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Administrative Call to the Bar Process

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 health situation, in-person ceremonies are cancelled until further notice. As candidates become eligible for call, Licensing and Accreditation will contact them through their online account to advise them of next steps to complete to be administratively called.

About the Call

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

For some candidates, however, including lawyers transferring from within Canada, and Ontario law deans and professors, completion of some mandatory requirements of the Licensing Process may not be required. These candidates should contact the Law Society for more information.

  • Who is eligible for call to the bar?
    Candidates who have successfully completed the Licensing Process, mobility & transfer candidates (licensed in other Canadian jurisdictions), and law deans/professors (from approved Ontario law schools) who 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 Ontario 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.
  • Administrative call process

    Commencing May 1, 2020, all candidates who are eligible to be licensed as lawyers will be admitted to the practice of law using the Law Society’s administrative call process.

    The Law Society’s administrative call process will be used to facilitate licensure for those candidates who have met all the requirements to become licensed to practise law in Ontario. The administrative process will not require in-person attendance. Candidates will receive more information about this process through their online accounts as they become eligible for licensure. 

    The Law Society recognizes the symbolic importance that the call to the bar ceremonies afford candidates eligible for licensure as lawyers in Ontario. The Law Society also recognizes that current public health conditions make it difficult to offer these ceremonies in a safe manner. Accordingly, the Law Society is implementing licensing processes to enable candidates who meet licensure requirements to become eligible to practise law. Candidates are not eligible for an administrative call until they meet these requirements.

    As candidates become eligible, they will be notified through their online accounts to commence the administrative call application process. The Law Society's Licensing and Accreditation department notifies eligible candidates by sending them an administrative call application package. Candidates are expected to regularly check their online account for administrative call information and updates.

    The administrative call process requires candidates to submit all necessary documents via email to L1papercall@lso.ca.

    The Law Society of Ontario certificate and the Court Certificate will be mailed to all new licensees. Receipt of these certificates is not required to commence the practice of law
  • Administrative call dates
    Year Date Location
    2021 Friday, March 26 Administrative call
    2021 Thursday, April 29 Administrative call
    2021 May – Weekly calls, commencing May 21 Administrative call
    2021 June – Weekly calls, commencing June 4 Administrative call
    2021 July – Weekly calls, commencing July 2 Administrative call
    2021 Friday, August 27 Administrative call
    2021 Friday, September 24 Administrative call
  • 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.

    The Law Society is aware of the unique challenges facing candidates as a result of COVID-19. In recognition of this, the Call to the Bar fee has been temporarily reduced to $165 for all candidates called to the bar after May 1, 2020. The Call to the Bar fee is issued to cover the associated costs of licensing lawyers to practice law in Ontario. This fee has been applied by the Law Society regardless of whether a candidate is licensed administratively or with a ceremonial call. However, we recognize these are presently challenging times and we have made the decision to reduce this fee considering the circumstances.

  • 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. Candidates will be notified when and how to submit the required documents for call. (Mobility and Transfer candidates may not be required to submit all 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 (for futher information, see Ending a Placement)


    Affivavit for taking the Oath and the Call Petition

    • Licensing Process Candidates must complete and submit the “Affidavit for taking the Oath” and the “Call Petition. These documents must be fully completed, signed, witnessed and commissioned.
    • Law Deans/Professors must compete and submit the “Affidavit for taking the Oath” and the “Call Petition”. (Admission Under By-Law 4 made under the Law Society Act - Without Examination). These documents must be fully completed, signed, witnessed and commissioned.  
    • Transfer and Mobility Candidates must compete and submit the “Affidavit for taking the Oath” and the “Call Petition” (Transfer from Another Province or Territory of Canada). These documents must be fully completed, signed, witnessed and commissioned.  
    • Transfer, Mobility and Academic candidates must compete and submit the “Affidavit for taking the Oath”,  the “Call Petition” and the "Member's Record Input Form".

    Once you submit your documents and call to the bar fee, your candidate file will be reviewed by the Licensing and Accreditation department to ensure that it is complete and all requirements for licensure are fulfilled. Files that are verified and complete are then added to the next available call list for licensure. Please note that Licensing and Accreditation is reviewing all files as quickly as reasonably possible however at certain periods of the year Licensing and Accreditation receives a high number of documents that must be reviewed and processed and delays are expected . Candidates should be aware that errors in completing the documents may result in delays. 

  • Deferral

    Candidates who wish to defer their call to the bar must send a message to the Licensing and Accreditation Department through their online account 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 Ontario.

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