What New Lawyers Need to Know About LAWPRO

The FAQs below answer some of the more common questions we hear from newly called lawyers. The answers will help you determine if you need insurance coverage (or whether you’re exempt) and which steps you need to take to get your LAWPRO insurance coverage in place.

What is professional liability insurance?
Professional liability insurance is designed to indemnify lawyers against the consequences of a lawyer’s liability for a client’s loss. For this reason, only lawyers in private practice are subject to the mandatory insurance requirement.

What is private practice?
Private practice, for the purpose of LAWPRO’s insurance program, is the delivery of professional services (including advice) to anybody who is not the lawyer’s employer. . . .

What kinds of lawyers are exempt from the mandatory insurance requirement?
In general, lawyers working as in-house counsel, who are employed by the government, who work in education, or who work for a clinic funded by Legal Aid Ontario are exempt from the requirement to pay insurance premiums. Lawyers who do pro bono work that meets certain criteria, or who are on temporary leave, may also be exempt.

If I’m not going into private practice, can I just forget about insurance?
No. The Law Society of Upper Canada requires that ALL members of the bar (not just those in private practice) confirm their practice status every year. This means that you must either pay for insurance, or file an application for exemption from the insurance requirement. . . .

How do I find out more?
For more information, please visit our website at lawpro.ca. Information specific to new calls can be found at lawpro.ca/newcalls.

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