Continuing Professional Development Requirement

What is the CPD Requirement?

Lawyers and paralegals who are practising law or providing legal services must complete in each calendar year at least 12 CPD Hours in Eligible Educational Activities consisting of a minimum of 3 Professionalism Hours on topics related to professional responsibility, ethics and/or practice management and up to 9 Substantive Hours per year.

Only Professionalism Hours must be accredited by the Law Society of Upper Canada.

The remaining 9 Substantive Hours need not be accredited.  

Substantive Hours may address substantive or procedural law topics and/or related skills. Non-legal subjects may also be eligible for Substantive Hours if they are relevant to the lawyer's or paralegal's practice and professional development.

Who has to fulfill the CPD Requirement?

Lawyers and paralegals in the 100% fee-paying category are subject to the requirement. In addition, lawyers and paralegals in other fee categories who are providing legal services that are either based on Ontario or Canadian law (including on a pro bono basis), or as a life member, are subject to the requirement. Members in fee categories other than the 100% category who are not practising Ontario or Canadian law are exempt from the CPD requirement. See Fee Categories for more information. Members who need guidance to determine their membership category should contact the Law Society's Client Service Centre at (416) 947-3315, or toll-free at 1-800-668-7380, ext. 3315.

What is the purpose of the CPD Requirement?

Continuing professional development (CPD) is defined as the maintenance and enhancement of a lawyer's or paralegal's professional knowledge, skills, attitudes and professionalism throughout the individual's career. It is a positive tool that benefits lawyers and paralegals and is an essential component of the commitment they make to the public to practise law or provide legal services competently and ethically. The Law Society has an important role to play in supporting the efforts of lawyers and paralegals to maintain and enhance that competence. It also has a duty to ensure that all persons who practise law or provide legal services in Ontario meet standards of learning, professional competence and conduct that are appropriate for the legal services they provide.

See Convocation Reports about the CPD Requirement for more information.


See Changes to the CPD Requirement for background on the changes made following the Law Society’s two-year review of the program.