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Membership Status Exemptions

Lawyers and paralegals who are in the 50% and 25% fee-paying categories for an entire calendar year are automatically exempt from the CPD Requirement, including the CPD Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Requirement, as long as they do not practise law or provide legal services. 

Lawyers and paralegals in the 100% fee-paying category who will not be working for a portion of the calendar year may change their membership status to the 50% or 25% fee-paying category for that portion of the year. Lawyers and paralegals who change their membership status to the 50% or 25% fee-paying category for a portion of a calendar year will be automatically exempted from 1 CPD Hour for every full month in which they are in one of those categories, and will be responsible for completing 1 CPD Hour for every month or partial month in which they are in the 100% fee-paying category. 

Lawyers and paralegals who are in the 25%, 50% or Life Member category are required to fulfill the CPD Requirement if they practise law or provide legal services. That includes lawyers or paralegals who provide legal services on a pro bono basis only. See Fee Categories for more information. Membership status changes may be made online using the Law Society Portal.

Human Rights Code Exemptions

Lawyers and paralegals who wish to remain in the 100% fee-paying category but will not be able to fulfill the CPD Requirement because of circumstances falling within the Human Rights Code, such as parental leave or a leave of absence from practice due to illness, may seek an exemption from the CPD Requirement. Lawyers and paralegals seeking an exemption are required to complete and submit the Application and Declaration Form (Exemption from Continuing Professional Development Requirement).  

Lawyers and paralegals who are eligible for an exemption will be exempted from 1 CPD Hour for every full month in which they are on leave from practice, and will be responsible for completing 45 minutes of Substantive CPD and 15 minutes of Professionalism CPD for every month or partial month in which they practise law or provide legal services. Of the 15 minutes of Professionalism CPD required for each month or partial month in which the lawyer or paralegal has a CPD Requirement, the lawyer or paralegal will be responsible for completing 5 minutes of EDI CPD. See Frequently Asked Questions about the CPD Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Requirement for more information and examples on prorating a lawyer or paralegal’s CPD Requirement. 

There is no exemption from the CPD Requirement on the basis that the lawyer or paralegal practises law or provides legal services outside of Ontario or is too busy to complete the CPD hours required, such as being involved in a long trial. 

Members seeking more information about exemptions should email cpdexemptions@lso.ca.