New minimum experience requirements to be reflected in 2022 self-report

Published: November 15, 2022

Highlights

  • The 2022 self-report period will be from January 3 to March 31, 2023. You will be notified when the period begins.
  • The self-reporting process remains largely the same; however, several questions in the self-report survey will differ.
  • The updated self-report is to be introduced as a response to new minimum experience requirements, although we will consider prior experience of roster members. No roster member will lose their membership provided they are in good standing with LAO.
  • If you do not complete your self-report by March 31, 2023, you will be locked out of the lawyer portal. You may still regain access by completing the self-report before December 1, 2023. After December 1, 2023, roster members who have not submitted a self-report may have their membership deemed abandoned.

LAO has updated the 2022 lawyer annual self-report to improve the user experience and to assist with the transition of existing roster members to the updated minimum experience requirements.

Further details on the changes to the self-report, including how the transition from LAO’s prior panel standards to the new minimum experience requirements will work in practice and when the period begins, will be available next month.

If you have any questions regarding our minimum experience requirements or your roster membership, please reach out to roster@lao.on.ca.

Background

In August, we announced the implementation of new minimum experience requirements that roster (formerly panel) members must meet to provide legal aid certificate services and duty counsel services in specific areas of law. These standards have been implemented to meet LAO’s obligations under the Legal Aid Services Act, 2020 (“LASA, 2020”) and to respond to the recommendations of the Auditor General of Ontario.

We consulted extensively with relevant stakeholders, and we gained valuable feedback that has helped us improve our minimum experience requirements. These new requirements will reduce barriers that new lawyers may have previously faced in qualifying to provide legal aid services and will also simplify the process of re-qualifying to provide our services. In addition, these new minimum experience requirements will reduce administrative reporting requirements and recognize the historical experience of roster members.

More information