate Obligations
Part VIII: Completion of the Licensing Process 
   Components and Time Requirements
Part IX: Licensing Examination
   General
Part X: Removal from the Licensing Process
   Removal
   Good Character
   Prohibited Conduct
Part XI: Withdrawal from the Licensing Process
   Procedure for Withdrawal
   Effect of Withdrawal
Part XII: Accommodation
   Accommodation
Part XIII: Issuance of a Class P1 Licence
   Eligibility for Issuance of a Class P1 Licence
   Deferral of Issuance of a Class P1 Licence
Part XIV: Late Filing Fee
   Late Filing Fee

 


 

Part I: Definitions

Definitions

1.1 "Accredited Program" means a legal services program in Ontario approved by the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities that is accredited by the Society.

1.2 "Application" means the application by a person to the Society for a Class P1 Licence and includes the application to be registered into the Licensing Process.

1.3 "business day" means any day except a holiday.

1.4 "Candidate" means a person who is registered by the Society into the Licensing Process, but does not include a person who is registered by the Society into the Licensing Process and is exempt, pursuant to By-Law 4, from the requirement to have graduated from an Accredited Program.

1.5 “Class P1 Licence” means a licence issued to a person by the Society entitling the person to provide legal services in Ontario as a paralegal.

1.6 “Date of Commencement of the Candidate’s Licensing Cycle” means June 1 of the year in which the Candidate submits an Application to the Society or June 1 of the following year as stipulated by the Society when a Candidate is registered by the Society into the Licensing Process.

1.7 "Examination Sitting" means the time, date and location established by the Society for the writing of a Licensing Examination.

1.8 "Executive Director, Professional Development and Competence" means an employee of the Society assigned by the Chief Executive Officer the responsibility of administering the Licensing Process and enforcing the Policy.

1.9 "Hearing Division" means the Law Society Hearing Division continued under Part II of the Law Society Act.

1.10 "holiday" means any Saturday or Sunday, New Year's Day, Family Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Victoria Day, Canada Day, Civic Holiday, Labour Day, Thanksgiving Day, Remembrance Day, Christmas Eve Day, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Eve Day and any special holiday proclaimed by the Governor General or Lieutenant Governor.

1.11 “Licensee” means a person to whom a Class P1 Licence has been issued by the Society.

1.12 "Licensing Cycle" means the period from June 1 of one year to May 31 of the following year in which a Candidate is registered into the Licensing Process by the Society.

1.13 "Licensing Examination" means the Paralegal Licensing Examination developed by the Society.

1.14 "Licensing Examination Rules and Protocol" mean the rules and protocol established by the Professional Development and Competence Committee from time to time to ensure that the Licensing Examination is conducted fairly and securely.

1.15 "Licensing Process" means the process for completion by Candidates of all requirements in order to be eligible to be issued a Class P1 Licence, in accordance with the Law Society Act and By-Law 4 pursuant to the Law Society Act.

1.16 "Licensing Term" means the period ending three years from the Date of Commencement of the Candidate's Licensing Cycle.

1.17 "Manager of Licensing and Accreditation" means an employee of the Society assigned to perform the duties of the manager of licensing and accreditation.

1.18 “Oath” means the oath the taking of which is a requirement for the issuance of a Class P1 Licence.

1.19 "Policy" means these Policies for the Licensing Process.

1.20 "Prescribed Fee" means the fee approved by the Society.

1.21 "Prescribed Form" means the form approved by the Society.

1.22 “Professional Development and Competence Committee” means the standing committee of Convocation responsible for competence matters.

1.23 “Request for the Issuance of a Class P1 Licence" means the request to the Society for the issuance of a Class P1 Licence by a Candidate who has completed the Licensing Process and met the Society's requirements for the issuance of a Class P1 Licence.

1.24 "Society" means the Law Society of Upper Canada.

1.25 “Tribunal” means the Law Society Tribunal established under Part II of the Law Society Act.

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Part II: General

Purpose 

2.1 This Policy describes the rules and procedures for completion of the Licensing Process and should be read in tandem with the Law Society Act and By-Law 4 pursuant to the Law Society Act. If there is a conflict between the Policy and the provisions of the Law Society Act and/or By-Law 4 pursuant to the Law Society Act, the provisions of the Law Society Act and By-Law 4 prevail.

