Articling Term & Accelerated PREP
In response to potential impacts the pandemic might have on articling students and law firms, an amendment to Rule 56 setting the term of articles at a minimum of eight months and a maximum of 12 months was approved in April 2020.
No expiration of this rule amendment was built into the Rules, but the Law Society made a commitment to review the impact of this change to the articling term by the end of 2021. While we are not yet at the end of the review period, the Benchers confirmed that the eight to 12-month articling term will remain in place for 2021-2022 as students and employers continue to navigate the pandemic. Further review of this amendment will be completed at the end of 2021 as planned.
This decision is timely as planning for the new articling year is underway and students and Principals require certainty regarding the upcoming articling term. We know the pandemic continues to be a challenge, and we have also heard that students often struggle to manage their responsibilities for articling while simultaneously completing the bar admission requirement.
By keeping the required articling term to a minimum of eight months and a maximum of 12 months we hope this will provide flexibility for both students and the firms or organizations that employ them. If you have questions regarding articling, please visit the Law Society website or email Membership.
The Canadian Centre for Professional Legal Education (CPLED) is also responding to feedback about student workloads and has looked for ways to provide flexibility to employers and students as well. CPLED is offering a 14-week accelerated bar admission program, called Accelerated PREP, beginning May 31, 2021.
The accelerated format contains all the same content as the standard Practice Readiness Education Program (PREP) but requires students to attend full-time for 14 weeks. This means students will complete their entire PREP before beginning their articling term with their Principals. With this new option, it is important to note that students who choose to take the accelerated format are still required to complete a minimum of eight months articling. The 14 weeks of Accelerated PREP does not count towards the articling term.
The Law Society and CPLED are currently working out the details to determine how the Law Society subsidy will be applied to students taking the accelerated program. More details will be provided as this process is finalized.
CPLED is hosting an informational webinar session for Principals, firms and employers on Accelerated PREP on Thursday, March 4, 2021, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. MT. To register to attend this session, click here.
If you have questions about the new Accelerated PREP, visit the CPLED website or email CPLED directly.
We will continue to collect feedback and data as it is available to both the Law Society and CPLED. The information gathered will support the review of the 2020 decision to shorten the articling period.