Convocation approves lawyer licensing path that maintains transitional training, with enhancements
The Law Society of Ontario’s governing body today approved an option for lawyer licensing that retains the two, current transitional training pathways, with significant enhancements, as recommended by the Law Society’s Professional Development and Competence Committee.
While both articling and the Law Practice Program/Programme de Pratique du droit (LPP/PPD) will be retained, enhancements include paid articling and LPP/PPD work placements, in accordance with Law Society requirements — with limited exceptions.
As well, measurements, audits, or other forms of monitoring will be provided for greater oversight of articling and LPP/PPD work placements, and mandatory education and training will be required for articling principals and LPP/PPD work placement supervisors.
To allow time for development, these enhancements will be implemented May 1, 2021.
“Today’s decision follows a comprehensive review of the licensing process, which looked at the realities, challenges and opportunities of lawyer licensing in the province, and included extensive consultation with the profession and others,” says Law Society Treasurer Malcolm Mercer.
The approved option was one of four models put forward for input in the Committee’s Options for Lawyer Licensing Consultation Paper released in May 2018, following the Dialogue on Licensing in 2017. Consultation activities throughout the process included facilitated discussion groups and focus groups held across the province, calls for input through written submissions, and in-depth telephone interviews.
“The majority of committee members and most of those who provided input agree that transitional training provides candidates with an opportunity to deal with real issues and actual clients in authentic settings,” says Professional Development and Competence Committee Chair Peter Wardle. “We also believe that the proposed enhancements will address flaws in the current system, so that all candidates have a more uniform, valuable experience. This option is also consistent with the licensing processes of other Canadian law societies and those of most regulated professions.”
Law Society Benchers also approved the following recommendations from the Professional Development and Competence Committee:
- Candidates will continue to have the flexibility to complete the Barrister and Solicitor Licensing Examinations and a transitional training requirement in any sequence, within three years;
- Consideration of some form of skills testing in the licensing process, as outlined in the report, to be further considered by the Committee ; and
- The Law Society will reach out to the legal academy to explore areas of collaboration in integrating more experiential learning into the law school experience.
The full report is available online.