In October 2019, Law Society of Ontario (LSO)'s Bencher, Atrisha Lewis and LSO's
Licensee candidate, Samantha Del Frate held at the Ontario Bar Association (OBA)
the first of its kind On-Campus Interviews (OCIs) for Internationally Trained Lawyers
(ITLs) and National Committee of Accreditation (NCA) candidates. It was a great
success. 14 firms participated and 6 students were offered 2L summer student
positions in Ontario through this initiative and volunteer work.
Each year, the National Committee of Accreditation (NCA) receives over 1,800
applications from international candidates, seeking to become qualified lawyers in
Canada. These candidates are diverse in terms of country of origin, cultural
backgrounds, education, years of experience, language, creed, etc. Most will have to
navigate the summer and/or articling application process in order to become
qualified in Canada.
Prior to October 2019, ITLs and NCA candidates were eligible to apply to summer
positions through a designated online portal; however, most were not aware of this
opportunity nor was the initial on-campus interview (the ‘OCI’ or first stage of the
formal interview recruitment process) available to them.
This systemic barrier greatly reduced the chances for diverse ITL and NCA
candidates to be invited to in-firm interviews (the second stage of the OCI process),
and effectively worked to significantly reduce the number of diverse candidates in the
hiring pipeline for many legal jobs in Ontario (i.e. summer, articling, and early
Our mission continues to be to integrate ITLs and NCA candidates into the formal
recruitment process and hiring pipeline, provide ITLs and NCAs with the relevant
information, education and resources to succeed, and continue to create equitable
opportunities for ITLs and NCA applicants.
We would like to thank the OBA for hosting our inaugural OCIs in October 2019 and
for their continued support of this initiative and the participating law firms and
government offices that continue to support and participate in ITLNCA OCIs. We
also could not have done it without the support in Ontario, of OsgoodePD and the
University of Toronto’s GPLLM. We thank you for your ongoing support!
We look forward to working with all of you to create systemic inclusion, diversity and
equity in the Canadian legal sector.
ITLNCA OCI Committee