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Licensing Examination Study Materials

General Information 
Study Materials and Licensing Cycles 
Accessing Study Materials
Materials FAQ

General Information 

Once you have applied to the Licensing Process and selected an examination sitting, or registered or deferred an examination sitting, you will require the appropriate study materials.

The information below is intended to provide general information regarding the study materials and how to obtain them in preparation for an examination sitting. It is each candidate’s responsibility to thoroughly review the information as well as all the rules, protocols, schedules, deadlines and procedures pertinent to the Licensing Examinations and the Licensing Process.

  1. Once your application or registration/deferral selection has been processed, you will receive your invoices: one for your examination(s); and one for the study material(s) for the Licensing Year within which the examination falls.
  2. If you are re-writing an examination within the same licensing year, your current material(s) would still be valid for that licensing year’s sittings. You would be required to access and print your own materials if you are re-writing in the same Licensing Year.
  3. Access to your materials will be provided only if payment is received in full by the Law Society and materials have been released for the Licensing Year. You must pay for the study materials in addition to the examination fees in full as part of the registration process. You will not be permitted to sit an examination unless all fees relating to examinations and materials are paid by the registration deadline and the required transcript or NCA Certificate of Qualification is filed with the Law Society.
  4. You will have access to your study material approximately 2 business days after your payment has been processed, provided the materials have been released for that Licensing Year. Otherwise, you will have access to them after 12pm on the day of their release. Materials will be available up to the end of the Licensing Year.
  5. Please go to the Dates to Remember page related to Lawyer candidates and Paralegal candidates to view the release date and see if you are within the window of time to  pick up a set of materials in person at the Law Society. 
  6. If the in-person distribution period has passed, you are no longer able to pick up your materials. You can however still enter an order for shipment, print out your online materials, or study directly from your online version. NOTE: Electronic copies of the materials are not permitted in the Testing Area. You must ensure you bring a paper copy to the Testing Area on the day of the examination.
  7. As part of the distribution of materials, you will also receive your Law Society candidate identification card. During the in-person distribution period, you are required to present government issued photo identification to receive the Law Society card. Shipment of materials will include the card. If you do not pick up materials in person or request a shipment, your card will be available at the examination venue on the day of your examination the first time you write.

Study Materials and Licensing Cycles 

One of the requirements to be licensed in Ontario is to successfully pass the mandatory licensing examination(s). Lawyer candidates must successfully complete a Barrister examination and a Solicitor examination. Paralegal candidates must successfully complete one licensing examination. The Law Society develops study materials on which the exams are based which support all examined competencies on each Licensing Examination. Candidates do not require further study materials. It is therefore essential that you review the study materials carefully in preparation for a Licensing Examination. All competencies that are tested on the examinations are posted in detail on the website under the Licensing Examinations tab at left.

Study Materials are released shortly before the beginning of each Licensing Year and are valid up until the final examination sitting of that Licensing Year. Each Licensing Year has three sittings of each examination.

The lawyer Licensing Year begins on May 1 of one calendar year and ends on April 30 of the following year. 

The paralegal Licensing Year begins on June 1 of one calendar year and ends on May 31 of the following year.

The examination study materials are revised each year and candidates are expected to keep this in mind when they register within or between cycles: for instance, candidates who defer an examination to a subsequent Licensing Year will be invoiced for the revised Licensing Examination study materials and will not be reimbursed for the previously purchased materials. Once materials are released to a candidate, the cost is non-refundable.

All Licensing Examinations are developed with reference to the study materials current to that Licensing Year. Candidates are required to purchase the version of the study materials that is current to the Licensing Year in which they register to write.

Please refer to the Dates to Remember page for specific release dates related to Lawyer candidates and Paralegal candidates.

Accessing Study Materials

The exact release day for the study materials will vary slightly from year to year. These dates can be found under the Dates to Remember page for Lawyer candidates and for Paralegal candidates

Specific information regarding the distribution period and the shipping options available are also under the Registration and Licensing section online, for Lawyer candidates and for Paralegal candidates.

