In April 2019, the Law Society of Ontario unanimously approved, external link, Ryerson’s application to have its JD program designated as an Integrated Practice Curriculum (IPC). That means students who graduate from the Lincoln Alexander School of Law will not be required to article or complete the Law Practice Program in order to be licensed as lawyers.
This is a crucial aspect of our approach to law. It’s imperative that legal education acknowledge the diverse paths that graduates take to practice. Our commitment to increase access to legal services for Canadians starts with training lawyers who are capable of working in a wide range of environments.
IPC vs. Articling
Our IPC-designated program incorporates the various competencies required of all candidates by the Law Society of Ontario (LSO) regardless of chosen licensing stream within a highly structured educational setting. The practice components of the IPC are woven throughout the curriculum in all three years. This includes the student’s semester-long professional placement which is an integral part of the curriculum and which is overseen by a law school faculty member. We believe our approach prepares our graduates for the practice of law (or some other law-related opportunities) as well as the completion of articling or the Law Practice Program.
In our interactions with the professional community (potential future employers) we are finding tremendous enthusiasm for the distinctive way our law school is re-imagining legal education. There is widespread approval of our program’s designation as an Integrated Practice Curriculum which allows our graduates the opportunity to write the bar exams without having to article first. It is important to keep in mind, however, that our graduates can article if they so wish. Our new approach to legal education also assumes that some of our graduates will take advantage of opportunities that are available beyond legal practice, and across other industries and professions. Our program has generated a lot of excitement in the practicing bar and beyond.