LSSO asks for fair pay for students in law firm placements

January 20, 2015

The Law Students Society of Ontario (LSSO) has issued a letter to the Law Society of Upper Canada, requesting that all students participating in the recently-created Law Practice Program (LPP) be fairly compensated. Currently, about one third of LPP placements are unpaid, according to a report by the Toronto Star. The LPP program was designed to address the shortage of articling positions for law students, necessary for licensing. The new program allows students to complete an online training course before participating in a 4-month placement in a law firm. LSSO members are concerned about “the potential for employers to take advantage of free labour and the coercibility of indebted students with no alternatives to secure their licensing.” In addition, LSSO says that the new program runs the risk of reinforcing historical inequities in a profession that is trying to be more diverse, socially and economically. Susan Tonkin, spokesperson for the Law Society of Ontario, said it is “not within the Law Society’s mandate or power to require firms or organizations to pay licensing candidates.” Toronto Star (1) | Toronto Star (2)