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Completing the Lawyer Licensing Process Application

(Revised October 2021)

Deadline for Application to the 2022-23 Licensing Year:
December 1, 2021, 5:00 p.m. EST

This application allows you to apply to the Lawyer Licensing Process and to write the Winter/Summer/Fall 2022 and Winter 2023 Licensing Examinations.

It is recommended to those who wish to select the Winter 2023 sitting instead apply in the Fall 2022 intake period. Candidates who select the earliest Winter sitting (2022) will be placed in the earlier 2021-22 licensing cycle and will be required to complete their licensing requirements within two cycles (instead of three). Please contact the Licensing and Accreditation Department if you require further information on the impact of selecting a licensing examination in an earlier licensing cycle.

If you have already applied to any Ontario Lawyer Licensing Process or the Bar Admission Course, you should not re-apply online. Please contact the Licensing and Accreditation Department to obtain further information and instruction on how to proceed by calling 416-947-3315 or toll free at 1-800-668-7380, ext. 3315.

If you are already licensed as a paralegal (Class P1 Licence), you must ensure that you do not allow your licence to be suspended or revoked while you are in the Lawyer Licensing Process. Failure to remain entitled to provide legal services as a paralegal while you still hold a Class P1 Licence may result in a delay in your application to become licensed as a lawyer.
For further information about your P1 status while in the Lawyer Licensing Process, please contact Membership Services.

General Information
Fee and Payment Information

Part I - Completing the Online Application

     Personal Information Section
     Proof of Legal Name
     Voluntary Information Section
     Good Character Section
     Proof of Education Section 
     Experiential Training Selection
     Accommodation Section
     Licensing Examination Section
     Declaration, Confirmation and Agreement

Part II - Filing the Application 

     Process for Certification of Documents by a Guarantor or Referee
     Submitting Photos
     Submitting Proof of Legal Name
     Submitting Good Character Information
     Signing the Declaration and Obligations page
     Application Fee and Late Fee Payments
     Preparing the Application Package 
     After you Apply

General Information

There are two parts to the Lawyer Licensing Process Application.

Part I consists of the online entry of your information and payment of the non-refundable application fee of $160.00 (plus applicable taxes). If a third party is paying the application fee on your behalf, you are required to make the payment and then have the third party reimburse you directly for the fee.

After completing Part I online, a PDF application file will be created as well as your Law Society online account. You will access the PDF of your application from your newly assigned Law Society online account. Please read the instructions for both parts of the application submission process prior to commencing your online application.

Part II requires you to file, with the Licensing and Accreditation Department, a printed copy of your application along with required supporting documents. Please see Part II below on how to prepare and submit these documents to the Licensing and Accreditation Department.

If any of the following is received by the Licensing and Accreditation Department after the application deadline, a late filing fee of $75 (plus applicable taxes) will be applied to your account: online application (Part I), printed application (Part II), supporting documents or application fee.

Applications with an outstanding application fee or late application fee or incomplete documentation will not be processed. Please do not send original legal name documents as they will not be returned.

It is strongly recommended that you apply as soon as possible so that you have adequate time to print, prepare and submit your application documents so that they are received by the deadline and avoid the late filing fee. Submitting documents and paying on time will also help ensure that candidates’ registrations for the licensing examinations and experiential training program are not delayed or jeopardized. Candidates are unable to commence any component of the licensing process until their application process is completed.

Applications are normally processed within 30 business days of receipt. During peak application periods, it may take slightly longer for applications and supporting documents to be processed.
Once your online account has been created and your application and supporting documents have been sent to the Law Society, please log in weekly to review any messages from the Licensing and Accreditation Department pertaining to your application, supporting documentation and registration.

Candidates should note that when an online account message is sent to many candidates, it is sent in batches and some candidates may receive their message before others.

Fee and Payment Information

The Lawyer Licensing Process Fees Schedule is available on the Fees and Forms page of the website. Candidates who apply and pay the application fee by the deadline are generally billed for the Lawyer Licensing Process fees in February 2022. If you apply and pay the application fee after February, you will be billed for the licensing examination and study materials fees as soon as your application is received and processed.

Part I - Completing the Online Application

Personal Information Section

In this section of the online application, please provide your valid, personal and confidential email address to which you have regular access, and which will be valid for the length of your licensing term. Please do not use an email address that you share with a friend, family member or colleague. Please ensure you are the only person accessing this account. A personal and confidential account to which only you have access is required.