Online Access

Online access is provided once materials are released for the Licensing Year and the fees are paid, up until the end of the Licensing Year.

Shipping Requests

Shipping requests can be made once materials are released and the fees have been paid. Please do not request a shipment if you intend to pick up materials in person.

Confidentiality and Security of the Study Materials

The Law Society maintains strict confidentiality and security of the Study Material contents. Stringent protocols and measures have been put in place to ensure that the integrity and security of the Licensing Examinations and the Study Materials is maintained. These measures are designed to eliminate any unfair advantage among candidates and avoid the high cost of replacing the Study Materials and examinations. These protocols have been implemented at all phases of the creation and distribution of the Study Materials, especially in the areas of development, review, translation, printing, transportation and disposal of the Materials. 

All Study Materials are the exclusive property of the Law Society and are protected by copyright. In order to preserve the confidentiality and security of the Licensing Examinations, candidates are strictly prohibited at all times from disclosing to any person or organization, reproducing (through memorization or by any other means) or publishing any part of the Examination and Study Materials. If a candidate decides to bring print materials and/or other aids to the examination site, all materials, notes and textbooks must be brought by the candidate into the Testing Area prior to the start of Part 1 of the Examination Sitting. Candidates are not permitted to bring any additional materials into the Testing Area after the Licensing Examination has begun (including for Part 2 of the Examination Sitting).

Study Material Use/Removal: On the Day of the Examination

Candidates are permitted to bring into the examination Testing Area a paper copy of the study materials and other permitted items. However, all materials and other permissible items for the purpose of writing the examination must be left in the Testing Area once the examination has concluded. Materials brought into the examination Testing Area will NOT be returned to the candidate. Please carefully read the Examination Rules and Protocols for Lawyers and Paralegals to find out how and what materials can be brought inside the Testing Area, as well as what must remain in the Testing Area.

For more information, please see this link for Lawyer Licensing Examinations and this link for Paralegal Licensing Examinations.

Materials FAQ

SPECIAL NOTICE regarding study material distribution:
*In light of the current COVID-19 situation, some of the information below is no longer applicable and related updates will be communicated to candidates on the first date of distribution. As of April 1, 2020, all in person distribution dates have been cancelled.

Q: When do I get my study materials?
A: The material release dates are available on the Dates to Remember page for Lawyer and Paralegal candidates. If the materials have been released for that Licensing Year you will have access to them online about two business days after your credit card payment has been processed. Other forms of payment may take longer to process (please see Billing and Payment for more information on paying fees).

Note: If you miss the in-person distribution period, you may only access materials online and print them or by requesting a shipment (at an added cost). (* see Special Notice above)

Q: Where will I find my materials electronically once they have been released?
A: Please log into your Law Society account and go to: “My Examination Study Materials”.

Q: I just paid for my materials. They are not appearing in my account, when will I receive them?
A: If you’ve just made a payment by credit card online or through the Client Service Center in person, please allow one to two business days for your payment to be processed. NOTE: Your materials might not have been released yet. Please visit the Dates to Remember page for Lawyer and Paralegal candidates to verify the materials release date.

Q: When can I come and pick up the printed copy of the materials?
A: Please review the information above under In-Person Distribution. You may also visit the Dates to Remember page for Lawyer and Paralegal candidates to verify the distribution dates. (* see Special Notice above)

Q: Why can’t I pick up the study materials?
A: You may have missed the in-person distribution period or the materials may not have been released yet. Please review the information above for online access and shipping options.  (* see Special Notice above)

Q: I wrote last year. Can I use my old materials to study? 
A: Study Materials are revised each year and you are required to purchase and pay for the revised study materials for the Licensing Year you are writing in. Please note the study material fee must be paid as part of the registration process.

Q: Why can’t I use my old materials? There can’t be that much of a difference.
A: Licensing examinations are based on the Study Materials which are revised each year. You will not be permitted to write an examination without purchasing revised materials.

