Call to the Bar

About the call
The Law Society's Certificate - Degree of Barrister-at-Law
Who is eligible for call to the bar?
Call to the Bar Fee
Documents to be Filed
Location/Time of Call
Call to the Bar Information Bulletin
New Member Information
Signing of the Rolls
Petition for the Call to the Bar and Certificate of Fitness Form

Attendance
Required Court Apparel For Call
Deferral

About the Call

To be called to the Bar of Ontario, candidates must complete and meet all the licensing and good character requirements established by the Law Society as necessary to becoming a lawyer in this province.

Generally, a call to the bar follows the successful completion of the Licensing Process. Candidates who have successfully completed and met all administrative and program requirements for the Licensing Process, in accordance with By-Law 4 of the Law Society, are eligible to be called to the Bar of Ontario. Candidates must successfully complete the Barrister Licensing Examination and the Solicitor Licensing Examination, fulfill the Experiential Training Component (e.g. Articling or the LPP), file all documents and fees required and be of good character to be called. For some candidates, however, including lawyers transferring from within Canada, and Ontario law deans and professors, completion of the Licensing Process may not be required. These candidates should contact the Law Society for more information.

Calls are held in June in Toronto, Ottawa and London and September and January in Toronto only. Candidates who commence articles (a ten-month term) in September or later will not be eligible for the calls to the bar in June. The following year, the next opportunity for call would be September in the following year.

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The Law Society's Certificate - Degree of Barrister-at-Law

Candidates who are to be called may choose to receive the certificate in either English or French. Candidates who wish to order the certificates in both English and French, must make a written request to the Licensing Process Licensing and Accreditation Department once they are sent the form. The cost of the additional certificate is $75.00. Requests for two certificates submitted without payment will not be processed.  In addition to the Degree of Barrister-at-Law, candidates will receive a court certificate issued by the Court of Appeal. 

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Who is eligible for call to the bar?

Candidates who have completed the Licensing Process, mobility & transfer candidates (licensed in other Canadian jurisdictions), and law deans/professors (from approved Ontario law schools) who successfully complete all requirements of the Law Society, are eligible for call to the bar.

  • Licensing Process Candidates
    To be eligible for call to the bar all candidates must:
    • have successfully completed all components of the Licensing Process as required;
    • have paid all Law Society fees, including the call to the bar fee;
    • have filed the required documents;
    • be of good character, as required by section 27(2) of the Law Society Act - candidates have a continuing obligation to keep the responses to the questions set out in the Good Character Section of their Application current, complete and correct prior to the date of call; and
    • have submitted all the required call to the bar related documents.
     
  • Mobility & Transfer Candidates
    Transfer candidates are eligible for call to the bar who have met the requirements for admission as set out in By-Law 4, Section 9(2)(a)(i)(ii)(iii) respectively and have:
    • submitted all documents and fees related to making application for admission to The Law Society of Upper Canada as required by the Administrative Compliance Processes Department (ACP);
    • paid the Licensing Examination fees, where applicable;
    • passed the required transfer examinations, where applicable;
    • submitted all call to the bar related documents; and
    • paid all fees including the call to the bar fee.

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Call to the Bar Fee

All candidates (except Mobility Candidates) are required to pay a call to the bar fee as prescribed in the Fees Schedule by the required deadline (under the "Fees and Forms').

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Documents to be Filed

To be eligible for call, the Law Society requires that the following documents be executed correctly and present in the candidate's file. (Mobility and Transfer candidates may not require all of these documents. Please contact the Licensing Process, Licensing and Accreditation Department for further information):

  • an Application for the Licensing Process duly signed and commissioned/notarized;
  • certified proof of legal name;
  • an official law transcript or NCA certificate (issued directly from the institution to the Licensing Process, Licensing and Accreditation Department) that confers the LL.B./J.D./NCA;
  • two recent passport photos;
  • certified proof of legal name change (if applicable);
  • all articling documents including:
    • Articles of Clerkship
    • Certificate of Service Under Articles
     
  • All candidates must complete a "Petition For Call to the Bar and Certificate of Fitness Form". The document must be fully completed, signed and witnessed. Only originals will be accepted. This document will be made available at the signing of the Rolls.
  • Law Deans/Professors must file a "Petition For Call to the Bar and Certificate of Fitness Form (Admission Under By-Law 4 made under the Law Society Act - Without Examination)". The document must be fully completed, signed and sworn before a commissioner for the taking of oaths. Only originals will be accepted. 

