Law Society confirms articling requirement and enhances licensing process



    TORONTO, Sept. 25 /CNW/ - The Law Society of Upper Canada's governing
body today voted to continue the articling requirement for candidates seeking
admission to the bar, to enhance the licensing process, and to require new
lawyers to complete 24 hours of continuing education during the first two
years of practice.
    New initiatives to enhance articling include an online articling registry
to enhance information on articling opportunities; creation of a Law Society
outreach position dedicated to promoting and co-ordinating articling
initiatives and additional job placements; a voluntary bridging program for
internationally trained candidates in the licensing process to support their
integration into the Ontario legal profession; streamlined articling
requirements for internationally trained lawyers; and simplified
administration of the program. The licensing process will include a new
professional responsibility and practice course integrated with the articling
program. Successful completion of that course, the articling requirement and
the current licensing examinations are the requirements for call to the bar.
Beginning in 2010, all new lawyers called to the Ontario Bar will be required
to complete 24 hours of compulsory professional development during their first
two years of practice.
    "These initiatives, which stem from the work of the Licensing and
Accreditation Task Force with valuable input from the profession, are
proactive and designed to respond to the competence needs of our evolving
profession," says Law Society Treasurer W.A. Derry Millar.
    "Ontario has the largest bar in the country, an increasingly diverse
legal profession, increasing numbers of internationally and domestically
trained candidates seeking admission to the profession, as well as challenging
marketplace realities that affect articling placements, hiring and the
practice of law."
    Millar also points out that it will be essential to the revitalization of
the articling program and to the profession's commitment to the next
generation that more lawyers hire articling students.
    Over the past winter and spring, the task force sought the views of law
schools, legal organizations and the profession on the licensing issues it was
studying. It received more than 100 written responses to the consultation
report from individuals and legal organizations. More information about the
Licensing and Accreditation Task Force Consultation and the task force's
recommendations can be found on the Law Society website at www.lsuc.on.ca.
    The Law Society regulates lawyers and paralegal in Ontario in the public
interest. The Law Society has a duty to protect the public interest, to
maintain and advance the cause of justice and the rule of law, to facilitate
access to justice for the people of Ontario and act in a timely, open and
efficient manner.





For further information:

For further information: Lisa Hall at (416) 947-7625, lhall@lsuc.on.ca,
or Susan Tonkin, stonkin@lsuc.on,ca, (416) 947-7605


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