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Reducing the length of a Placement

A reduction or abridgment to the experiential training requirement is only available if you choose to article. The 8-month Law Practice Program cannot be reduced or shortened.

There are two ways to reduce the length of the 10-month articling program:  

  • An abridgement based on compassionate grounds
    The Licensing and Accreditation Department may approve an abridgment of the articling placement based on compassionate grounds for a period of up to six weeks. Compassionate grounds may include family responsibilities, prolonged illness or injury or any other ground deemed compassionate by the Licensing and Accreditation Department. The request should be submitted after the candidate has taken the time off.

    To apply for an abridgment based on compassionate grounds, you must complete the application and submit it to articling@lso.ca. 

    For requests ten days or fewer, you will only be required to complete sections one, two and four.

    For requests that are more than ten days, section three must be completed.

    Granting of an abridgment, based on compassionate grounds is discretionary. The approval process takes approximately 10 business days once all required documentation is filed.
  • An abridgement based on prior legal experience
    You may apply for an abridgment of the articling term based on prior legal experience if you have:

    1. Been licensed to practice law in another jurisdiction and practised as a lawyer in that jurisdiction, or
    2. Practised as a lawyer in a another jurisdiction, or
    3. Had other legal experience obtained after completing a law degree.

    The following factors will be considered when evaluating your request for an abridgment: 
    • the length, recency, nature, scope and diversity of your legal experience, and
    • the relevance of the legal experience to the experiential training competencies and requirements for candidates established by the Law Society
    Experience obtained by you before completing a program to obtain a Bachelor of Laws or Juris Doctor degree from a law school, or experience obtained while enrolled in a program of a law school, including full-time, part-time or summer experience in a law firm or legal organization, and/or clinical experience will NOT be considered when evaluating a request for an abridgment.

    Note: If you request an abridgment of articles based on prior legal experience and you are licensed to practice law in another jurisdiction, you must currently be in good standing in that jurisdiction or must have chosen not to maintain their license to practice law in that jurisdiction for reasons other than disciplinary action.

    To apply for an abridgment based on prior practice experience, the following documents are required:
    1. Application for Articling Abridgment
    2. A letter from you, describing the period of your legal experience. You must reference the experiential training competencies for candidates and provide specific examples of the applicable competencies;
    3. A letter of reference from one or more lawyer or judge referees, who has direct knowledge of your legal experience. The letter(s) must verify the period of your legal experience and  provide specific examples of the applicable competencies. The letter(s) of reference must be sent directly from the referee to Articling by regular mail, email or facsimile.
    4. Where you have been admitted to the bar(s) of a foreign jurisdiction, an original Certificate of Standing must be sent from the governing body of that jurisdiction directly to the Law Society’s articling office by regular mail. Certificates will not be accepted by email.

    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.

    An application fee of $160.00 (plus applicable taxes). The Law Society will invoice your online account in the amount of $160.00 (plus applicable taxes), or you may pay by certified cheque or money order payable to Law Society of Ontario.

    The approval process takes approximately 2 weeks once all required documentation listed above has been received by the Law Society’s articling office and the fee is paid.

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