We are currently under construction as we transition our work to our new website, but we will be posting all COVID-19 updates here and encourage you to contact us during this time.

Recent News & Updates

CALL FOR WEBSITE DEVELOPER APPLICATIONS

We are looking for ONE qualified law student to lead the development and improvement of the LSSO's website, in order to allow us to continue expanding our online presence in advocating for Ontario law students. 

 

The Website Developer will work closely with the President and the Vice-President (External) of the LSSO to create and develop a professional website for the LSSO. As is the case for all students who work with and for the LSSO, this is an unpaid VOLUNTEER position. 

 

Please note that only those selected for an interview will be contacted. This application closes on TUESDAY JULY 7, 2020. 

Link to application form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeDr0q0Rl3TOyyfTbc4NRgWtuGPoEpa-NM5vsO9MVw4ruhTqg/viewform?usp=sf_link

TIME SLOT SELECTION FOR LICENSING EXAMS

It has been confirmed by the Law Society that 1) candidates will be able to rank specific days in ANY of the blocks for that exam, 2) candidates do not need to pick days in the same "Block" for each exam, 3) the link will be sent out some time after June 22 and candidates will be asked to rank their top preferences.

LICENSING EXAM SCHEDULE AND ADDITIONAL DETAILS RELEASED

 

The final guidelines and timelines for the rescheduled June licensing exams have now been posted.

 

Candidates will receive an email asking them to pick their preferred times within a three-week window for each exam. The window for the barrister exam will run from July 14 – August 1. The window for solicitor exam will run from August 4 – August 22. For candidates unable to write during those slots, an additional week for the barrister and solicitor exams will be made available the week of August 25 - 29 and September 8 - 12, respectively.

 

Each exam will be four hours in length. This has been reduced for this cycle of the licensing exams only, largely in response to significant concern from candidates about securing a quiet space while social isolation measures are still ongoing. The standard length for exams is seven hours, which during the March rescheduled solicitor exam required two 3.5 hour periods on different days. This change was made possible by your continued feedback and the time leading up to this announcement. Candidates are still responsible for the same material.

 

The full guidelines are available at : https://lso.ca/becoming-licensed/lawyer-licensing-process/licensing-examinations/2020-21-licensing-examinations

Join us on June 17 as we talk to the Law Society about the new process - register here to save your spot.

 

As always, please let us know if you have questions/concerns that will help inform our conversations with the Law Society moving forward.

LSSO STANDS IN SOLIDARITY AGAINST RACISM

This is a challenging time – challenging in so many different and difficult ways. The reality, however, is that there is nothing unprecedented about the violence and anti-Black sentiment that continues to pervade in society. We grieve the loss of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Sean Reed, Tony McDade, Nina Pop, and George Floyd - every one of them deserved to be able to live their life without the threat of violence and prejudice. They are among countless other Black lives that have been lost as a result of anti-Black hatred. Racism infects and festers, and the egregious result is a long line of senseless deaths. 

 

Silence is not an option. Those that believe that this isn’t their fight are contributing to a world in which systemic racism and prejudice can thrive. The LSSO stands in solidarity with BLSA Canada and condemns anti-black racism and violence. Statements without action hold no merit, and we are committed to educating ourselves and our student members, and ensuring that the LSSO provides a platform to draw attention to these important issues with the Law Society, and in the broader legal community and beyond. 

 

The evidence of racial disparities in the North American justice system is well documented. The history of the justice system is interwoven with the marginalization of Black people, which continues to help to support many active and systemic barriers, and inequalities for Black people today. We are taught in law school that as lawyers we must recognize our inherent privilege, and that we have a responsibility to the communities we work in. That means ensuring that Black lawyers and Black students are not marginalized within our profession, and that our system works equitably for all people. 

 

The legal community that we are all part of has the ability to evoke change. We as law students have a responsibility to help guide the future of the profession. The first step is being honest with ourselves, being open to dialogue and education on Black issues, and committing to addressing these issues within our communities. As the future of the profession, we encourage all law students to work actively to educate themselves and engage with issues of racial justice. Deciding to act is a conscious choice to do better – and we all need to do better.

