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French Language Initiatives

For Lawyers and Paralegals

When lawyers and paralegals have clients who speak French, they have a responsibility to advise them of their French-language rights, as set out in the Law Society’s Rules of Professional Conduct and Paralegal Rules of Conduct. The resources included below describe lawyers and paralegals’ responsibilities to advise their clients of their language rights, to discuss when and in what circumstances those responsibilities apply, and to ensure that lawyers are aware of their responsibility in this respect.

For the Public

The following is a brochure for members of the public on their right to receive legal services in French.

You have a legal issue - You speak French

French Language Services Protocol

Since October 4, 2014, there is a protocol in place between the Law Society of Ontario and the Office of the French Language Services Commissioner to address complaints received about the Law Society’s French language services.

The protocol lists the terms and conditions under which the Commissioner may refer a complaint to the Law Society for investigation, and details the process by which the complaint will be investigated, which will promote equitable access to services in French.

The full text of the protocol is available here.

French Language Services Policy

In 2015, the Law Society of Ontario adopted a French Language Services Policy to complement its obligations to provide French language services as per By-Law 2.

The policy is available here.

Equity Legal Education Series

The Law Society works in partnership with legal organizations, diverse community groups, educational institutions, and governments to promote awareness, education and discussion among members of the public and the legal professions on the challenges and opportunities for Francophone, Indigenous, and equality-seeking communities in law and the legal profession.

Learn more about Equity Events.

CPD - Programs

Lawyers and paralegals who are practising law or providing legal services must complete in each calendar year at least 12 CPD Hours in Eligible Educational Activities consisting of a minimum of 3 Professionalism Hours on topics related to professional responsibility, ethics and/or practice management and up to 9 Substantive Hours per year.

Learn more about CPD programs.

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