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How to apply


Eligibility

The Access to Innovation (A2I) project is open to a broad range of legal innovators involving any legal function. Applicants’ tools or programs must feature the innovative delivery of legal services via technology. Applications will be accepted from any type of service provider – lawyer or paralegal licensee, non-licensee, law firm, business or not-for-profit organization.

Approval to participate in the A2I project means that a provider can operate in Ontario for an agreed period of time, subject to operating and reporting requirements that protect the public. Participants must have obtained all other applicable permissions, such as business permits, to operate their ITLS tool or program in Ontario.


Application Process

Legal innovators may apply to join the Access to Innovation (A2I) project at any point during the five-year pilot period, rather than at certain fixed intake periods.

There are two stages to the A2I application process. This helps accommodate legal innovators at all stages of development.

Applicants first complete a Stage 1 application form. This focuses primarily on information about an applicant’s overall concept and their approach to providing legal help. The A2I team reviews that application to ensure that:

  • the applicant’s proposed service fits the overall mandate of the A2I project;
  • the service could offer a valuable and innovative legal solution to Ontarians, if implemented as planned; and
  • the applicant has made sufficient progress developing the service and appears capable of operating the service.


The A2I team will make a decision about Stage 1 approval using approval criteria checklists, which are designed to assess those concepts in a structured manner.

Stage 1 approval is a key progressive step in the application process. Although it does not confer the Law Society’s permission to participate in the A2I project, Stage 1 approval offers a preliminary assessment that the applicant has the potential to be approved, and encourages the applicant to advance to Stage 2 review. It also offers an opportunity for the A2I team to identify potential strengths and weaknesses and provide feedback to the applicant that can guide further development.

Applicants that have received Stage 1 approval are invited to submit a Stage 2 application form. The A2I team will review that application using Stage 2 approval criteria checklists, and will make a decision about approval to participate in the A2I project.

Current versions of the Stage 1 and Stage 2 approval criteria checklists are available here:



Apply Now

The A2I project is currently accepting applications.

Apply now by completing a Stage 1 application form and sending it by email to accesstoinnovation@lso.ca.

The Stage 1 application form is available to download here.

For reference, a template copy of the Stage 2 application form is available to download here. Applicants that have completed Stage 1 of the A2I application process will receive a customized list of questions, based on this template.

Terms or Concepts Explained