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Financial Assistance

Repayable Allowance Program
Monthly Payment Plan
Scholarships 
Windmill Microlending

Updated: October 2021

Repayable Allowance Program

About the Program

In 2001, the Law Society of Ontario established the Repayable Allowance Program (RAP), a program offering financial assistance to lawyer licensing candidates registered in the licensing process who demonstrate need and have exhausted all other sources of funds. The RAP is a loan program of last resort for lawyer licensing candidates who are struggling to pay their licensing fees during the licensing process.

Amount of Assistance Provided

The maximum repayable allowance permitted is $5,000 per candidate per calendar year, to a lifetime maximum of $10,000 per candidate.

The amount of assistance provided to any individual applicant will vary, based on the circumstances of that applicant. 

Application Deadline

The Repayable Allowance Program Committee (the “Committee”) periodically meets to review RAP applications. Due to the time it can take for the Committee to review the applications and for the funding for approved applications to be processed, applications for RAP funding must be received at least 30 business days prior to the date on which the funding is required. (Note: please review the Examination Deadlines and Dates and also the Dates to Remember webpages for dates by which payment is required. We will endeavour to review completed applications as soon as reasonably possible.)

Because RAP assistance is provided on a first-come, first-served basis, eligible candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as the need becomes known.

Eligibility

Who Can Apply

Lawyer licensing candidates with Canadian law degrees or who hold Certificates of Qualification from the National Committee on Accreditation (NCA) may apply for RAP assistance.

A Certificate of Qualification is issued by the NCA to individuals who demonstrate that their legal education and training is equivalent to an approved Canadian common law program.

General Requirements

In order to apply for the RAP, applicants must meet all the following criteria: 

  1. Be currently registered in the lawyer licensing process;
  2. Be eligible to write the lawyer licensing examinations;
  3. Be either:
    1. scheduled to sit the lawyer licensing examination(s);
    2. registered in the Law Practice Program (LPP) with an identifiable commencement date; or
    3. registered in the Articling Program and have secured an articling position with an identifiable commencement date; and 
  4. Have exhausted all other sources of funding available to them, including student loan programs.
Please note: Applicants who have not yet received their NCA Certificates of Qualification are not eligible to write the lawyer licensing examinations and, therefore, are not eligible for RAP funding.
Registration in the Licensing Process

An applicant is registered in the lawyer licensing process when the applicant satisfies the registration requirements set out in By-Law 4.

Eligibility to write the licensing examinations

An applicant is eligible to write a lawyer licensing examination when the applicant meets the lawyer licensing examination requirements set out in By-Law 4.

As referenced above, applicants who have not yet received their NCA Certificates of Qualification are not eligible to write the lawyer licensing examinations and, therefore, are not eligible for RAP funding.

Be scheduled to sit the lawyer licensing examination(s) or registered in the LPP or Articling Program
  1. The applicant must be scheduled to write one or both of the lawyer licensing examinations; or
  2. The applicant must be registered in the LPP with an identifiable commencement date; or
  3. The applicant must be registered in the Articling Program and have secured an articling position with an identifiable commencement date.
Exhaustion of other resources

RAP applications are considered by the Committee. In assessing an application for RAP funding, the Committee considers such factors as: 

  • Debt load;
  • Inability to obtain financial assistance elsewhere;
  • Assets;
  • Employment status;
  • Articling salary;
  • Number of dependents;
  • Expenses; and
  • Personal and household income.

In order to satisfy the Committee that all other financial resources have been exhausted, the applicant must provide documentation demonstrating the applicant’s current financial situation, including, but not limited to, the applicant’s:

  • Student loan statement(s) from the previous month;
  • Credit card statement(s) from the previous month;
  • Canada Revenue Agency Notice of Assessment (or equivalent from another jurisdiction) for the previous year;
  • Up-to-date bank statements;
  • Up-to-date investment statements;
  • Most recent paystubs;
  • Up-to-date documentation with respect to the value of any assets; and
  • Up-to-date documentation supporting any other debts or liabilities, including mortgage statements, loan statements, rental agreements, childcare receipts, etc.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to submit all documentation supporting the applicant’s financial situation with the application. Applications that do not contain the required supporting documentation will not be considered.

