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During a Placement

Candidates should note that, as a result of COVID-19, for those commencing an articling placement between May 1, 2020, and April 28, 2023, the minimum required length of the articling placement is eight months.

Unless you are making a significant change during your placement, you will not need to file any forms with the Law Society until the end of the placement. If you are eligible to be called to the bar in June, you will be required to file your end of placement documents by the early filing deadline which is typically the first business day in April. We recommend that you review your training plan throughout your placement to track your progress and to ensure that you are receiving training in the necessary skills, knowledge and tasks that will help prepare you for entry into the profession.

You are also responsible for ensuring that you only make court and tribunal appearances that comply with the Rights of Appearance. Before making any appearance, please consult the Rights of Appearance for further information. 

  • Time Off Policy

    How many days off am I eligible to take during my articling placement?

    For the 2022-23 licensing year, the Law Society will recognize a maximum of 10 business days off within an 8-, 9- or 10-month placement. The length of articles will remain the same regardless of if you choose to take the maximum allowable time off.

    What is considered time off?

    Time off is any day a candidate is not performing articling related duties. These days off are typically vacation days, study days, exam-writing days, or relate to an illness. Statutory Holidays are not considered time off.

    I have taken extra days off, what do I do?

    If you have taken more than the maximum number of permitted days off during the placement, this time must be added to the end of the articling term, extending your contract/placement by as many business days and must be indicated on the Certificate of Service form by way of an amended end date when the form is submitted to Licensing and Accreditation.

    If you have taken time off for reasons related to prolonged illness, family responsibilities, injury or any other grounds deemed compassionate, you may apply for an abridgement based on compassionate grounds.

    I have made up the extra time off I took during my placement. Do I still have to record it?

    The Law Society sets out the policy of what is considered as time off. The dates listed on your Certificate of Service form are dates agreed upon between you and your articling principal.

    Principals are not required to provide a minimum number of vacation days off during an articling placement. The provision of vacation days, sick days and personal days is an employment matter to be agreed upon between a principal and their articling candidate. These should be discussed when negotiating the terms of the articling placement employment.

  • Exam Study Policy

    Candidates writing the solicitor or barrister licensing examination during the articling placement for the first time are entitled to up to 7 business days free of articling placement duties, per first attempt at the licensing examination. This includes any day(s) taken to write the licensing examination(s).

    Please note that these days count towards the candidate's recognized time off (per the Time Off Policy), meaning that if a candidate takes the maximum of 14 days off for both licensing examinations, that candidate will have to add additional days to the end of the placement term.

    Articling principals are not required to provide time off for any subsequent attempt(s) at writing the  licensing examination(s).

  • Temporary Assignments
    A temporary assignment of the articling placement occurs when you transfer from one principal to another lawyer during the articling placement for a period of more than four weeks and up to a maximum of three months. You must file a Temporary Assignment of Articling Placement form with the articling office within 10 business days of the transfer. You must return to the original placement before the end of the articling term.
  • Assignment of Articles
    An assignment of articling placement occurs when you permanently transfer to another approved articling principal during the term.

    To receive credit with the first principal, a Certificate of Service must be filed and the record of experiential training must be filed by both you and your principal.

    To assign the placement, an Articles of Clerkship form must be filed within ten business days.

    The assigned principal must file the experiential training plan within 10 business days of the candidate’s start date.

    If the placement is with two or more firms, either consecutively or concurrently, the issue of conflicts of interest must be addressed. Please refer to the Rules of Professional Conduct on Conflicts from Transfer between Law Firms.
  • Withdrawal of Articling Commitment
    Where a principal commits to provide an articling placement to you and is subsequently unable to fulfill that commitment due to a change in the principal’s practice circumstances, membership status or other related factors, the principal should take all reasonable steps to help you find an appropriate alternative articling placement. Examples of such steps include assisting you in obtaining interviews with other firms, making administrative services available to you, and providing you with a letter that clearly states that you are without an articling placement through no fault of your own.
  • Termination
    If you are experiencing difficulties during the articling placement, you may contact the articling office for practical suggestions to help resolve any issues, as well as to discuss administrative obligations and options related to terminating an articling placement, if that is contemplated. The Law Society cannot, however, provide legal advice or opinions regarding the termination of an employment contract. You may access the Law Society Referral Service to be referred to a lawyer.
    An articling placement may be terminated prior to the end of the anticipated articling term by either a candidate or a principal, or by mutual agreement. The obligations and protocols around this circumstance are set out in Part X of the Lawyer Licensing Process Policies
  • Obligations of the Candidate and Principal

    Within 10 days after a placement is terminated, you and your principal must provide to the Law Society written notice that includes the effective date of the termination, together with the Certificate of Service under Articles, signed by you and your principal.

    Where an articling placement is terminated, you will be responsible for finding another articling placement in order to complete the articling term.

    ​If you feel you have suffered discrimination or harassment by a lawyer or a paralegal, you may contact the Discrimination and Harassment Counsel on a confidential basis to discuss the situation.

    If you would like to make a complaint, you may contact Complaints and Compliance.

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