One week after the cancellation of the March barrister and solicitor examinations, because of fears the questions had been leaked, the Law Society is announcing contingency plans for affected candidates. Registered candidates will now be able to proceed with writing the barrister examination from April 5 to 8 and the solicitor examination from April 26 to 29.
“Licensing examinations are an integral aspect of ensuring the entry-level-competence of lawyers and paralegals in Ontario. We also know examinations are a stressful time for candidates as they work toward licensure and launching their careers,” said Chief Executive Officer Diana Miles. “I am pleased we are able to move ahead in a timely manner and in a way that ensures a testing environment that is secure and in which we can all have confidence.”
The rescheduled examinations will be paper-based and held in-person in Toronto. “We recognize this will mean unexpected logistics and some inconvenience for some affected candidates,” Miles stated. “However, it is a method of examination administration in which we have substantial experience. It is the most effective solution which balances the need for confidence in the examination process with the needs of candidates to continue their licensure journey.”
Candidates can expect heightened invigilation protocols and strengthened rules. Specific COVID-19 protocols will also be in place. Those who are eligible to write the rescheduled examinations will receive detailed information in their online accounts.
The decision to cancel the original March online examination dates was made as a result of information the Law Society had received which strongly indicates that examination content has been improperly accessed by some candidates, compromising the integrity of the upcoming examination period. Evidence indicates the potential involvement of third parties in this activity. A comprehensive investigation of the matter by a team of external investigators is underway.