Dialogue on Licensing

Convocation, the Law Society of Ontario’s governing body, decided to undertake a comprehensive analysis of the lawyer licensing process following its 2016 review of the Pathways Pilot Project which included the Law Practice Program pilot and enhancements to the Articling Program. The goal of this analysis is to formulate long-term recommendations for an appropriate and sustainable licensing system for lawyers in Ontario.

In the spring of 2017, the Law Society engaged directly with the professions and stakeholders and held a series of facilitated in-person and webcast discussions about the realities, challenges and opportunities of lawyer licensing.

Drawing on those discussions and extensive research, the Law Society’s Professional Development and Competence Committee developed and is currently consulting on four options for pathways to licensure (PDF).

Comments from the professions, candidates and the public are welcome.

Submit comments in writing by October 26, 2018

To continue the consultation with stakeholders, the Law Society has retained Strategic Communications Inc. (Stratcom) to conduct several focus groups about the licensing process and the four options for licensure. In October 2018, Stratcom will be holding facilitated focus groups with a defined cross-section of stakeholders in Ottawa, Toronto, Hamilton, London, Windsor, Sudbury and Thunder Bay. Law students, licensing candidates and practising lawyers will be invited to participate to talk about their experiences at law school, during the licensing process and while practising, as well as to provide input on the four options for pathways to licensure. Stratcom will also conduct several in-depth telephone interviews with identified members of the legal profession as part of the consultation.

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Lawyer Licensing Process in Ontario

The purpose of the lawyer licensing process is to ensure that candidates can provide legal services effectively and in the public interest. Professional competence is achieved through a combination of knowledge, skills, abilities and judgment. To be called to the Bar of Ontario, candidates must complete the following mandatory components:

Barrister Licensing Examination & Solicitor Licensing Examination


Articling Program


Law Practice Program


Good Character Requirement

Call to the Bar of Ontario (Become Licensed)