LSO adjusts articling and licensing requirements due to COVID-19

Changes were made relating to supervision agreements, remote supervision and abridgement process

LSO adjusts articling and licensing requirements due to COVID-19

In light of COVID-19, the Law Society of Ontario has introduced changes to procedures applicable to licensing candidates and articling principals.

First, lawyers may supervise certain licensing candidates who have not yet been called to the bar, as long as certain conditions have been met: the licensing candidate has finished their experiential training program such as articles or an LPP/PPD work placement, and a supervision agreement, filed by the lawyer and licensing candidate, has been approved before the supervision is commenced.

Second, articling candidates may apply to reduce or abridge their experiential training requirement on the basis of compassionate grounds, such as family responsibilities, prolonged illness or injuries or difficulties arising from the COVID-19 crisis. To apply, they should email a completed application form to articling@lso.ca.

Third, on account of the requirement for lawyer and paralegal candidates to continue interacting with their principals and supervisors, even as they work remotely in the context of the public health crisis, the LSO suggests ways to meet this requirement, such as through frequent emails, phone calls or video chats. The LSO also urges these lawyer and paralegal candidates to communicate with their principals and supervisors about the best possible arrangements that can be made for continued supervision while they work from home.

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