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Part III: Education Requirements

Education Requirements for Registration into the Licensing Process

3.1 A person may be registered into the Licensing Process as a Candidate if he or she:

     a.   has obtained a diploma from a legal services program that was, at the time that the person graduated from that legal services program, an Accredited Program; or

     b.   has completed all of the requirements to obtain a diploma from a legal services program that is an Accredited Program and is awaiting receipt of the transcript of final marks and the conferring of the diploma on the Candidate by the Accredited Program.

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Part IV: Application for Registration into the Licensing Process

Applying for Registration

4.1 A person who wishes to be registered into the Licensing Process as a Candidate must:
     a. complete and submit to the Society an Application in the Prescribed Form;
     b. pay to the Society a non-refundable Prescribed Fee for registration; and
     c. provide to the Society at the time(s) specified by the Society: 
          i. an official transcript from the institution indicating that the person has graduated from an Accredited Program sent directly by the issuing institution to the Society;
         ii. two colour passport size photographs of the person taken within the twelve month period preceding the date of the Application; and
         iii. proof of the person's legal name in the form required by the Society; and
         iv. any other documentation and information required by the Society pursuant to the Policy.

4.2 A person’s or Candidate’s Application will be deemed to have been abandoned where the person or Candidate has:
     a. failed by the time specified by the Society to provide all documents and information relating to the requirement that the person be of good character as required under section 6.3; or
     b. attempted the Licensing Examination three times or, if entitled under the Policy, four times, and has failed to pass that Licensing Examination.

4.3 A person or Candidate whose Application has been abandoned may only submit another Application if authorized by the Executive Director, Professional Development and Competence.

4.4 A person who wishes to request the authorization of the Executive Director, Professional Development and Competence to submit another Application pursuant to section 4.3 must submit a request in the Prescribed Form to the Society.

4.5 The Executive Director, Professional Development and Competence will authorize a person’s request to submit another Application if:
     a. the person demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Executive Director, Professional Development and Competence that there has been a material change in circumstances that would affect or could be expected to affect the Candidate’s ability to successfully complete the Licensing Process; and
     b. one year has passed after the date on which the person's previous Application was deemed to have been abandoned.

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Part V: Registration into the Licensing Process

Registration

5.1 The Society may register into the Licensing Process as a Candidate a person who has complied with Parts III and IV of the Policy.

5.2 A Candidate who has been registered into the Licensing Process pursuant to section 3.1(b) must provide to the Society by the time specified by the Society an official transcript issued by an Accredited Program indicating that the Candidate has graduated and obtained a diploma from the program.

5.3 A Candidate who has been registered into the Licensing Process pursuant to section 3.1(b) and becomes aware that the Candidate has not met the requirements for graduation from an Accredited Program and cannot comply with section 5.2 must immediately notify the Society that the Candidate has not met the requirements and withdraw from the Licensing Process in accordance with Part XI of the Policy.

5.4 The Society may remove from the Licensing Process a Candidate who has failed to comply with section 5.1 or who cannot obtain a diploma from an Accredited Program that is at the time that the Candidate graduates from the school an Accredited Program by the time specified by the Society pursuant to section 5.2. 

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Part VI: Good Character Requirement

Good Character Requirement

6.1 An applicant for a Class P1 Licence shall be of good character.

6.2 In order to determine whether a Candidate is of good character, the Society may require the person to provide information and/or supporting documentation regarding good character. This information and supporting documentation may include but is not limited to information and documentation with respect to whether the person:
     a. has been found guilty of, or convicted of, any offence under any statute;
     b. is the subject of criminal proceedings;
     c. has had judgment rendered against him or her in an action involving fraud;
     d. has any outstanding civil judgments against him or her;
     e. has ever disobeyed any Order of any court requiring the person to do any act or to abstain from doing any act;
     f. has been discharged from any employment where the employer has alleged that there was cause;
     g. has been suspended, disqualified, censured or otherwise disciplined as a member of any professional organization;
     h. has been denied a licence or permit or had any licence or permit revoked for failure to meet good character requirements;
     i. has been refused admission as an applicant or member of any professional body;
     j. has had allegations of misconduct made against him or her while attending a post-secondary institution or has been suspended, expelled or penalized by a post-secondary institution for misconduct while attending that institution;
     k. is subject to a petition or assignment in bankruptcy or a proposal to creditors under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (Canada) or has been bankrupt or insolvent under any statute;
     l. has been disciplined by an employer or been a respondent in proceedings in relation to a violation of any human rights legislation; and
     m. has been sanctioned or had a penalty imposed upon him or her by a court, an administrative tribunal or a regulatory body.

