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Applying for an Exemption from the Experiential Training Program

All supporting documentation must be emailed to articling@lso.ca. Certificates of Standing will be accepted only if they are emailed directly from the issuing jurisdiction.

Exemption Application Process

  • Overview
    ​An exemption from the experiential training program is a waiver of the Articling or Law Practice Program requirement. Only candidates who meet the eligibility requirements and are registered in the Lawyer Licensing Process may apply for an exemption.
     
    If you would like to provide legal services as a student-at-law before your call to the bar and you are eligible to receive an exemption, be sure to consult the Guidelines for Lawyer Licensing Process Candidates Awaiting Call to the Bar to avoid unauthorized practice.
  • Eligibility Requirements

    Applicants must be fully registered in the Lawyer Licensing Process to proceed with this application.

    1. You have been licensed to practice in a common law jurisdiction; and

    2. You have had at least 10 months of experience after being called to the bar in that common law jurisdiction. 

  • Fees
    Please see the Fees schedule 
  • Application and Supporting Documents

    The application and supporting documents for an exemption must all be received by Licensing and Accreditation before you are invoiced the fee and the application is reviewed.

    1. Application for Exemption from the Experiential Training Program

    2. A letter from the candidate, setting out the specific period of the candidate’s practice experience in a common law jurisdiction and a description of the practice setting. The letter must describe the relevance of the candidate’s common law practice experience to the legal skills, practices and systems ordinarily experienced during an articling placement, making reference to the applicable experiential training competencies for candidates and providing specific examples. ​

    3. An original Certificate of Standing from the governing body of the legal profession of that jurisdiction sent directly from that governing body to Articling and the Law Society of Ontario. Any documents that are not in English or French must be translated by an Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario (ATIO) Certified Translator. You may wish to refer to ATIO's Directory of Certified Translators on its website at www.atio.on.ca. The original Certificate of Standing must be sent by the governing body of that jurisdiction directly to a certified translator. The certified translator must then send both the original and translated copies of the Certificate of Standing directly to Articling at the Law Society of Ontario.

    4. An original letter of reference from one or more lawyer or judge referees, sent directly to Articling by the referee(s). The letter should verify the candidate’s legal experience in a common law jurisdiction and how it relates to the legal skills, practices and systems ordinarily experienced during an articling placement. The reference letter(s) must refer to the experiential training competencies for candidates and provide TWO specific examples of the applicable competencies. Please note, your application cannot be reviewed until ALL listed referee letters have been received.
  • Review Process

    Once all supporting documents have been received by Licensing and Accreditation, your application will be placed in queue for review. 

    If you are not eligible for an exemption, your application may be reviewed as an abridgement based on prior legal experience.

  • Application Notes
    • Experience indicated in the candidate letter requires a reference to confirm the  skills performed during the stated length of time.
    • Referee letters should be sent separately to Licensing and Accreditation from the candidate’s letter. Letters confirming the contents of a candidate’s letter will not be accepted.
    • Ensure that the name listed on all supporting documents is the same as the name associated with your candidate account.
    • Documents submitted to Licensing and Accreditation in support of an exemption from experiential training requirements are valid for a period of up to six months upon receipt. If your application is not completed within that timeframe, you will be required to ensure  more current  documents are submitted (particularly the Certificate of Standing document). It is recommended that you have your supporting documents submitted after you have submitted the application.
    • The exemption  application should be completed at least 30 business days prior to the preferred licensing date.

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