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LSO COVID-19 Response

FAQs: Licensing & Accreditation

This section will continue to be amended and additional questions or concerns answered, as more information becomes available.

How can I submit documents to the Law Society?
You are strongly encouraged to submit all documents to the Law Society electronically, either through your onine account or by email to licensingprocess@lso.ca, articling@lso.ca, or examinationaccommodation@lso.ca, as appropriate. If you are unable to submit documents electronically, you may send documents to the Law Society by regular mail; however, please note that there are significant delays in receiving and processing mailed documents and such approach is not advisable at this time.

Please note the Law Society’s guidance in respect of electronic signatures and virtual commissioning.

Licensing Process

Candidate Supports

  • The COVID-19 situation is negatively affecting my mental health. What can I do?
    The Law Society understands that uncertainty, change, physical health concerns, and other circumstances can all be factors that affect our mental health. The COVID-19 situation may be very unsettling and can negatively impact mental health. Students and candidates are eligible to receive, and are encouraged to seek, assistance from the Member Assistance Program, a confidential service that offers counselling, resources, and information to licensees, law students, paralegal students, and licensing candidates.

    Last updated: March 30
  • Are there any financial supports available to assist me in completing the licensing process?
    The Law Society has a number of programs to assist candidates registered in the licensing process with the payment of their licensing fees. These programs include the Monthly Payment Plan and, for lawyer candidates, the Repayable Allowance Program. 

    Last updated: December 1

Licensure (Administrative Call)

  • How will I become licensed to practise law?
    The Law Society’s administrative call process will be used to facilitate licensure for those candidates who have met all the requirements to become licensed to practise law in Ontario. The administrative process will not require in-person attendance. Candidates will receive more information about this process through their online accounts as they become eligible for licensure. The administrative call process will be continued for licensing cycle 2021-2022.

    Last updated: March 19, 2021
  • Why is the Law Society using an administrative call process to license lawyers?

    The Law Society recognizes the symbolic importance that the call to the bar ceremonies afford candidates eligible for licensure as lawyers in Ontario. The Law Society also recognizes that current public health conditions make it difficult to offer these ceremonies in a safe manner. Accordingly, the Law Society is implementing licensing processes to enable candidates who meet licensure requirements to become eligible to practise law.

    Last updated: June 10

  • When did the administrative call process come into effect?
    Commencing May 1, 2020, all candidates who are eligible to be licensed as lawyers will be admitted to the practice of law using the Law Society’s administrative call process if they submit the required documentation.

    Last updated: June 10
  • When do candidates become eligible for an administrative call?
    Candidates who have successfully met all administrative and program requirements for licensure in Ontario in accordance with By-Law 4 made under the Law Society Act are eligible to be administratively called. In order to become eligible, lawyer candidates must successfully complete the Barrister Licensing Examination and the Solicitor Licensing Examination, fulfill the Experiential Training Component (e.g., articling or the Law Practice Program), file all documents, pay all required fees, and be of good character. Candidates are not eligible for an administrative call until they meet these requirements.

    Last updated: June 10
  • How are candidates informed of their eligibility for an administrative call?

    The Law Society’s Licensing and Accreditation department will contact candidates as they become eligible for an administrative call. As candidates become eligible, they will be notified through their online accounts to commence the administrative call application process. The Law Society notifies eligible candidates by sending them an administrative call application package. Since the Law Society notifies candidates using their online account, candidates are expected to regularly check their online account for administrative call information and updates.​

    Last updated: December 1

  • What does the administrative call process entail?
    The administrative call process requires candidates to complete two documents. The documents are: (1) the Petition for Call to the Bar and Certificate of Fitness; and (2) the Affidavit for Taking the Oath for Call. These documents, along with the instructions for completing them, are sent to candidates’ online accounts when they are notified by the Licensing and Accreditation department that they are eligible for an administrative call. Both documents are made available to candidates as fillable PDFs. The documents are to be completed, commissioned, and returned to the Law Society via email to L1papercall@lso.ca.
     
    In addition to completing these documents, candidates are required to pay a call to the bar fee as part of the administrative call process. 


    Last updated: December 1
  • What happens after I submit my documents and fee?

    Once you submit your documents and fee, your candidate file will be reviewed by the Licensing and Accreditation department to ensure that it is complete and all requirements for licensure are fulfilled. Files that are verified and complete are then added to the next available call list for licensure. Please note that the Law Society is reviewing all files as quickly as possible. Candidates should be aware that errors in completing the documents may result in delays. 

    Last updated: June 10

  • How will I be notified of licensure?

    The Law Society will notify candidates that they have been licensed through their online account. Candidates are expected to monitor their online account.

    Last updated: Decembre 1

  • Will I still receive the Law Society of Ontario certificate and Court Certificate?

    Yes. While receipt of these certificates is not required to commence the practice of law, they will be mailed to all new licensees.

    Last updated: June 10

  • Has the Law Society reduced the call to the bar fee?
    Yes. The Law Society is aware of the unique challenges facing candidates as a result of COVID-19. In recognition of this, we reduced the Call to the Bar fee to $165 for all candidates in May 2020. The Call to the Bar fee is administered to cover the associated costs of licensing lawyers to practice law in Ontario. The Call to the Bar fee, which is the application fee for lawyer licensing, has consistently been $250. This fee has been applied by the Law Society regardless of whether a candidate is licensed administratively or with a ceremonial call. 

    Last updated: March 18, 2021
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