Please note, the application will ask you to indicate your gender. The Law Society gathers statistics on the composition of the professions to better understand demographic trends in the professions, to develop programs and initiatives within the mandate of the Law Society, and to promote equality and diversity in the professions. The Law Society currently collects and reports information on gender using the options provided. We acknowledge that the gender options may not represent everyone. While we work towards implementing more inclusive options, we welcome applications from everyone and encourage applicants to select “Non-Binary, similar, other” if they don’t identify with the other options.

Personal contact information should be entered as it appears on the legal name document(s) you will be submitting with your application. It is your responsibility to update this information each time there is a change, up to the day of your call to the bar. Please contact the Licensing and Accreditation Department for further information if required.
 

Proof of Legal Name

The acceptable forms for proof of legal name are listed on the first screen of the online application. If you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada, you must submit one of the items listed below from a) to f) as your proof of legal name. Each legal name document submitted must be reviewed, verified and certified by a guarantor or referee (more information on this requirement is in Part II below).

Please ensure your name is entered exactly as it appears on the legal name document you are submitting. In addition to your legal name, you may also enter an assumed name that is different from your legal name in the area provided. Please note that the Law Society may use the assumed name in certain communications, but your full legal name will be used on all official documents, including the licensing certificates provided by the Law Society upon your completion of the lawyer licensing process.

If you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada, please note that the following are not proof of your full legal name: Baptismal Certificate, Registration of Birth, Driver’s Licence and Certificate of Indian Status card.

Please ensure that you include a copy of both sides of your legal name document(s) with your application. Copies of your legal name document must be reviewed, signed and dated by a guarantor or referee (please see the section below regarding the requirements of a guarantor or referee).

  1. Canadian Birth Certificate (both sides)
  2. Canadian Citizenship Identification (both sides)Wallet-sized Canadian Citizenship ID card or the citizenship certificate issued after February 1, 2012. Both sides of the ID card are required as your name of common usage on the photo side is not acceptable. Those who obtained Canadian citizenship prior to February 15, 1977, must submit a certified copy of the document issued at the time by Citizenship Canada.
  3. Canadian Immigration Record (both sides)
    Permanent Resident Card from the government of Canada or an IMM 1000, IMM 5292 or IMM 5688 Form.
  4. Canadian Certificate of Birth Abroad (both sides)
  5. Statement of Birth or Statement of Live Birth (both sides)
  6. Canadian Passport (photocopy and submit the page that includes your photo and identification details only) 
  7. Official Canadian Name Change Certificate 
    Applicants must also submit one of a), b), c), d), e) or f)
  8. Marriage Certificate
    This must only be submitted by those applicants adopting a spousal surname. Applicants must also submit one of  a), b), c), d), e) or f).

If you are not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada, a passport will be acceptable as proof of your legal name. In addition, you must provide documentation issued by the Canadian government that permits you to enter, reside, study and work (if not exempted from the experiential training requirement) in Canada during the entire time you are completing the lawyer licensing process.

If you are not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada, your must refer to the “Articling Program” and the “Law Practice Program” section on this page for additional documentation required to demonstrate your entitlement to work in Canada and fulfil the experiential training component. You are personally responsible for obtaining such documentation from the relevant Canadian government agency or office and submitting it to your experiential training placement employer. This documentation must confirm your legal name and be valid at the time of application and at the time of your call to the bar. Should your documentation expire while you are in the licensing process, it is your responsibility to provide a valid updated document as soon as possible.

The following documents are accepted by the Law Society as proof of your legal name if you are not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada. You must submit these with your application.
A copy of the identification/photo page of your passport and one of the following documents:

  • Your valid Temporary Resident Visa issued by the Canadian government;
  • Your valid Study Permit, issued by the Canadian government; or
  • Your valid Work Permit, issued by the Canadian government.

The Law Society’s Licensing and Accreditation Department accepts certain documents issued outside of Canada—namely, documents supporting applications for an exemption or abridgement and certain legal name documents such as marriage certificates issued abroad. As part of those and other administrative processes, we often receive documents that are not in English or French. Documents not issued in English or French must be translated by an Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario (ATIO) Certified Translator. Candidates are solely responsible for ensuring the translation is completed by an Ontario ATIO Certified Translator and is sent to the Licensing and Accreditation Department for review and verification.

You may wish to refer to ATIO's Directory of Certified Translators on its website at https://atio.on.ca/. Your document(s) will not be reviewed/processed unless they are accompanied by a translated document from an ATIO Certified Translator, as well as an affidavit attesting to the document authenticity. 

An application is deemed incomplete if it lacks the required valid documentation that confirms your legal name. Applicants who cannot provide the above proof of legal name items at the time of application must do so as soon as they are able. Candidates may contact the Licensing and Accreditation Department for further information.

It is your ongoing responsibility to keep the Law Society and your articling principal or work placement supervisor advised of any changes to your immigration status until you are called to the bar.

