Amid a consultation process to develop possible alternatives to articling, the Law Society of Ontario is considering whether to change the licensing procedure for law school graduates, including an option to eliminate articling.
Between April and June 2017, the LSO led a “dialogue on licensing” with the legal community. About 300 lawyers, law graduates and law students as well as 33 organizations were consulted, according to the LSO’s Professional Development and Competence Committee’s Lawyer Licensing Consultation paper, which will be presented to Convocation May 24.
From the students, the committee heard about overwhelming debt, expensive licensing fees and the suggestion that articling be replaced by a standardized training course. Some lamented unpaid articles or work placements they endured and that they were often tasked with jobs unrelated to the development of legal skills. Others told the LSO that articling should be maintained for the singular learning experience it provides.