Ontario Law Society Sticks It To Law Students – I’m Embarassed to be a Member

Before I start, I’m going to stake out my bias here.  I hate the Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC), the organization responsible for regulating lawyers in Ontario.   Not because I’ve had any problems with them, but because, in my experience, there are few no public organizations as inept, incompetent and clueless as the LSUC.  Everything they do, they do badly.  They are the living embodiment of the old maxim that: “Those who can, do.  Those who can’t do, regulate”. When I went through the bar admissions program, they handed around material that was outdated and wrong (badly, badly wrong).  The bar admissions exam was a fiasco – the exam itself was filled with typos and spelling errors, and the organization was so poor it ran twice as long as it was scheduled to run and almost resulted in a riot.  Every year I have to fill out to two separate annual reports at two different times, rather than filing a single report at the same time (ok, this is a petty complaint, but you know, even the tax man doesn’t make me file two tax returns).  Even in their principal role of protecting the public from unscrupulous lawyers, it’s not clear that it is particularly competent (witness the recent Heydary fiasco, where the LSUC stepped in only after a lawyer allegedly disappeared with $3 million of his client’s money).

So, against that background, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to me that the LSUC would do something to completely fuck this year’s class of law school graduates.  And yet… even as jaded I am, I was shocked by the announcement that the LSUC was DOUBLING licensing fees for students to become lawyers in the province of Ontario to almost $5000.

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