 

Voluntary Information Section

The Law Society gathers statistics on the composition of the profession to better understand demographic trends in the profession, to develop programs and initiatives within the mandate of the Law Society and to promote equality and diversity in the profession.

The Law Society is committed to promoting equality and diversity in the legal profession and to enhancing legal services provided by and for Indigenous, Francophone and equality-seeking communities.  

Completion of this section is voluntary, and the information collected will be kept confidential within the Law Society. The information will only be available in aggregate form and will not be used to identify the individual.
 

Good Character Section

The Law Society Act requires that an applicant for admission as a licensee of the Law Society of Ontario be of good character. This is an ongoing requirement for applicants throughout their licensing term. Please see the Good Character webpage for more information.

In the application to be registered into the lawyer  or paralegal licensing process, all applicants must answer questions that assist the Law Society in determining whether the applicant is of good character.

Candidates must answer “yes” or “no” to each question in this section of the online application. If you answer “yes” to any question, you must provide an explanation and/or document(s) related to the response. If you include additional documentation in paper copy, the documents must accompany your application. You must also sign and clearly print your name, phone number and address on all additional documents. The applications of applicants who do not provide the required explanation will not be processed.

These questions allow applicants to self-report conduct or circumstances that may raise issues about the applicant’s character. If an applicant provides an affirmative answer to any of these questions, the applicant must provide full and detailed particulars (which may include supporting documentation).

Applicants must complete and submit all parts of the application and submit supporting documents and the fee in order to commence the licensing process. Where a candidate has answered a good character question in the affirmative, the Law Society will escalate the application for review. The Law Society will not review information relating to good character until the candidate submits all application process requirements. Applicants who do not submit all application process requirements will not be able to move forward in the licensing process and their good character information will not be reviewed, which will delay their registration and licensing.

An affirmative answer to any of the good character questions does not necessarily mean that a candidate will be refused admission to the Law Society. The information provided by each applicant is reviewed by the Law Society’s Professional Regulation Division. The Law Society Act provides that a licence may only be refused after a hearing by the Hearing Division of the Law Society Tribunal. Where the Hearing Division makes an order refusing an applicant’s application for a licence, the Law Society will remove the applicant from the lawyer licensing process or the paralegal licensing process (as the case may be), and the applicant will cease to be a candidate in that licensing process. Information about the Law Society Tribunal, including the rules of practice and procedure governing hearings and appeals of decisions, is published on the Law Society Tribunal website.

The Law Society is committed to working toward reconciliation with First Nation, Status, non-Status, Inuit, and Métis Peoples. When reviewing licensing applications, the Law Society applies the principles established by the Supreme Court of Canada in the Gladue and Ipeelee decisions and as such considers the unique systemic or background factors that may have played a part in those incidents to which an applicant’s responses to these good character questions refer.

After submitting an application to be registered into the lawyer licensing process or paralegal licensing process, applicants must immediately notify the Licensing and Accreditation Department in writing if their answers to any of the good character questions have changed at any time during their licensing term. A Good Character Amendment Form is available online on the Fees and Forms page.

Upon successfully completing the licensing process and meeting all requirements to become licensed to practise law or to provide legal services in Ontario, applicants are required to sign an undertaking that they have maintained the standing of good character throughout their licensing term and up to the day they became licensed.

Criminal Records Suspensions (“Administrative Pardons”) Granted Under the Criminal Records Act

When to answer “no” to question 1:

If you were found guilty of, or convicted of, an offence for which you were granted an administrative pardon under s. 4.1(1) of the Criminal Records Act and the offence for which the record is suspended did not result in a sentence of incarceration and is not listed in Schedules 1 or 2 of the Criminal Records Act, then you should answer “NO” to question 1.

When to answer “yes” to question 1:

If you were found guilty of, or convicted of, an offence and

(a) you received a sentence that resulted in a term of incarceration,
(b) the offence is listed in Schedule 1 or 2 of the Criminal Records Act, or
(c) both (a) and (b),

then, even if you have been granted an administrative pardon, you must answer “YES” to question 1. You should provide particulars and relevant documentation, including a copy of the pardon.

Youth Criminal Justice Act and Young Offenders Act Matters

When to answer “no” to question 1:

If you were found guilty of, or convicted of, an offence under the Youth Criminal Justice Act or the Young Offenders Act and that finding or conviction resulted in a youth sentence or you consented to an extrajudicial sanction and

(a) you were discharged absolutely, or
(b) the youth sentence or disposition has ceased to have effect,
then you should answer “NO” to question 1.