 

In solidarity,

 

The Law Students’ Society of Ontario

CLICK HERE TO READ BLSA CANADA'S STATEMENT

Ceci est un temps difficile, dans nombreuses façons. Cependant, la violence et les sentiments anti-noirs qui envahissent notre société ne sont pas sans précédent. Nous compatissons la peine d’avoir perdu Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Sean Reed, Tony McDade, Nina Pop, et George Floyd - chacun d’eux méritait pouvoir vivre leur vie sans menace de violence et préjudice. Ils sont parmi les nombreux perdus à cause de l’haine anti-noire. Le racisme infecte et demeure, et les résultats flagrants sont toujours plus nombreux de morts.

 

La silence n’est pas une option. Ceux qui croient que cette lutte ne leur appartient pas contribuent toujours à un monde dans lequel le racisme systémique prospère. La SÉÉDOO exprime solidarité avec la BLSA Canada et condamne la violence et le racisme anti-noir. Les messages sans action tiennent aucune valeur, et nous nous engageons à éduquer nos étudiants, ainsi que nous-mêmes, en assurant que la SÉÉDO fournit une plateforme à élever ces problèmes avec le barreau, et dans la communauté juridique plus généralement. 

 

Les preuves des disparités raciales dans le système juridique nord-américain sont bien documentées. L’histoire du système juridique est entrecroisée avec la marginalisation de la population noire, qui continue à supporter de nombreuses barrières systémiques et inégalités pour la population noire aujourd’hui. Nos facultés de droit nous enseignent qu’en étant avocat, il est nécéssaire à reconnaître son privilège inhérent, et qu’on tient responsabilité aux communautés avec lesquelles on travaille. Ceci signifie assurer que les avocats et étudiants noirs dans notre profession ne sont pas marginalisés, et que le système fonctionne dans une façon équitable pour tous. 

 

La communauté juridique dont on appartient possède la capacité à changer. Étant étudiants en droit, nous tenons la responsabilité à guider le futur de la profession. La première étape est à devenir honnêtes avec nous-mêmes, à devenir plus ouverts au dialogue et à l’éducation sur les problèmes qui concernent la population noire, et à nous engager à adresser ces problèmes au sein de nos communautés. Étant le futur de la profession, nous encourageons tous les étudiants en droit à s’éduquer et à s’intéresser aux problèmes de justice raciale. La decision d’agir est un choix délibéré - nous devons tous faire mieux.  

 

Avec solidarité,

 

La société des étudiants et étudiantes en droit de l’Ontario

Cliquez-ici afin de lire le message de la BLSA Canada

UPDATED RECRUITMENT TIMELINES HAVE BEEN RELEASED

Recruitment timelines for the 2021-2022 Articling recruit and the 2021 Toronto Summer recruit have been posted.

2021-2022 Articling Recruitment Procedures

https://lso.ca/becoming-licensed/lawyer-licensing-process/articling-candidates/finding-a-placement/2021-22-articling-recruitment-procedures

 

and 

2021 Toronto Summer Student Recruitment Procedures

https://lso.ca/becoming-licensed/lawyer-licensing-process/articling-candidates/finding-a-placement/2021-toronto-summer-student-recruitment-procedures

The Articling recruit has been pushed back to ensure that both candidates and employers are able to participate fully in the recruit. To the extent that COVID-19 isolation measures are still in place, employers are working on alternate arrangements and opportunities to connect.

The 2021 Toronto Summer recruit has been moved to Winter 2021 so that students are able to accumulate an additional semester of grades and also to ensure adequate time to network and prepare applications. 

Please let us know if you have any questions or feedback on our Contact page.

LSSO ELECTIONS FOR 2020-2021 ACADEMIC YEAR

The election period for next year's LSSO Executive is open now. The LSSO is a great opportunity to work with law students across the province, and to consult with stakeholders including the LSO, employers, and law schools. Elections will be held for the following roles:

 

  • President

  • Vice-President Internal

  • Vice-President External

  • Equity Officer

All interested candidates must submit their platforms by Thursday, May 28 to president@lsso.ca. Platforms will be distributed to Council in advance of elections at the Annual General Meeting which will be held remotely on June 4. 

Platforms should be no longer than 500 words, and should include what position the candidate is running for, why the candidate would be a good fit for the position, and what they hope to contribute to the LSSO next year. 