Q: Is the purchase of materials mandatory? 
A: Yes, unless you are re-writing in the same Licensing Year. In that case, you are to re-print the materials you have for that Licensing Year on your own in order to prepare and bring them to the examination Testing Area on the day of your examination.

Q: Can I use my friend/colleague/partner’s set of materials?
A: You are required to purchase and pay for your own set of materials as part of the registration process. The Law Society will invoice you for the required set of material.

Q: Can I sell or give away my materials?
A: No, the materials are intended for your personal use in preparing for your examination. Please see the section on the inside cover of your materials for further information. 

Q: What if I find an error or typo in the content of the study materials?
A: Please send a message through your online account stating the exact page, section and nature of the error. 

Q: Can I be reimbursed for my materials?
A: Once materials are released and accessible to you through your online account, fees cannot be refunded.

Q: I ordered French materials, but they are in English in my online account. What do I do?
A: You are able to access them in French as well: Please log out and close your browser. Then make sure to access the French site (click Français at the top of the page). Log in from the French site and you can access your materials in French. 

Q: Can I bring my materials into the Licensing Examination Testing Area?
A: Yes. As the examinations are open-book self-study examinations, you are required to bring a paper copy into the Testing Area for your reference during the examination. However, please be sure to read the Licensing Examination Rules and Protocols for further information on permissible items.

Q: Can I highlight or write in my materials?
A: Yes you may. However, please be sure to read the Licensing Examination Rules and Protocols for further information on preparing for your examination and what is permissible to bring into the Testing Area. 

Q: What happened to my online materials? They have disappeared.
A: Your materials will only be available in your online account during the Licensing Year for which they are valid. Please consider saving them to your personal computer if you wish to keep a copy of the PDF.

Q: Can I copy the material? My printing shop says they need written confirmation that they can print the material.
A: The study materials you have purchased are copyrighted to the Law Society. You may not sell, distribute or reproduce them for others, however you are allowed to make copies for your own personal preparation for the examination. Please have the shop refer to the section at the front of the materials. However, if they still require confirmation, please contact Licensing and Accreditation.

Q: I see that the in-person distribution period is over. How do I get my material?
A: You will have access to your material online once your payment has been processed. You will also have the option to request a shipment of the materials, although there is an added cost for the shipment, as the service is provided by a third party. 

Q: I ordered a shipment of just the Barrister material in the past but now the system does not allow me to order the Solicitor material?
A: Please contact Licensing and Accreditation for further instruction.

Q: What is the cost of shipping the materials?
A: Shipping costs are set by the third party shipping company. At this time, the fees are $35 and up depending on your shipping location.

Q: How do I pay for shipment?
A: You will be sent a message that includes further information on distribution once a payment of your materials has been processed. The message will include information on placing a shipping request. Shipment is only available once materials have been released. 

Q: Can I pick up materials and order a shipment of those same materials?
A: Candidates in the licensing process are required to purchase and pay for one printed copy of the study materials as part of their registration for an examination in a Licensing Year. If a candidate would like a second printed copy, they must contact the Licensing and Accreditation Department through their Law Society online account, to advise that they wish to order another paper copy of the materials. At that point, the candidate will be invoiced for an additional set of materials and will have to submit payment for the extra copy of the materials. A reminder that there is also an additional fee for shipment of materials. (* see Special Notice above)

Q: I am not in Ontario. Can I still have materials shipped to me?
A: Yes, the third party shipping company is able to ship nationally and internationally for an added fee. 

Q: Can I send my spouse, partner, colleague or parent to pick up my materials?
A: No, you must attend in person to pick up materials and show valid government issued photo identification to receive your Law Society candidate photo identification card and Study Materials.
(* see Special Notice above)

If you have questions regarding materials that are not addressed in this section, please send a message to the Licensing and Accreditation Department through your Law Society account by going to ‘My Messages’ and then to ‘Compose Message’.

Terms or Concepts Explained