When to answer “yes” to question 1:

If you were found guilty of, or convicted of, an offence under the Youth Criminal Justice Act or the Young Offenders Act and that finding or conviction resulted in an adult sentence or a mandatory prohibition order under either s. 51 of the Youth Criminal Justice Act or s. 20.1 of the Young Offenders Act, then you must answer “YES” to question 1.

If you were found guilty of, or convicted of, an offence by way of summary conviction or indictment under the Youth Criminal Justice Act or the Young Offenders Act and that finding or conviction resulted in a youth sentence and you were subsequently found guilty of, or convicted of, an adult offence and you have not received a free pardon, a conditional pardon or an administrative pardon for both the youth and adult offences, then you must answer “YES” to question 1.

Additional Information

If you have received a free pardon, a conditional pardon or an administrative pardon for a youth offence that resulted in an adult sentence or an adult criminal record, consult the guidance in the relevant sections above or below.

If you are or were subject to a mandatory prohibition order under either the Youth Criminal Justice Act or the Young Offenders Act, then you must provide particulars and relevant documentation.

Pardons Granted under the Criminal Code

When to answer “no” to question 1:

If you were found guilty of, or convicted of, an offence for which you have been granted a free pardon under s. 748(2) of the Criminal Code, then you should answer “NO” to question 1.

When to answer “yes” to question 1:

If you were found guilty of, or convicted of, an offence for which you have been granted a conditional pardon under s. 748(2) of the Criminal Code, then you must answer “YES” to Question 1 and provide particulars and relevant documentation, including a copy of the pardon and its conditions.

You Answered “NO” to Question 1 – How Do You Answer Question 13?

If you answered “NO” to Question 1 about an offence for which you were granted a pardon or criminal record suspension, or that was a youth offence, you do not have to disclose this offence in response to Question 13. However, you must disclose under Question 13 any sanction or judgment against you issued by a tribunal or civil court in a matter related to or arising from such offence.

For example, if you were convicted of a Criminal Code offence that is not listed in Schedule 1 or 2 of the Criminal Records Act and no term of incarceration resulted and you were granted a criminal record suspension, but because of that conviction you were subject to proceedings before a professional disciplinary tribunal resulting in sanctions against you, you would answer “NO” to Question 1 and “YES” to Question 13. Under Question 13, you are not required to disclose the Criminal Code conviction, but you must disclose the sanctions by the disciplinary tribunal.

Proof of Education Section

Applicants seeking licensure as a lawyer in Ontario are required to have one of the following documents to commence any of the mandatory components of the lawyer licensing process:

  • A Bachelor of Laws or Juris Doctor degree (LL.B. or J.D.) from an accredited law school in Canada; or
  • A Certificate of Qualification (“CQ”) from the National Committee on Accreditation   (“NCA”).
 

A final official law school transcript (LL.B. or J.D.) or NCA CQ must be sent directly from the issuing institution to the Licensing and Accreditation Department as soon as it becomes available. A law school transcript or NCA certificate submitted by a candidate is not considered official documentation for the purposes of registration in the Law Society’s lawyer licensing process. If you are an applicant from an accredited Canadian law school or the NCA, it is your responsibility to request and ensure that the issuing institution sends a final LL.B./J.D. transcript or CQ directly to the Licensing and Accreditation Department so that it is received on or before the applicable due date. Transcripts must confirm issuance of the LL.B. or J.D. degree or NCA CQ.

LL.B./J.D. candidates 

LL.B./J.D. candidates are to enter their “Degree Awarded or Expected Date” accurately to reflect their actual graduation/convocation month and when their degree was conferred upon them, not when law school examinations or classes conclude. For many candidates, the convocation month is usually June.

To be eligible to commence the experiential training component of the licensing process, LL.B./J.D. candidates must ensure that the law school has submitted evidence of the degree completed before the candidate starts articling or by the posted deadline to register for the Law Practice Program, as applicable.

If you are a graduate from an accredited law school and you receive information of an incomplete result for any law school examination or course that affects the conferring of your LL.B. or J.D. degree, you must immediately notify the Law Society in writing and comply with the Lawyer Licensing Process Policies on withdrawal.

NCA candidates

NCA candidates are to enter their “Degree Awarded or Expected Date” as the month in which they are to receive notification of successful completion of the NCA requirements and the issuance of their CQ, not the month in which they complete their final examinations. This month is typically two months after the completion of the last NCA requirement necessary for the issuance of a CQ.

To be eligible to write a licensing examination, NCA candidates must ensure that the NCA has submitted a copy of the candidate’s to the Licensing and Accreditation Department on or before the required examination registration deadline.