For further information, you can find the LSSO Constitution hereIf you are interested in applying and have further questions, please contact president@lsso.ca

UPDATED RECRUITMENT SCHEDULE TIMELINES

Updated recruitment timelines for the 2021 Articling Recruit and 2L OCI Recruitment for the 2020-2021 academic year will be posted by the LSO by the week of May 25. The LSSO will be hosting a recruitment webinar following the release of the schedules with employer and career office members that led the consultations around the new timelines in partnership with law schools and the LSSO. Check back for details which will be posted soon.

LICENSING EXAMS TO BE HELD ONLINE

The LSO has announced that postponed March and June licensing exams will be held in an online format. The cancelled March exam will be held online in June, and the cancelled June exams are being planned for mid-July instead of the previously announced late-August/September dates. At least four weeks notice will be given for exact dates for the July exams. 

Exams will be administered during windows where candidates can select when to write their exams based on different slots provided during those windows.

 

Details on exam administration can be found here: https://lso.ca/becoming-licensed/lawyer-licensing-process/licensing-examinations/online-exam-delivery.

LICENSING & RECRUITMENT FEEDBACK

Over the last few weeks, the LSSO has been in active consultation with the Law Society and other key stakeholders including law schools, and employers around recruitment & licensing. We have continued to share the feedback students have been providing.

Recruitment: We have heard about the impact of COVID-19 on grading for the winter semester, and concerns about competitiveness in the 2020-2021 recruitment cycle for 2L summer jobs. The LSSO has been providing feedback on the design of a recruitment cycle for the Winter semester of the next academic year to help alleviate some of these concerns. We have also heard from students who have made academic commitments that may impact their participation in a rescheduled recruit, and have worked to promote alternate options for these students. 

 

Check back to our site as we will be announcing an online webinar to answer your questions related to recruitment changes soon.

Licensing: We have heard from students concerned about the uncertainty of the proposed new timelines based on COVID-19, and also about the overlap of writing the bar while articling. Student feedback on alternate formats, financial concerns, impacts to articling positions, among other issues has helped inform our ongoing discussions with the Law Society as they actively explore online options. 

Your feedback continues to inform our positions, and has been a significant driver in ensuring student concerns are brought to the forefront in these discussions. Thank you and please continue to contact us with your thoughts/concerns/feedback.

ARTICLING TERM MINIMUMS REDUCED T0 8 MONTHS

The LSO has reduced minimum requirements for articling terms for the 2020-2021 articling period from 10 months to 8 months. This is to account for delayed starts as a result of COVID-19, and to reduce the impact to students' call dates in 2021.

Candidates completing an 8-month articling term can still apply for an abridgement based on compassionate grounds if their timelines are further impacted.

 

Discussions related to the licensing process and format are ongoing. If you have feedback, please let us know.

ARTICLING RECRUIT POSTPONED & OCI RECRUIT UPDATE

Articling recruit: The upcoming articling recruit for the 2021-2022 articling cycle has been postponed in response to COVID-19. Updated timelines will be announced by May 15. Extending timelines will help to ensure that employers are more confident in being able to hire students and also give students affected by the pandemic more time to prepare applications.

OCI recruit: The LSSO continues to be in active consultations with employers, law schools, and the LSO on the 2020-2021 OCI recruitment cycle. Stakeholders are currently working on details for a proposal for moving the recruit to Winter 2021 to reduce uncertainty related to isolation measures and also to account for the change in grading schemes at Ontario law schools.

We will continue to share student feedback on moving the recruit, including working to ensure that students that have made alternate commitments for the Winter 2021 semester are able to participate.

Please continue to share your feedback with us to help inform these discussions.

LSO ANNOUNCES NEW TENTATIVE DATES FOR LICENSING EXAMS

The LSO has announced new tentative dates for the rescheduled March and June licensing exams. The tentative date for the rescheduled March solicitor exam is the week of July 19, 2020. The tentatives dates for the rescheduled June barrister and solicitor exams are the weeks of August 23 and September 6, respectively.

For June candidates, materials will still be made available online by April 20, 2020 if you have paid your study materials fees. Once materials are available, you can request to have them shipped to you at no cost.

