Law Society announces new, innovative paths to lawyer licensing
The Law Society announced the names of the providers of its Law Practice Program (LPP). The addition of the LPP will offer aspiring lawyers multiple-pathways to the Ontario Bar. Ryerson University will provide the Law Society's English LPP and the University of Ottawa will provide the French LPP. Lawyer Licensing Process candidates may choose to either complete the enhanced Articling Program or the LPP.
Additionally, Convocation approved another innovative option for fulfilling the experiential training component of its licensing requirements: the Integrated Practice Curriculum offered by Lakehead University as part of its law degree program. Upon completion of their JD degree, Lakehead graduates will only need to pass the licensing examinations and satisfy the good character requirement to complete the Lawyer Licensing Process and be called to the Bar in Ontario. They will not need to article or complete the Law Practice Program. More information. Full report.
Lawyer contribution to Licensing Process approved
Convocation approved a $1,000,000, or approximately $25.00 per lawyer, lawyer licensee contribution to the 2014-15 Lawyer Licensing Process to defray costs to licensing candidates. The contribution will reduce the Licensing Process fee by approximately $500 per candidate. In determining the appropriate contribution, Convocation considered lawyers' previous annual contributions to the Licensing Process.
With the lawyer licensee contribution, the fee for the 2014-15 Lawyer Licensing Process is expected to be in the range of $4,700 (plus HST), depending on the number of candidates registered in the Law Practice Program. The Professional Development & Competence Committee also reported that it will explore the creation of a bursary program and report back to Convocation in the fall of 2014. Full report.
Mentoring Task Force established
Convocation approved the creation of the Mentoring and Advisory Services Proposal Task Force. The Task Force will develop a proposal for Convocation's approval regarding mentoring and advisory services for lawyers and paralegals. Full report.
LibraryCo Inc. 2014 budget approved
Convocation approved LibraryCo Inc.'s 2014 budget, incorporating Law Society funding of $7.5 million or $202 per lawyer. This funding level was included in the Law Society's 2014 budget, which was approved at October Convocation. Full report.
Interventions approved re: Human Rights Monitoring Group
Convocation approved interventions in the following matters:
- lawyer André Michel - Haiti
- lawyer Adam Sharief - Sudan
Submission on Federation's suitability to practise standard approved
Convocation approved a submission responding to the Federation of Law Societies of Canada's consultation report on a suitability to practise national standard. The Federation is developing a national good character standard to ensure that the process of assessing licensing applicants is consistent across the country. The Law Society will have further opportunity at a later date to provide more detailed input on the proposed standard.Full report.
Report on Judicial Complaints released
Convocation received a report providing an analysis of the judicial complaints received by the Law Society since the implementation of the Civility Complaints Protocols. The protocols set out a procedure for trial judges and justices of the peace to refer incidents of misconduct to the Law Society and were developed by the Law Society in consultation with the Chief Justices of the Court of Appeal, the Superior Court of Justice and the Ontario Court of Justice. Full report.
Guides released re: advising clients of their French-language rights
The Law Society released an updated guide for lawyers and a new guide for paralegals on responsibilities regarding advising a client of his or her French-language rights in the Judicial and Quasi-Judicial context. Full report.
Territorial Mobility Agreement 2013 approved
Convocation approved revisions to the Territorial Mobility Agreement, which reflect the new provisions of the National Mobility Agreement 2013. Full report.
Bencher Alan Gold was reappointed to the Judicial Appointments Advisory Committee for a three-year term commencing January 21, 2014.
Bencher Constance Backhouse was reappointed to the Ontario Justice Education Network Board of Directors for a three-year term commencing November 24, 2013.
Benchers Ross Earnshaw, Jacqueline Horvat, James Scarfone and Alan Silverstein were reappointed to the LibraryCo Inc. Board of Directors for a one-year term commencing December 31, 2013.