To be eligible to commence the experiential training component of the licensing process, NCA applicants must ensure that the NCA has submitted a copy of the candidate’s NCA CQ to the Licensing and Accreditation Department before the candidate starts articling or by the posted deadline to register for the Law Practice Program, as applicable.

NCA candidates who are attending a law school course at a university and cannot receive their CQ prior to commencing the lawyer licensing process should contact the Licensing and Accreditation Department immediately for further instructions and withdrawal information. The Withdrawal Policy can be found in the Licensing Process Policies. The Withdrawal Forms may be found on the Fees and Forms  section of the website.

 

Experiential Training Selection

The Experiential Training Program is a required component of the lawyer licensing process. All candidates must choose one of the experiential training options described below.

If you are not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada, you will need to provide particulars of your work permit or other proof of entitlement to be lawfully employed in Canada to your experiential training employer so that you may fulfil the experiential training component.

Option 1 - Articling Program

You may apply to the lawyer licensing process without having secured an articling position. You must be fully registered in the process in order to commence and obtain credit for articles. NCA candidates must ensure that confirmation of the completion of their CQ is received prior to commencing articles.
The Articling Program requires candidates to work for the prescribed term with an approved articling principal. If you are not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada, you will need to provide particulars of your work permit or other proof of entitlement to be lawfully employed in Canada to your experiential training employer. The Law Society will not recognize any time served during an articling placement with an unapproved articling principal. Therefore, candidates are required to confirm that their principal has been approved to serve as an articling principal before starting the placement. See Information for Articling Principals.
You are responsible for familiarizing yourself with all policies and procedures and completing all required documents associated with the commencement of your articling term in the required timelines. All documents that are to be submitted may be downloaded from the Licensing Process website under "Fees and Forms." It is your responsibility to complete and file the Articles of Clerkship form by no later than 10 business days after the start of your articling placement. Articles of Clerkship received after 10 business days will be subject to a late filing fee and may not be recognized for articling credit.
If you choose to write a licensing examination as a first attempt (barrister, solicitor, or both) during your articling term, you are permitted 7 uninterrupted business days’ leave from articling duties to study for and to write each examination. This designated time, which totals up to 14 business days, must be added to the end of the articling term and should form part of the articling contract. You and your articling principal must agree on the scheduling of your first attempt of the licensing examinations if it will occur during your articling term.
Candidates may also refer to the information available online regarding an exemption from the Experiential Training Program based on prior practice experience as a lawyer in another common-law jurisdiction. All forms, documents and additional information are available on the Fees and Forms page.

Option 2: The 2022-23 Law Practice Program (LPP)

The LPP consists of a four-month training course and a four-month work placement. The program is currently scheduled to be held once a year. The LPP will be provided by Ryerson University in English and by the University of Ottawa in French. Please make this selection if you plan to attend the LPP in 2022. Please note that a deadline for registration is applicable. Please see the Dates to Remember page for further information on selection and payment deadlines of the LPP as it becomes available. If you are NOT a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada, you will need to provide particulars of your work permit or other proof of entitlement to be lawfully employed in Canada to your experiential training employer so that you may fulfil the experiential training component.

The University of Ottawa requires that candidates enrolled in the LPP be fluent in French in order to maximize success in the interactions, skills activities and assessments. Candidates who have not previously studied law in French will be required to successfully complete a language proficiency examination before being accepted into the French LPP. The proficiency examination will be administered by the University of Ottawa. Further information is available on the University of Ottawa’s LPP site.

Option 3:

Please select this option if you are actively seeking articles at this time but have not yet secured a position.

Option 4:

If you do not intend to commence the experiential training component during the 2022-23 Licensing Year, or you intend to seek an exemption from the requirement, you are to select this option on the application. Candidates are to review the Lawyer Licensing Process Policies for further information regarding completing all Lawyer Licensing Process requirements within the allotted time period.

Option 5: Integrated Practice Curriculum (IPC)

IPC graduates are expected to select this option indicating they have already satisfied the experiential training component of the lawyer licensing process.

IPC graduates who intend to complete additional experiential training must make one of the other selections that is appropriate to their situation. Note: Applicable experiential training fees will apply for each candidate who intends to complete experiential training during the lawyer licensing process.

Accommodation Section

Candidates may request accommodation in the licensing process based on a ground listed in the Human Rights Code, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.19. For details, see the Law Society’s Accommodations webpage.

Candidates must submit accommodation requests by email to examinationaccommodation@lso.ca at the same time as they submit their licensing process application.

If a need for accommodation arises or changes during the licensing process, candidates must submit a new or amended complete request. This must be done as soon as the candidate discovers the existence of, or the change in, the need for accommodation, and, in any event, no later than the deadline posted for the sitting of the licensing examination for which the candidate has registered.

