On March 5, the Law Society of Ontario (LSO) announced the cancellation of the upcoming barrister and solicitor exams, after the regulator received information that “strongly suggests that some candidates have improperly accessed exam content, compromising the integrity of the upcoming exam period. .”
“Evidence suggests the potential involvement of third parties in this activity,” a press release explained.
The cancellation will affect “around 1,100 candidates who were set to take the online exams scheduled to take place from March 8 to 11 and March 22 to 25.”
LSO Chief Executive Officer Diana Miles
The LSO’s chief executive officer, Diana Miles, said the regulator appreciated that the decision was “disturbing news for candidates who were not involved in inappropriate behaviour”.
“However, this is a critical and necessary step to protect the integrity of the licensing process and the reputation of unaffiliated candidates. Most importantly, as regulators of legal professions it is our duty to take immediate action to protect the public interest,” she added in the statement.
The LSO is “immediately proceeding with a thorough investigation by an external investigative team,” the release emphasized, adding, “This in-depth investigation will include a review of candidates who have taken the exam in the past and who may have mistakenly received and relied on licensing exam content to aid in their exam effort.”
“Licensing examinations are an integral aspect of ensuring the entry-level-competence of lawyers and paralegals in Ontario,” the release added, stressing that the Law Society is “committed to ensuring that its licensing examinations are conducted in a fair and defensible manner for the public.” Free from interest, improper conduct, illegal activity and misconduct.
To protect the integrity of the investigation, the release said, “next steps will be informed by the results of the investigation” and that “further details cannot be provided at this time.”
The LSO explained that the recently affected licensing candidates “were having an evaluation of their examinations by the Law Society and their eligibility to be called to the bar was suspended pending that evaluation.”
“Furthermore, affected candidates who were originally eligible to take the licensing examination at the next available opportunity have been informed that their prior licensing examination is being assessed by the Law Society and their eligibility to attempt another has been suspended pending that assessment. The release added, emphasizing that “no conclusions should be drawn from a candidate’s license delay at this time.”
According to the release, once more measures are implemented to further strengthen the delivery of licensing exams, the exams will be rescheduled as soon as possible; Affected candidates will get more information through their online accounts.
The LSO declined to comment further on the situation.
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