     Transfer Candidates, Law Professors and Deans Remittance Form for Call to the Bar (PDF)
  • Transfer Candidates must file a "Petition For Call to the Bar and Certificate of Fitness Form (Transfer from Another Province or Territory of Canada)". This document should be submitted to the Licensing Process, Licensing and Accreditation Department once they have been approved for call. Only originals will be accepted.
  • Transfer, Mobility and Academic candidates for call to the bar must complete and submit the "Member's Record Input Form" before being called to the bar. This document may be sent by fax.

    Member's Record Input Form (PDF)  

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Location/Time of Call

Dates, Times and Locations 

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Call to the Bar Information Bulletin

Prospective call candidates will be sent a Call to the Bar Information Bulletin prior to the call. January and September candidates will be sent a bulletin one month prior to the call date.

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New Member Information

New Member Information Packages will be available to each call candidate at the signing of the Rolls. These packages will have information specific to the day of call, guest seating tickets/vouchers and The Law Society of Upper Canada membership information. Candidates being called in Toronto will receive their packages when signing the Rolls a few weeks prior to the calls. Newly called members will receive further Membership details including their Member number approximately three weeks after their call ceremony. Any further inquiries should be directed to the Membership department post-call.

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Signing of the Rolls

Candidates are required to sign the Rolls of the Court of Appeal for Ontario and the Superior Court of Justice on the dates outlined in the Call to the Bar Information Bulletin. This must be done so that a Court Certificate of Qualification can be issued for a newly called member to practise.

Candidates must bring valid phot ID in order to sign the Rolls. Only candidates who have fully met all the requirements will be permitted to sign the Rolls and be elligible for call.

Please note that the Roll numbers are NOT membership numbers. Membership numbers, together with information concerning the annual fee and filings, will be mailed to all new members following the call.

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Petition for the Call to the Bar and Certificate of Fitness Form

This form/petition will be provided at the signing of the Rolls. Each candidate is required to file this document at that time.

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Attendance

All eligible candidates must be in attendance for a call to the bar. At the call, candidates are presented with the Degree of Barrister-at-Law by the Law Society, a Court Certificate of Qualification and are sworn to the oath.

The Oath to be taken can be accessed on the Law Society website (scroll to the middle of this page, By-Law 4, Sections 22, 23(1) and 24 (optional), respectively).

Following the conclusion of the call, the newly called members of the Ontario Bar are entitled to practise law in Ontario, subject to the rules and regulations set out and enforced by the Law Society in its regulatory role, to ensure the competence of the profession.

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Required Court Apparel For Call

Every candidate for call to the bar must appear before Convocation in full court apparel, which consists of:

  • black shoes
  • black or dark grey socks or black, dark grey or natural hose
  • black, dark grey or dark grey striped trousers or skirt
  • black gown vest
  • black gown
  • white shirt with stiff wing collar and white tabs

Candidates are encouraged to make arrangements to either purchase or rent court apparel at least one and a half months before the call to ensure they will have full court apparel for the day of the ceremony.

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Deferral

Candidates who wish to defer their call to the bar must send a letter of notification to the Licensing Process, Licensing and Accreditation Department indicating the date on which they expect to be called.

Licensing Process candidates are advised that they must be called to the bar within three years of submitting their application for licensing and successfully completing all requirements for call. Any deferment of a call beyond the three years may require the candidate to complete such further experience and studies as may be required by the Director, Professional Development and Competence at The Law Society of Upper Canada.

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