Forms, submission requirements, and further information about accommodation request deadlines and the approval process are available on the  Accommodations webpage. Please address all accommodation-related enquiries and submissions to Examination Administration at examinationaccommodation@lso.ca.

Licensing Examination Section

In this section of the application, you must select your preferred date and language for the barrister and solicitor licensing examinations. Examination dates and methods of delivery are subject to change.

In April 2022, the Law Society will provide you with the necessary study materials to commence self-study preparation for the lawyer licensing examinations. The fees for the licensing examinations and study materials are due in April for those writing in June 2022 and for those who wish to receive examination study materials during the April distribution period. Candidates writing at a later sitting in the 2022-23 licensing year who pay their fees by the April 2022 deadline may also receive their study materials in April. Candidates are to review the Dates to Remember  page and their invoice for precise payment deadline dates.

It is your responsibility to thoroughly review the Law Society’s Guide to Licensing Examinations and Licensing Examination Rules and Protocol before sitting the examination.

Declaration, Confirmation and Agreement

Before you submit the online application, you will be required to declare and indicate your agreement to the declaration and obligations of the application. You will indicate that the information you have provided in your application and any supporting documents is complete, true and correct and that you understand that providing false or misleading information to the Law Society in relation to your application will result in your not being licensed under the Law Society Act.

Once you agree to the declaration and obligations, you will then be asked to submit your application fee payment online with a valid credit card. The application fee is non-refundable. Payment may also be made by sending a certified cheque or money order directly to the Accounts Office of the Law Society. Payment must be received by the deadline to avoid a late fee. 

Once you have completed and submitted the online application, you will receive information on how to complete Part II of the application process in a message to your online account. Please also review the information in Part II below for further instructions.

You may log in to your Law Society online account about 15 minutes after completing your online application in order to open and print your application document for Part II of the process and to review the online message that advises of the next steps in completing the application process.

Part II - Preparing and Filing Your Application

Process for Certification of Documents by a Guarantor or Referee

As an applicant to the licensing process, you are required to submit documentation verifying your identity. To do this, you must provide the Law Society with legal name document(s) from the list of documents currently accepted by the Law Society. In addition, you must submit two colour passport-sized photos with your printed application. All documents and photos must be certified by a guarantor or referee who meets the requirements set out below.

What is a guarantor?

A guarantor is a person other than the applicant who can confirm the applicant’s identity and who may be called upon to confirm personal information. The applicant must not assist the guarantor in performing the guarantor’s duties.

A guarantor can be a relative or someone living at the applicant’s address if the guarantor meets all the requirements listed below.
 
The guarantor must:

  • be a Canadian citizen;
  • have known you (the applicant) personally for at least 2 years; and
  • work in a listed occupation or profession in Canada (see section below on “Eligible Occupation or Profession of a Guarantor or Referee”).

Note that the Law Society reserves the right to request a new guarantor.
 

What if I do not have a guarantor?

If you cannot provide a guarantor that meets the above requirements, you may have a person (“referee”) provide a reference letter on your behalf to be included with your submitted application and supporting documents. The referee can be either:

  1. a Canadian citizen who works in a listed occupation or profession who has known you personally for less than two years but who can confirm your identity and may be called upon to confirm personal information about you, or
  2. a non-Canadian citizen who works in a listed occupation or profession, has known you personally for at least 2 years, can confirm your identity and may be called upon to confirm personal information about you .
 

In order for you to be permitted to use such a referee, the referee must draft and provide you with a letter that must include all of the following information and must be submitted with your application:

  • The referee’s name, full address, email address and telephone number (i.e., personal contact details)
  • The referee’s relationship to you (the applicant)
  • The number of years the referee has known you
  • The referee’s occupation or profession and the referee’s business contact information
  • Whether or not your referee is a Canadian citizen
  • A statement that the referee has knowledge that you are applying for licensure as a lawyer with the Law Society of Ontario
  • The referee’s signature and date on the reference letter
 

The guarantor or referee must perform the following 4 tasks free of charge:

1. Enter the required information in the guarantor/referee section of the licensing process application.

2. Complete the following mandatory fields: 1) I have known the applicant for [insert number] years, 2) signature of guarantor/referee, 3) date, 4)  referee’s personal and professional contact information and 5) the guarantor/referee’s field of practice/profession/occupation.

3. Write "I certify this to be a true likeness of [insert applicant’s name]" on the back of 1 of the applicant’s photos and sign below this statement on the photo.

4. Sign and date a copy of each document to support the applicant’s identity.

The guarantor or referee must be a member of a listed occupation or profession (see section below).

