Law Society of Upper Canada

Law Society of Upper Canada

September 25, 2008 16:57 ET

Law Society Confirms Articling Requirement and Enhances Licensing Process

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 25, 2008) - The Law Society of Upper Canada's governing body today voted to continue the articling requirement for candidates seeking admission to the bar, to enhance the licensing process, and to require new lawyers to complete 24 hours of continuing education during the first two years of practice. New initiatives to enhance articling include an online articling registry to enhance information on articling opportunities; creation of a Law Society outreach position dedicated to promoting and co-ordinating articling initiatives and additional job placements; a voluntary bridging program for internationally trained candidates in the licensing process to support their integration into the Ontario legal profession; streamlined articling requirements for internationally trained lawyers; and simplified administration of the program. The licensing process will include a new professional responsibility and practice course integrated with the articling program. Successful completion of that course, the articling requirement and the current licensing examinations are the requirements for call to the bar. Beginning in 2010, all new lawyers called to the Ontario Bar will be required to complete 24 hours of compulsory professional development during their first two years of practice. "These initiatives, which stem from the work of the Licensing and Accreditation Task Force with valuable input from the profession, are proactive and designed to respond to the competence needs of our evolving profession," says Law Society Treasurer W.A. Derry Millar. "Ontario has the largest bar in the country, an increasingly diverse legal profession, increasing numbers of internationally and domestically trained candidates seeking admission to the profession, as well as challenging marketplace realities that affect articling placements, hiring and the practice of law." Millar also points out that it will be essential to the revitalization of the articling program and to the profession's commitment to the next generation that more lawyers hire articling students. Over the past winter and spring, the task force sought the views of law schools, legal organizations and the profession on the licensing issues it was studying. It received more than 100 written responses to the consultation report from individuals and legal organizations. More information about the Licensing and Accreditation Task Force Consultation and the task force's recommendations can be found on the Law Society website at www.lsuc.on.ca. The Law Society regulates lawyers and paralegal in Ontario in the public interest. The Law Society has a duty to protect the public interest, to maintain and advance the cause of justice and the rule of law, to facilitate access to justice for the people of Ontario and act in a timely, open and efficient manner.

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