Saturday, February 09, 2008

Law Society May Abolish Articling Requirement

The Law Society of Upper Canada is looking at options to address the increasing shortage of articling placements, including abolishing the articling requirement. As part of its ongoing reform of the Licensisng Process, the Law Society is also considering a complete discontinuance of the "Skills & Professional Responsibility" program of the Licensing Process.

According to a Law Society news report:

The Licensing and Accreditation Task Force received approval to consult lawyers on its proposals for the skills and articling components of the Licensing Process. The Task Force will seek lawyers' comments on its proposal to discontinue the Law Society's skills and professional responsibility program. The Task Force recommendation is based on a number of factors including research illustrating that law school skills programs cover most of the content of the Law Society program and that there are other more effective means to address gaps.

The Task Force is also proposing to consult on a number of options to address concerns with the current articling program, particularly the increasing shortage of articling placements. Options for
consultation include:

  1. Continue the current program with clear communications that not all candidates will be able to secure an articling position and will therefore not be called to the bar;
  2. Develop an alternative stream for candidates unable to find a placement;
  3. Abolish the articling requirement.

The Task Force will also invite those consulted to offer any other options
they consider appropriate.

- Shashi K. Raina, Toronto

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