When I decided to go British Columbia for law school, I was met with excitement and congratulated for starting a new chapter in life. When I decided to article and work in BC, I was met with skepticism. Not because there is anything wrong with BC (I do prefer the city to the mountains but they both have their benefits) but because the requirements for the eventual transition back to practice in Ontario for most individuals were murky at best.
Prior to practicing in BC, I did research to ensure that my eventual transition home would be as smooth as possible and through the National Mobility Agreement, it was.
The National Mobility Agreement allows for lawyers from reciprocating jurisdictions to apply for permanent transfer to another province or territory.
In Ontario, lawyers from reciprocating jurisdictions who are in good standing and entitled to practice in their home jurisdiction may apply to be licensed in Ontario. These requirements may vary province to province but generally follow a similar outline.
An applicant must complete the application, read the required materials and then go through the licensing process. While waiting to be licensed a lawyer may practice in Ontario if they are licensed in their home jurisdiction, are in good standing, have liability insurance and receive a temporary permit to practice.
So, while the process of law school, articles, and working may seem daunting, transferring your license is not. So, if the opportunity to explore Canada through your legal profession presents itself, jump on it; even if it’s just to realize that mountains aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.
Harman S. Toor JD