With the start of the 2014-2015 school year, Ryerson University launched its much-anticipated Law Practice Program (LPP).
The LPP began when the Law Society of Upper Canada approved the Pathways Pilot Project in November 2012 to allow candidates for lawyer licensing to obtain necessary professional experience by means other than the traditional 10-month articling term. It forms part of a three-year pilot project designed to remove barriers to licensing amid a shrinking number of available articling positions and expanding numbers of law graduates in the province. Ryerson is working with respected practitioners to develop simulated client scenarios, skills-based training, and demonstrations focused on various areas of practice.
Because of their reputation for excellence in administrative law, lawyers from James Lawyers were invited by Ryerson to be the Administrative Law lead and develop interactive curriculum which will introduce LPP candidates to the practice of law before various administrative tribunals in Ontario. The Executive Director of Ryerson’s LPP is former Attorney General of Ontario, Christopher Bentley.
On Monday, August 25, 2014, Andrew Pinto joined honoured guests including the Treasurer of the Law Society and the President of the Ontario Bar Association to kick off the program with a banquet and keynote address by Ontario’s new Chief Justice George Strathy. During his first official speech as Chief Justice of Ontario, Justice Strathy discussed the province’s access to justice problem, calling it his “biggest challenge” but also the “biggest opportunity” for LPP candidates once they are called to the bar.
Access to the justice system in Ontario has become too slow and expensive. As a consequence, Ontario’s courts are full of self-represented litigants. Addressing approximately 250 LPP candidates present at the banquet, Chief Justice Strathy proposed that, as lawyers, “we need to shift to make the delivery of justice as important as justice itself.”