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Paralegal Licensing Process

Overview

The focus of the Paralegal Licensing Process is to ensure that candidates have demonstrated they possess the required entry-level competencies, in order to provide services effectively and in the public interest. To qualify for admission to the Paralegal Licensing Process, an applicant must have graduated from a Law Society accredited Paralegal Education program.

Professional competence is achieved through a combination of knowledge, skills, abilities and judgment. Prior to applying, it is strongly recommended that candidates review the Paralegal Licensing Process Policies and the Licensing Examination Rules and Protocol to familiarize themselves with relevant information.

Required Components

  • Paralegal Licensing Examination
    The Paralegal Licensing Examination is a self-study, open-book, seven hour, multiple-choice examination.
    The licensing examination assesses entry-level competencies of a Paralegal's knowledge of substantive and procedural law and ethical and professional responsibilities that have the most direct impact on the protection of the public and that influence the provision of effective and ethical legal services.

    Learn more about the Paralegal Licensing Examination
  • Be of Good Character

    The Law Society Act requires that an applicant for admission as a licensee of the Law Society of Ontario be of good character. This is an ongoing requirement for applicants throughout their licensing term.

    In the application to be registered into the Lawyer Licensing Process or Paralegal Licensing Process, all applicants must answer questions which assist the Law Society in determining whether the applicant is of good character. These questions allow applicants to self-report conduct or circumstances that may raise issues about the applicant’s character. If an applicant provides an affirmative answer to any of these questions, the applicant must provide full and detailed particulars (which may include supporting documentation).

    Applicants must complete and submit all parts of the application, supporting documents and the fee in order to commence the Licensing Process. Only candidates fully applied with Good Character items answered in the affirmative will be reviewed and escalated as required.

    An affirmative answer to any of the good character questions does not necessarily mean that a candidate will be refused admission to the Law Society. The information provided by each applicant is thoroughly reviewed by the Law Society’s Professional Regulation department, and before an application for a licence can be refused, the Law Society Act provides the applicant an opportunity to appear before the Hearing Division of the Law Society Tribunal. Where the Hearing Division makes an order refusing an applicant’s application for a licence, the Law Society will remove the applicant from the Lawyer Licensing Process or the Paralegal Licensing Process (as the case may be), and the applicant will cease to be a candidate in that Licensing Process. Information about the Law Society Tribunal, including rules of practice and procedure governing hearings and appeals of decisions, is published on the Law Society Tribunal website.

    After submitting an application to be registered into the Lawyer Licensing Process or Paralegal Licensing Process, applicants must immediately notify the Licensing and Accreditation Department in writing if their answers to any of the good character questions have changed at any time during their licensing term. A Good Character Amendment Form is available online on the Fees and Forms page.

    Applicants are to note that if they do not submit all application process requirements they will not be able to move forward in the Licensing Process and their good character section will not be reviewed, which will delay licensing.

    Upon successfully completing the Lawyer Licensing Process or Paralegal Licensing Process and meeting all requirements to become licensed to practice law or to provide legal services in Ontario, applicants are required to sign an undertaking that they have maintained the standing of good character throughout their licensing term and up to the day they became licensed.

  • Become Licensed

    Application for a P1 Licence

    To be eligible to apply for your P1 (Paralegal) Licence, you must successfully meet all requirements of the Licensing Process (including the Licensing Examination), have no Good Character issues, have paid all required fees and submitted all required documents.

    Once you are eligible to be licensed, the complete details of what you are required to submit in order to obtain your licence will be emailed to your Law Society web account by the Licensing Process, Licensing and Accreditation Department. You will be sent a document entitled “P1 Licensing Documents and Information”. This information will not be posted online and will only be sent to the web accounts of candidates who have satisfied all requirements for licensing.

    In the web message you will be asked to:

    Becoming Licensed

    Once you complete and submit all the items mentioned and satisfy all requirements, your status in the Licensing Process will be what is normally referred to as "Licensing - Complete", which indicates that you are approved to receive a P1 Licence issued by the Law Society. The information in your candidate file will then be transferred to your licensee file in the Membership Services Department.

    Your P1 Licence

    Your P1 Licence will be mailed to you approximately 2 weeks after you are licensed and will contain your Law Society Paralegal member number. You are required to reference this number at all times when communicating with the Law Society. 
    Along with your Licence you will be sent a final transcript confirming the successful completion of your Licensing Examination.

    Membership Fees

    The Accounts Office at the Law Society will mail you an invoice for your membership fee. Now that you are a P1 licensee, please click on the following link to obtain further information:

    About Your Paralegal Licence

    Any inquiries regarding these items should be forwarded to either the Membership Department at 416-947-3315 or if your question involves fee payment please call the Accounts Office at 416-947-5201.

    Insurance Requirement for Paralegal Licensees

    You may not begin providing legal services until you receive your P1 Licence number and arrange to have the required insurance coverage. Please refer to the Law Society's website for further information on insurance.

Application Process

Prior to applying, applicants must read the following information which will provide you with a thorough understanding of the application process, how to submit the application and the schedule and choices that you need to make:

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