I agree with the LSO’s decision to offer a dual path to licensing at this time because the infrastructure to abolish articles in entirety or have all students proceed with LPP is simply not in place. However, this is a temporary solution as it does not do enough to level the playing field.
While every law graduate can now technically gain entry into the profession, inequities persist. We have a two-tier system of articling in the province. It remains to be seen (given the nascence of the LPP program) whether graduates of the LPP program are accepted as equals to their peers who have completed traditional articling. Moreover, discrimination, unfair practices and bullying of students by their principals persists as an ugly reality. Articling, which was conceived as a facilitator is now operating as a barrier to entry into the profession.
Pathways to Licensing must be revisited. There must be a one-size-fits-all approach proofed for equal opportunity. If articling is to be abolished, experiential learning must form a compulsory part of law school education. If LPP is the way forward for all licensees, the LSO has to be able to fund it without imposing greater debts on our newest and most vulnerable members.