The LSO is also exploring online delivery of examinations. The LSSO is continuing to advocate for alternate formats of delivery and creative solutions for licensing examinations. 

LSSO CONTINUES TO DISCUSS CONCERNS WITH THE LSO

Last week the LSSO met with the LSO to discuss feedback we are hearing from students. The LSSO is continuing to have discussions with both the LSO and other relevant stakeholders including law schools and employers. 

To help inform these discussions, we have circulated a letter with an update on recruitment, licensing, and employment concerns that we have heard as we continue to work to coordinate efforts on these topics. Click here to read the letter.

The LSSO is committed to continuing to collect and share feedback. If you have any feedback or concerns, please share them here to help us advocate on your behalf. 

Please check back to our site and join our mailing list to stay informed. 

JUNE BAR EXAMS CANCELLED

Today the Law Society announced the cancellation of the upcoming June bar exams and call to the bar ceremonies. This follows the cancellation of the March solicitor exam in response to COVID-19. More information will be made available in the coming weeks as contingency plans and next steps are determined, with an early view that exams will be rescheduled for late Summer/early Fall. The LSSO actively continues to have ongoing discussions with the LSO, and we encourage you to continue to share your feedback and concerns with us to help inform those discussions.

LSO EXTENDS DUE DATES FOR LICENSING FEES

Last week the LSSO requested a fee extension for students in response to the financial uncertainties related to COVID-19. On March 30, the LSO updated deadlines to provide greater flexibility to students.

 

Licensing examination registration fees are not due until 30 business days before the licensing examination. The LSO has stated that they are continuing to assess the situation and plan to have an update regarding the exams in the coming weeks.

Articling fee deadlines have been extended to no later than 10 business days after the start of an articling placement.

Law Practice Program fee deadlines have been extended to June 1, 2020.

Updates will be made to individual student accounts shortly, but the new deadlines are in effect regardless of the due dates currently reflected on your statements. 

 

Fees for examination materials must still be paid by April 15 to receive access to materials that will be released on April 20 electronically. (Note that while in-person pickup of materials has been postponed, the LSO is currently exploring options to ship printed materials after that date).

A further update is expected shortly regarding the Monthly Payment Plan. We will continue to discuss the situation with the LSO as it continues to evolve.

LSSO FOCUSES ON IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON LAW STUDENTS

We know this is an extremely stressful time. Health, family, and other significant competing concerns are top of mind amidst the uncertainty of what's next during the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope you are all staying safe and well during this difficult period.

 

Last week, the LSSO started dialogue with the LSO about the impact of the situation on recruitment and licensing. Following this discussion, we circulated a letter that included a request for an extension to licensing and bar exam fees which are currently due on April 15, 2020. Click here to read the letter.

 

These early discussions were based on preliminary feedback from the LSSO Council, comprised of student leadership from the law schools across Ontario. The LSSO continues to work together to share feedback, and also to coordinate a response to advocate on your behalf to minimize the impact to your law school and future careers.

 

During this time, if you have any feedback or concerns regarding recruitment (including the OCI process for the 2020-2021 school year and articling), licensing, summer jobs, or generally related to the impact of COVID-19 on law students, please click here to share. We are doing our best to consolidate and to continue to share your concerns with the Law Society and other relevant decision makers, and to advocate on your behalf.

 

Please check back to our site and join our mailing list to stay informed.

LAWYER LICENSING EXAMINATION MATERIALS

The in-person distribution of lawyer licensing examination study materials for the 2020/2021 licensing year is postponed until further notice.

Online access to the licensing examination materials for both lawyer and paralegals is unaffected and will occur as planned.

LSO's COVID-19 update page can be found here: https://lso.ca/news-events/news/corporate-statement-re-covid-19

ALL ONTARIO LAW SCHOOLS CLOSED IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19

Decisions are still pending on the treatment of examinations and other end-of-year assessments. As information becomes available, updates will be provided here.

BENCHER MOTION TO REMOVE EQUITY ADVISOR GROUP'S ADVISORY STATUS TO LSO EQUITY AND INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS COUNCIL TABLED INDEFINITELY

The motion was tabled at March 2020 Convocation. You can find the EAG's open letter to convocation here.

 

© 2020 by LSSO.

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