No gainsaying the fact that articling is an essential part of the Law Society of Ontario (LSO) licensing process. It is mandatory for all candidates, irrespective of whether they studied in or outside Canada.

It is also common knowledge that articling could at times be difficult due to the difficulties associated with securing articling positions. It is the duty of every candidate to look for an articling principal, and to ensure that the articling principal is approved by the LSO before starting the placement.

Articling in Ontario is usually for 10 months, subject to approved reduction or abridgment.

But there is another available option if you are not able to go through articling or find a placement. You may subscribe to the Law Practice Program (LPP) which consists of a four-month training course and another four month of work placement. No exemption or abridgment is available under this option.

 However, LSO policies have provided exemptions from articling for candidates who meet the specified requirements. This exemption could be in full or in part.


Eligibility: to be qualified for exemption, a candidate –

  1. must have been previously licensed to practice in another jurisdiction.
  2. must have been licensed in a jurisdiction that operates a common law legal system.
  3. must have had at least 10 months of legal work experience after being called to bar in that jurisdiction.
  4. must have been registered in the Lawyer Licensing Process.


Procedure: to apply for exemption, candidates are required –

  1. to download the application form
  2. fill the form, sign and send by email with the supporting documents to
  3. (Supporting documents include
    1. a letter from you – which will specify your period of practice experience, description of your practice setting, describe the relevance of your practice experience and make reference to the experiential training competencies;
    2. original certificate of standing from the jurisdiction where you qualified, sent directly by that jurisdiction;
    3. a CV or resume which details the candidate’s work experience.)
  4. have original letter of reference from one or more lawyer or judges sent directly to LSO. Letter should verify candidate’s legal experience and how it relates, with reference to the experiential training competencies for candidates. The letter must also provide two specific examples of the applicable competencies.



  1. Application fee is $160.00 plus taxes. It is non refundable.
  2. This amount will be invoiced to candidate’s LSO account once the application and ALL required documents have been received.
  3. Note that if request is approved, candidate must undergo 3-day Professional Conduct and Practice Ontario course (PCPO). This course costs holds only twice a year in December and March (Dates are subject to change).



Candidates will usually receive a response by email within 10 business days.


 Please know that you may be qualified for reduction or abridgement of your articling period if you don’t qualify for full exemption.


Do you need help, guidance and consultation on how to apply for exemption? Do you need more information on the procedure and the documents required? We can provide you full guidance and information through the articling submission process, for a token fee from $160 (CAD).

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