Eligible Occupation or Profession of a Guarantor or Referee

The guarantor or referee must be currently approved by the appropriate applicable authority to work in one of the following occupations or professions:

• Lawyer • Medical Doctor • Dentist • Notary Public • Pharmacist • Veterinarian •Professional Engineer • Professional Accountant • Paralegal licensed by the Law Society of Ontario
•Judge or Justice of the Peace • Chief of a band recognized under the Indian Act
• Mayor • police officer or constable
• Dean, Associate Dean, Registrar, or professor at a university faculty of law or within a paralegal education program at a college accredited by the Law Society
• Municipal clerk or treasurer who is a member of the Association of Municipal Managers, Clerks and Treasurers of Ontario
• A religious authority authorized by applicable law to perform marriages


The above list is not a recognition or endorsement by the Law Society of professional status or superior qualifications.

To certify documents that must accompany the submitted copy of the licensing process application form, the applicant must:

  • Present all original documents to a guarantor or referee who must attest to their authenticity.
  • Also present the guarantor or referee with photocopies of these original documents.
  • Ensure that the guarantor or referee confirms all photocopies as "true" copies by completing and signing the appropriate section contained in the application, thereby attesting to their authenticity.


Only "true" copies of documents signed by your guarantor or referee should be submitted with the application.

NOTE: Candidates are responsible for requesting final law school transcripts and Certificates of Qualification from the issuing institution. These documents must be sent directly from the issuing institution to the Licensing and Accreditation Department. 

Submitting Photos

You must submit two colour passport photos, taken within the last 12 months. Print your full legal name in ink on the back of each photograph as it appears on the legal name document(s) you will be submitting. Black and white photos will not be accepted. The photos submitted must be identical, original passport photos that comply with the Canadian passport photo requirements available online. Computer printed or generated photos will not be accepted.

Affix one photo to the designated box on your PDF application.

The statement "I certify this to be a true likeness of [insert name of applicant]” must be written by the guarantor or referee on the back of the other passport photo being submitted to the Licensing and Accreditation Department. The guarantor or referee must also sign and date the back of the certified passport photo. Place the second photo (that has been certified by the guarantor or referee) in a secure envelope and paperclip it to the front of your application. Please do not staple the photo to the application. The second photo will be used to produce your Law Society candidate photo identification card, without which you will not be permitted to write any lawyer licensing examinations.

Submitting Proof of Legal Name

When submitting your application, you must include a "true" copy of the document(s) you indicated will serve as your proof of full legal name when you applied online, certified by a guarantor or referee.

It is your responsibility to follow up and provide the appropriate documentation to the Licensing and Accreditation Department as soon as you receive it. If you are submitting a Temporary Resident Visa, Study Permit or Work Permit, you must ensure the Licensing and Accreditation Department receives a certified copy with your application or you will not be permitted to complete any component of the lawyer licensing process. All such documents must be current and valid until the date you are licensed. If you are NOT a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada, you will need to provide to your experiential training employer particulars of your work permit or other proof of entitlement to be lawfully employed in Canada so that you may fulfil the experiential training component.

Please ensure your documentation confirms the name you have entered on the online application. If you are unable to provide such documentation, please contact the Licensing and Accreditation Department as soon as possible.

All applications for the lawyer licensing process are incomplete until certified documentation has been received confirming your legal name and passport photos. You will not be licensed as a lawyer in Ontario until the required documents are filed with the Licensing and Accreditation Department.

The Law Society accepts certain documents issued outside of Canada: documents supporting applications for an exemption or abridgement and certain legal name documents such as marriage certificates issued abroad. As part of those and other administrative processes, the Law Society often receives documents that are not in English or French. Documents not issued in English or French must be translated by an Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario (ATIO) Certified Translator. Candidates are solely responsible for ensuring the translation is completed by an Ontario ATIO Certified Translator and is sent to the Licensing and Accreditation Department for review and verification.

You may wish to refer to ATIO's Directory of Certified Translators on its website at https://atio.on.ca/. Your documents will not be reviewed/processed by the Licensing and Accreditation Department unless they are accompanied by a translated document from an ATIO Certified Translator, as well as an affidavit attesting to the accuracy of the translation.

Submitting Good Character Information

Information regarding the review process is available on the Good Character Requirement webpage.

ll good character documents in support of a "yes" answer must be included with your application package. You must sign and clearly print your name and address on all supporting good character documents.

If you provided an electronic file in support of your good character answer when applying online, any files you provide will be saved in your Law Society online account. You must print these files and include them with your paper copy submission to the Licensing and Accreditation Department. If you indicated that you would be including documentation in paper copy in support of your good character answers, you must include the documents that you listed in the text entry area of your online application.

