About the call
To be called to the Bar of Ontario, candidates must complete and meet all the licensing and 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. 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.
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 apply and be called to the Bar of Ontario.
The call to the bar requires that all graduates from a Canadian university law school program approved by Convocation and all National Committee on Accreditation (NCA) candidates who are granted the Certificate of Qualification, successfully complete the Licensing Process.
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 next opportunity for call would be September.
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 Office of the Registrar. The cost of the additional certificate is $75.00. Requests for two certificates submitted without payment will not be processed.
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 as prescribed in the Licensing Process Fees Schedule (PDF);
- have filed the documents indicated below;
- 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 call to the bar related documents required by the Office of the Registrar.
- 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 the call to the bar fee as prescribed in the Licensing Process Fees Schedule (PDF).
Documents to be Filed
To be eligible for the 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 Office of the Registrar 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 Office of the Registrar) 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
Call to the Bar Fee
All candidates (except Mobility Candidates) are required to pay a call to the bar fee as prescribed in the Licensing Process Fees Schedule (PDF) by the required deadline.
Document 1: Petition for Call to the Bar and Certificate of Fitness Form
- 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.
Remittance Form Call to Bar Fee for Transfer Candidates, Law Professors and Deans (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 Office of the Registrar once they have been approved for call. Only originals will be accepted.
Document 2: Member's Record Input Form
- 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)
Location/Time of Call
Dates, Times and Locations
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Candidates who wish to defer their call to the bar must send a letter of notification to the Office of the Registrar 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.