6.3 A person shall provide to the Society:
     a. at the time that the person submits her or his Application, all documents and information specified by the Society on the application form relating to the requirement that the person be of good character; and
     b. by the time specified by the Society, all additional documents and information specified by the Society relating to the requirement that the person be of good character.

6.4 A person who fails to comply with section 6.3 is deemed to have abandoned his or her Application and in such circumstances the person's registration into the Licensing Process is cancelled.

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Part VII: Candidate Obligation to Keep Information Current

Candidate Obligations

7.1 Upon registration into the Licensing Process, a Candidate must ensure that all information contained in the Application is kept current and accurate throughout the Candidate’s Licensing Term.

7.2 A Candidate must notify the Society in writing forthwith of any change in the information and/or responses contained in the Application and must provide to the Society any information or supporting documentation required by the Society as a result of the change(s).

7.3 A Candidate or person applying to be registered into the Licensing Process must immediately notify the Society in writing of any fact or circumstance or change in fact or circumstances that could affect the person’s or Candidate's good character status.

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Part VIII: Completion of the Licensing Process

Components and Time Requirements

8.1 In order to complete the Licensing Process, a Candidate must:
     a. pass the Licensing Examination during the Candidate’s Licensing Term; and
     b. comply with the Policy.

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Part IX: Licensing Examination

General

9.1 A person must be registered into the Licensing Process as a Candidate in order to write a Licensing Examination.

9.2 The Licensing Examination and each Examination Sitting will be conducted in accordance with the Licensing Examination Rules and Protocol.

9.3 A Candidate must comply with the Licensing Examination Rules and Protocol.

9.4 A Candidate who fails to comply with the Licensing Examination Rules and Protocol may be disciplined and removed from the Licensing Process pursuant to Part X of the Policy.

9.5 A Candidate must write a Licensing Examination at an Examination Sitting.

9.6 A Candidate will retain credit for passing the Licensing Examination for the duration of the Candidate’s Licensing Term.

9.7 Subject to section 9.8, a Candidate who fails a Licensing Examination may write the Licensing Examination another time or times, provided that the Candidate completes the Licensing Process during the Candidate’s Licensing Term.

9.8 A Candidate may not write during the Candidate’s Licensing Term the Licensing Examination more than three times, or, if authorized by the Executive Director, Professional Development and Competence pursuant to section 9.17, more than four times.

9.9 A Candidate who wishes to complete a Licensing Examination must, no later than 30 business days prior to the date of the Examination Sitting, provide to the Society a written request in the Prescribed Form indicating that the Candidate wishes to register for that Examination Sitting and pay the Prescribed Fee.

9.10 Where the Society approves the Candidate's request, the Society will assign the Candidate to the particular Examination Sitting and the Candidate must write the Licensing Examination at that Examination Sitting.

9.11 Where a Candidate who has been assigned to a particular Examination Sitting wishes to change the location of the writing of the Licensing Examination or the language of choice for the writing of the Licensing Examination, the Candidate must submit a request in the Prescribed Form to the Society at least 30 business days prior to the date of the assigned Examination Sitting and the Society may approve the request.

9.12 Subject to sections 7.1 and 9.8 of the Policy, where a Candidate who has been assigned to a particular Examination Sitting wishes to defer the completion of that Licensing Examination, the Candidate must provide a request to defer in the Prescribed Form to the Society at least five business days prior to the date of the Examination Sitting and the Society will approve the request and refund or defer the Prescribed Fee paid by the Candidate.

9.13 Subject to section 9.14 of the Policy, where a Candidate has been assigned to an Examination Sitting and does not attend that Examination Sitting and has not followed the procedure for deferral set out in section 9.12, the Candidate will not be entitled to any refund of the Prescribed Fee.

9.14 A Candidate who has been assigned to an Examination Sitting and does not attend that Examination Sitting due to medical reasons and wishes to request a refund or a deferral of the Prescribed Fee must provide to the Society a Medical Absence Form within 10 business days after the Examination Sitting.

