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Applying for an Exemption from the Experiential Training Program

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.
 
Once your exemption is approved, you will be invited to attend a mandatory Professional Responsibility and Practice in Ontario Course (PCPO). This is a three-day in-person course that must be completed in order to fulfil the Experiential Training Requirement.
 
If you would like to provide legal services 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.

Upcoming PCPO Dates

The next PCPO course is offered on May 15, 16, and 17,  2019 and December 4, 5 and 6,  2019 at the Law Society of Ontario in Toronto. (Dates and venues are subject to change).

Eligibility Requirements 

  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

The Exemption Application has a fee of $160.00 plus taxes. It will be invoiced to your online account as part of the review process once all documents have been received. This fee is non-refundable.
 
The Professional Conduct and Practice in Ontario Course (PCPO) has a fee of $900 plus taxes. It will be invoiced to your account 4-6 weeks prior to the PCPO that you are registered for. This fee must be paid in order for you to attend. 

Application & Supporting Documents

 
The application and supporting documents must all be received by Articling before you are invoiced the fee and the application is reviewed. All documents except for the Certificate of Standing, can be e-mailed to Articling@lso.ca.

  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 our office, your application will be placed in queue for review. This process takes approximately 10 business days, and you will be notified of the results via e-mail.

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

Additional Resources