Canadian Legal Practice


Law Practice Program (LPP): A Pathway to Lawyer Licensing in Ontario

by Luana Aguiar *

May 29, 2024

The Law Society of Ontario has approved two pathways for lawyer licensing: Articling and the Law Practice Program/Programme de Pratique du droit (LPP/PPD). Candidates in the Lawyer Licensing Process can opt for either path, both fulfilling the experiential training requirement.

Overview of the LPP Program

The LPP involves a four-month online training course followed by a four-month full-time work placement, completing from late August to April. Currently, Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University) offers the English program, and the University of Ottawa offers the French program. Successful completion of both components is mandatory for candidates choosing the LPP route.

This article provides an in-depth view of Luana Aguiar’s experience in the Law Practice Program (LPP) at Toronto Metropolitan University during the first four months of the training component of the LPP, the challenges faced during the intense assessment weeks, and how it contributed to her growth as a legal professional.

Who is eligible?

Candidates in the Law Society of Ontario (LSO) licensing process who have completed either a Juris Doctor (JD) from a recognized Canadian law school, or an equivalent degree as determined by the National Committee on Accreditation (NCA) through the completion of exams and receipt of a Certificate of Qualification for internationally trained lawyers. Candidates must also be eligible to study and work in Ontario.

Training Format

The initial phase at Toronto Metropolitan University focuses on simulated online work experience, involving experts, mentors, and workshops. Participants work on simulated law firm cases, developing essential skills from Monday to Friday between 8:00 am to 6:00 pm.

The subsequent workplace training occurs with an approved employer, either secured through LPP assistance or chosen by the candidate, further enhancing skills in a real work environment.


The structure of the program is dynamic and diverse. The intense routine demands commitment and availability from 8 am to 6 pm on weekdays for assessments and tasks.

For example, within the intensive trial advocacy program, one crucial assessment involved a simulated trial scenario comprising all involved parties and a judge acting as an assessor. Success in this assessment demanded extensive preparation, involving in-depth case study, completion of various deliverables, attendance at mandatory in-person webinars, and extensive viewing of numerous lengthy videos, totaling over 5 hours.

Following the assessment, comprehensive feedback was provided through a rubric, the results of which are reported to the Law Society of Ontario.

Practice Management

Another intensive evaluation week mirrored this experience, encompassing diverse evaluations each day, including practice management review, client interviews, personal injury discovery examination, multifaceted legal and research writing covering five topics in a day, and participation in criminal proceedings involving guilty pleas and sentencing.

The program culminates in a final assessment week comprising evaluations in administrative hearing, family law motion, and real estate law scenarios, completing the rigorous training process.

In-House Counsel Concentration

In addition to the demanding assessment weeks, my time in the Law Practice Program has involved immersion within two law firms, where I’ve actively contributed to case files. This hands-on experience encompassed a spectrum of tasks—conducting client interviews, meticulous notetaking during meetings, drafting legal documents like retainer agreements, memos, powers of attorney, and wills, as well as managing client communication and reviewing intricate business incorporation documents. Each task undergoes thorough evaluation by designated mentors. The firms uphold a regimen of weekly mentor-led meetings, delving into essential aspects dictated by the LPP, including professionalism, file management, responsibilities, competence, and communication skills.

Skill Development

The program’s emphasis on skill development is multifaceted. It encompasses a diverse set of competencies, such as analytical skills, effective oral and written communication, ethics and professionalism, emotional intelligence, in-house counsel practices, and drafting techniques. These skills are honed through interactive webinars, extensive reading materials, video sessions, and the submission of deliverables for each skill acquired. You can check the overview of the Training Component of the LLP by clicking this link.

The dynamic learning approach includes surprise assignments, testing attentiveness and note-taking abilities, culminating in the submission of 50 deliverables to the LPP website thus far.

Additionally, proficiency in various technological tools, such as Clio for time tracking, Google Drive, Zoom, legal databases like Westlaw and Lexis Advance, along with specialized platforms like Teraview and Divorcemate, is an integral part of the training.

Job Placement Assistance

The program extends robust support for securing work placements. Comprehensive assistance includes mandatory webinars, interview simulation tools, and personalized guidance in refining resumes and cover letters by mentors. The LPP offers a dedicated job website, Symplicity, featuring diverse job postings in government, in-house positions, and private practices.

Candidates navigate through the portal, apply for roles, and upon interest from an organization, are directly contacted for interview scheduling. Notably, upon receiving the initial job offer, candidates are obligated to accept it, concluding any ongoing recruitment processes elsewhere. In my case, an insurance company extended my first offer, marking the commencement of my work placement journey in January.

Main Takeaway

The training part of the LPP is a fantastic opportunity to learn. The program offers robust job placement assistance, guiding candidates through mandatory webinars, interview simulations, and a dedicated job portal featuring government, in-house, and private practice opportunities. However, the intensive workload may limit free time and studying for bar exams.

The LPP provides an extensive learning opportunity for aspiring lawyers, particularly internationally trained individuals seeking exposure across legal domains. The program’s comprehensive support and immersive experience contribute to professional growth. However, the workload demands careful time management, potentially affecting additional study commitments.

* Luana Aguiar is a student-at-law at Ivari, an insurance company. She successfully completed the Law Practice Program in April 2024. Previously, Luana worked as an in-house counsel in Brazil, where she practiced in regulatory, corporate, and financial law.

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