Additional Considerations

Pursuant to the Law Society’s commitment to equity and diversity, additional consideration will be given to individuals from the following communities:

  • Indigenous peoples;
  • Francophone;
  • Racialized;
  • Lesbian/gay/bisexual;
  • Transgender/transsexual;
  • Persons with disabilities;
  • Mature candidates (40 years of age and older);
  • Single parents; and
  • Candidates with dependants and a low family income.

Forms

Interest Rate and Repayment Obligations

Please see the Repayable Allowance Agreement (PDF) for information respecting interest rates and repayment obligations.

Repayable allowance recipients may apply for forgiveness of repayment on compassionate grounds such as medical disability or on the basis of inadequate income. Application forms are provided to recipients upon request to the Committee.

Monthly Payment Plan

The Monthly Payment Plan allows candidates to pay their licensing fees, in prescribed equal monthly installments via credit card, over a five or ten-month span, depending on the plan selected by the candidate. Candidates who wish to enrol in this plan agree to monthly pre-authorized charges to be made on their credit card, in equal installments. All candidates must review the information available on the Fees and Forms page regarding Billing and Payment Information and the Fees Schedule before enrolling in the plan. 

Candidates may self-enrol by logging into their Law Society account and selecting the link at left regarding the Monthly Payment Plan. Only eligible invoices will be available to add to the payment plan (Licensing Examination fee(s), Study Material fee(s) and the Experiential Training fee). All other invoices must be paid in full by the prescribed deadline listed on the invoice. Candidates will only be able to enrol in the plan by the deadlines listed on the Dates to Remember page. Once the deadline to enrol in a payment plan has passed, candidates must pay all fees in full by the required payment deadline(s) if they wish to write a licensing examination or commence experiential training.

When considering the prescribed term of your payment plan, candidates should consider when the final payment will be processed and when the candidate intends to be licensed. Candidates cannot be licensed if they have outstanding fees and have not made the remaining payments as agreed to under the plan. Candidates who wish to be licensed before the date the plan concludes must first pay all outstanding fees on their account.

Candidates enrolling in a payment plan must review and agree to the terms and conditions of the plan. Candidates should note the dates on which preauthorized payments will be charged to their credit card. Payments are processed on the 15th day of each month for the duration of the plan selected. More information on the terms and conditions will be available when enrolling in the plan.

Candidates may not add or remove invoices from the plan once the plan has commenced and pre-authorized payments have been made. If any pre-authorized transaction is rejected by the credit card company during the plan, all fees become due for services rendered and candidates must pay each invoice in full by the invoice deadline so as not to jeopardize registration and enrolment in any component of the Licensing Process.

Preloaded credit cards, debit cards and electronic funds transfers are not accepted. VISA, MasterCard and American Express are the only acceptable forms of payment under this plan.

**A non-refundable administrative fee will be charged for each plan a candidate enrols in. The prescribed five-month plan administrative fee is $50 plus applicable taxes and the ten-month plan administrative fee is $100 (for lawyer candidates). The prescribed four-month plan administrative fee is $40 plus applicable taxes (for paralegal candidates). This non-refundable fee will be charged to the candidates’ credit card at the time a candidate enrols in the plan online

Candidates who wish to remove themselves from an existing plan and enrol in another plan should do so by removing invoices from the existing plan before the plan commences and then enrolling in another plan by the applicable enrolment deadline posted on the Dates to Remember page.

Scholarships

The Right Honourable Paul Martin Sr. Scholarship

The Harold G. Fox Education Fund

WGCC Indigenous Scholarship 2021

Women General Counsel Canada (WGCC) is offering an annual $2000 scholarship for Indigenous 2nd year students (or, if enrolled in a 4 year combined law degree program,  2nd or 3rd year students) enrolled in a Canadian JD or LLB programme. The application deadline is December 17, 2021.  More information is available on the WGCC website

Windmill Microlending

If you are an internationally trained immigrant in another country and have recently immigrated to Canada, the Windmill Microlending loan may assist you financially with your licensing fees. Please visit the Windmill Microlending website for more information.

Terms or Concepts Explained