Applications without the required explanation will be considered incomplete and will not be processed.

Signing the Declaration and Obligations page

You must sign and date the printed PDF application form and ensure your guarantor or referee fills in the required information and signs and dates the area indicated at the end of your application. By signing the application, you agree to follow all the rules and regulations of the Law Society of Ontario as well as the Lawyer Licensing Process Policies and are confirming your declaration and obligations as a candidate in the licensing process.

Application Fee and Late Fee Payments

If you did not submit the application fee by credit card at the time you applied online, please ensure you send a certified cheque or money order for the application fee payment directly to the Accounts Office. Payment must be received by the application deadline so that you do not incur an application late fee. A late filing fee of $75.00 (plus applicable taxes) is payable if your application fee payment or your paper copy application is received after the application due date.

Please see the Billing and Payment Information webpage for more Information.

Preparing the Application Package

Your PDF application contains a checklist on the last page. Please refer to the checklist to assist you before submitting Part II of your application. The checklist should NOT be submitted with your application.

Part II of the application process requires you to do the following by the application deadline: 

  1. Log into your Lawyer Licensing Process User Account and access your PDF application under "My Documents." The file is created about 15 minutes after you complete the online application process.
  2. Print the PDF of your online application on 8 ½ X 11 paper.
  3. Print your supporting documentation for the Good Character section, if applicable.
  4. Collect all documentation required to be submitted with the paper copy of your application (particularly your proof of legal name documents).
  5. Copy all your documents and have your application and all required supporting documentation certified by a guarantor or referee. Please see above for more information on the guarantor and referee requirements.
  6. Law school transcripts and NCA Certificates of Qualification must be sent directly to the Licensing and Accreditation Department by the issuing institution. You cannot submit these documents with your application, but you are required to request these documents from your institution so that they may send them directly to the Licensing and Accreditation Department on your behalf.
  7. Mail, courier or, during business hours, drop off your application and the required supporting documents to the Law Society. The package must be received by the Licensing and Accreditation Department on or before December 1, 2021, by 5 p.m. E.S.T. or a late filing fee will be applied to your account. Note: Mailed/couriered application packages must be received by the deadline date or a late fee will be applied. The Law Society is not responsible for lost or delayed documents that are received after the deadline.​
  8. If you did not submit the application fee by credit card at the time you applied online, please ensure you also send a certified cheque or money order for the application fee directly to the Accounts Office of the Law Society. This must also be received on or before December 1, 2021, by 5 p.m. E.S.T., or a late filing fee will be applied to your account.

Incomplete applications will not be processed.

 
PLEASE DO NOT FOLD OR BEND THE APPLICATION
Submit the application package in person or courier or mail it in a 9" X 12" envelope to:

Lawyer Licensing Process - Application
Law Society of Ontario
130 Queen Street West, 2nd floor
Toronto, ON
M5H 2N6 

You may pay all fees online by credit card prior to the posted deadline or send a certified cheque or money order to: 

Accounts Office

Lawyer Licensing Process - Application Fee Payment
Law Society of Ontario
130 Queen Street West
Toronto, ON
M5H 2N6 

Accommodation:

Candidates entering the licensing process who are requesting accommodation for a licensing examination must submit the accommodation request forms and supporting documentation by email directly to the Examination Administration department at the time of the application to the licensing process.

Forms, submission requirements and further information about accommodation request deadlines and the approval process are available on the Accommodations webpage. Please address all accommodation-related enquiries and submissions to Examination Administration at examinationaccommodation@lso.ca.

 

After you Apply:

Once you have applied to the licensing process and your application has been received and verified, the Licensing and Accreditation Department will message you via your Law Society online account with relevant and time sensitive information. Once you submit part two of the application, you are responsible for checking your Law Society online account weekly.

During the licensing process, you must inform the Law Society of (i) any changes to your mailing address, telephone number or email address and (ii) any changes of information that are relevant to the Law Society’s verification of your eligibility for licensure that occurred following the filing of your application. Failure to notify the Law Society of certain information may affect your status in the licensing process or your eligibility for licensure.

If your application information changes at any time after you apply online, please log in to your Law Society online account to obtain the Application Amendment Form. This form must be used to submit changes to your application regarding proof of education information or proof of legal name.

In February 2022, specific invoicing and registration information will also be sent to your online account if you have elected to write an examination in Summer/Fall 2022 or Winter 2023. If the application fee is paid by the due date, you will be invoiced your licensing examination and study material fees in February 2022.

Please review the Dates to Remember and Licensing Examination sections of the website for detailed information regarding deadlines and preparation for your licensing examinations.

ALL FEES AND DATES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.

Terms or Concepts Explained