9.15 A Candidate who has failed the Licensing Examination three times during the Candidate's Licensing Term may apply to the Executive Director, Professional Development and Competence for authorization to write the Licensing Examination a fourth time during the Candidate's Licensing Term, if the Candidate is not otherwise ineligible to write that Licensing Examination pursuant to the Policy.

9.16 A Candidate who wishes to request the authorization of the Executive Director, Professional Development and Competence pursuant to section 9.15 must submit to the Society:
     a. a request in the Prescribed Form by the time stipulated by the Society and no later than 30 business days prior to the end of the Candidate's Licensing Term; and
     b. all of the documents and information required by the Society relating to any requirement for taking the Licensing Examination by the time stipulated by the Society.

9.17 The Executive Director, Professional Development and Competence will approve a Candidate’s request to write a Licensing Examination a fourth time during the Candidate’s Licensing Term if the Candidate establishes to the satisfaction of the Executive Director, Professional Development and Competence that there exists extraordinary circumstances that would affect or could be expected to affect the Candidate’s ability to successfully complete the Licensing Examination.

9.18 A Candidate is deemed to have abandoned his or her Application if the Candidate has written the Licensing Examination during the Candidate’s Licensing Term three times, or, if authorized by the Executive Director, Professional Development and Competence pursuant to section 9.17, four times, and failed to pass the Licensing Examination.

 

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Part X: Removal from the Licensing Process

Removal

10.1  The Society will remove a Candidate from the Licensing Process where,
     a. an order has been made pursuant to section 27 of the Law Society Act refusing the Candidate’s application for a Class P1 Licence;
     b. an order has been made pursuant to section 35 of the Law Society Act removing the Candidate from the Licensing Process;
     c. the Candidate fails to provide any document required to be provided pursuant to By-Law 4 made under the Law Society Act;
     d. the Candidate fails to comply with section 5.2 of the Policy;
     e. the Candidate has not met the requirements for graduation from an Accredited Program by the time specified by the Society pursuant to section 5.2 of the Policy;
     f. the Candidate has not completed the Licensing Process during the Candidate’s Licensing Term; or
     g. the Candidate has made any false or misleading representation or declaration on or in connection with registration or his or her Application, by commission or omission, contrary to subsection 18(2) of By-Law 4.

Good Character

10.2 Subsection 27(2) of the Law Society Act provides that it is a requirement for the issuance of every licence under the Law Society Act that the applicant be of good character.

10.3 If the Hearing Division on referral of the matter by the Society to the Tribunal determines that a Candidate is not of good character, the Hearing Division may make an order refusing the Candidate’s application for a Class P1 Licence.

10.4 Where the Hearing Division makes an order refusing the Candidate’s application for a Class P1 Licence, the Society will remove the Candidate from the Licensing Process and the Candidate will cease to be a Candidate in the Licensing Process.

10.5 Where a Candidate is removed from the Licensing Process pursuant to section 10.4, the Candidate may submit another Application to the Society at any time based on fresh evidence or a material change in circumstances.

Prohibited Conduct

10.6 A Candidate shall not engage in Conduct Unbecoming a Candidate.

10.7 “Conduct Unbecoming a Candidate” means conduct that tends to bring discredit upon the paralegal profession including, for example:
     a. committing a criminal act that reflects adversely on the Candidate’s honesty or trustworthiness or fitness to be a paralegal;
     b. engaging in conduct that reflects adversely upon the integrity of the paralegal profession and the administration of justice; and
     c. engaging in conduct involving dishonesty including but not limited to Licensing Dishonesty.

10.8 “Licensing Dishonesty” means engaging in any form of dishonesty, fraud, cheating, misrepresentation or other misconduct related to any aspect of the Licensing Process in order that a Candidate obtains academic credit or other Licensing Process advantage of any kind, whether or not the Candidate has been sanctioned for the conduct, and includes but is not limited to:
     a. copying another person’s answer to an examination item during a Licensing Examination;
     b. consulting an unauthorized source during a Licensing Examination;
     c. bringing into the examination room any unauthorized materials;
     d. removing from the examination room any unauthorized materials;
     e. being in possession of or using unauthorized information or materials prior to or during a Licensing Examination; or
     f. assisting a person to carry out an activity mentioned in this section.

10.9 Engaging in Conduct Unbecoming a Candidate may lead to the:
     a. preparation of a written report on the conduct of the Candidate and its provision to the Society’s Professional Regulation department for investigation; and
     b. pursuit by the Society of any legal remedies available to it, including, where it is available, an application to the Tribunal for a determination by the Hearing Division of whether the Candidate has contravened section 33 of the Law Society Act.

 

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Part XI: Withdrawal from the Licensing Process

Procedure for Withdrawal

11.1 A Candidate who wishes to withdraw from the Licensing Process must provide to the Society,
     a. a request to withdraw in the Prescribed Form;
     b. the Candidate's Law Society photo identification card;
     c. and all outstanding fees;

and the Society may approve the request to withdraw.

Effect of Withdrawal

11.2 A Candidate whose request to withdraw from the Licensing Process is approved by the Society will retain credit, for the remaining duration of the Candidate’s Licensing Term, for standings of pass achieved by the Candidate for the Licensing Examination.

11.3 Notwithstanding section 11.2, if the Society has grounds, pursuant to section 10.1, to remove a Candidate who requests to withdraw from the Licensing Process, the Candidate will not retain credit for the passing of the Licensing Examination obtained prior to ceasing to be a Candidate in the Licensing Process.

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Part XII: Accommodation

Accommodation

12.1 The Society is committed to ensuring that the requirements of the Licensing Process are directly and logically connected to the competent provision of legal services and further that persons who wish to provide legal services in Ontario are not effectively barred from qualifying because of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, marital status, family status or disability.

12.2 Notwithstanding any provision or requirement in the Policy, the Society will provide accommodation in the Licensing Process to Candidates in accordance with the Policy and Procedures for Accommodations for Candidates in the Lawyer and Paralegal Licensing Processes established by the Society from time to time (the “Accommodations Policy”).

12.3 A Candidate who requires accommodation must follow the procedure for requesting accommodation contained in the Accommodations Policy.

12.4 Where an accommodation cannot be made or where the Candidate considers the accommodation to be unsatisfactory, the Candidate may appeal the decision by following the procedure contained in the Accommodations Policy.

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Part XIII: Issuance of a Class P1 Licence

Eligibility for Issuance of a Class P1 Licence

13.1 A Candidate may be issued a Class P1 Licence and be admitted and enrolled as a paralegal if the Candidate:
     a. has provided a Request for the Issuance of a Class P1 Licence in the Prescribed Form and the request has been approved by Convocation;
     b. has successfully completed the Licensing Process in accordance with the Policy;
     c. has paid all fees owing by the Candidate to the Society;
     d. has provided to the Society all required documents in accordance with the Policy, By-Laws and the Law Society Act; and
     e. is of good character as required by subsection 27(2) of the Law Society Act and has delivered an undertaking to the Society in the Prescribed Form certifying that the Candidate has maintained good character throughout the Licensing Process.

13.2 In order to be issued a Class P1 Licence a Candidate must file with the Society in the Prescribed Form:
     a. a Petition for Issuance of a Paralegal Licence and Certificate of Fitness Form; and
     b. an Affirmation that the Candidate has sworn or affirmed to the Oath required for an applicant for the issuance of a Class P1 Licence pursuant to the Law Society Act and By-Law 4.

13.3 It is a requirement for the issuance of a Class P1 Licence that the Candidate not already hold a licence to provide the legal services that a licensee who holds a Class P1 Licence is authorized to provide.

13.4 A person who has been issued a Class P1 Licence will cease to be a Candidate in the Licensing Process.

Deferral of Issuance of a Class P1 Licence

13.5 A Candidate who wishes to defer issuance of a Class P1 Licence must provide to the Society a request to defer setting out the reasons for the request.

13.6 The Manager of Licensing and Accreditation will approve or deny the Candidate’s request with or without terms and will notify the Candidate in writing of the decision.

13.7 A Candidate may appeal the decision of the Manager of Licensing and Accreditation to the Executive Director, Professional Development and Competence, whose decision is final.

13.8 A Candidate who wishes to appeal the decision of the Manager of Licensing and Accreditation must submit to the Society a Request to Appeal in the Prescribed Form within 15 business days of the Society notifying the Candidate of the decision.

13.9 For the purposes of section 13.8, the Society shall be deemed to have notified the Candidate on the date that the Society mails notification of the decision to the Candidate.

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Part XIV: Late Filing Fee

Late Filing Fee

14.1 Where the Policy stipulates a date by which documents must be provided to the Society and the person fails to provide documents by the due date, the Candidate must pay the Prescribed Fee for late filing.

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