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Join Us

The Association has three main classes of membership to choose from:

1. Active Member (Full Member)

  • Junior Active members have been called in the last two years
  • Senior Active members have been called for 3+ years


2. Student Member

  • Student-at-law or student in an accredited law school


3. Observer Member

  • Junior Observer members have been called in the last two years
  • Senior Observer members have been called for 3+ years
  • Law Professor Observer members - not open to practicing criminal defence lawyers or judges.


Please note any membership applications submitted between December 10 to 31 will be for the 2019 membership year with membership commencing towards the end of the first week of January.  The CLA office will be closed for the holidays from December 21 to January 2. Applications submitted during this time will be processed when the office reopens.

CLA Membership application information:

  1. Membership applications submitted any time between December 10, 2018 and September 15, 2019 and will provide the applicant with a membership up to March 31, 2020.
  2. New membership applications (not open to individuals that lapsed in current year) submitted between October 1 to December 9, 2019 will have a prorated rate applied and will provide the applicant with a membership up to March 31, 2020.
  3. Memberships are non-refundable or transferable.
  4. Please allow up to 15 business days for applications to be reviewed and fully processed.

Benefits of membership:

Membership benefits for both Active (Full) and Student members:

  • CLA Membership ID card. Personalized photo identification cards are available to active and student members at no charge. Through special arrangements with the Ministry of Correctional Services, these cards have been designated as an acceptable form of identification for purposes of obtaining unobstructed access to the various detention facilities.
  • Subscription to For The Defence newsletter
  • Inclusion in online membership directory
  • Inclusion in online public referral directory
  • Main Listserv access (email discussion forum with more than 850 criminal lawyers)
  • Recent Call Listserv access (open to student members and members called in last seven years)
  • Member rates on Spring and Fall Conference
  • Special rates to all CLA professional development programs including events targeted to Recent Calls, Mental Health Conference, Women in Criminal Law Events and more
  • Preferred rates on recorded webcasts
  • Conference materials at member pricing
  • Access to members only section of website
  • Opportunity to run for any director positions on CLA Board (Active members only)
  • CLA voting privileges (Active members only – for director position votes, applicable to region/city noted in your CLA membership record)
  • Corporate GoodLife Membership discount (open to members and up to four family members) - a $350+ savings a year off a regular GoodLife Membership
  • Exclusive access to various discounted products and services, including: theatre, hotels, attractions, movies, shopping, travel & much more, to all members through our discount partner Perkopolis.

Active (Full) Membership:
If you are a practicing criminal defence lawyer in Ontario in good standing with the Law Society of Ontario and a significant portion of your practice is devoted to the defence of criminal charges or you are a lawyer who devotes a significant portion of your efforts to the interests of the defence bar, then you are eligible for Active membership in the Criminal Lawyers’ Association.
Download application.

$169.50 ($150 + $19.50 HST)
Called to the bar after January 1, 2017

$339.00 ($300 + $39.00 HST)
Called to the bar on or before December 31, 2016


Student Membership:
If you are a student-at-law or a student in an accredited law school, you may apply for a Student membership.
Download application.

$84.75 ($75 + $9.75 HST)

Please note that student members are required to notify the CLA office once they have passed the bar. In order to maintain a membership with the CLA after passing the bar, the individual must then be a practicing criminal defence lawyer. Those that end up not becoming practicing criminal defence lawyers will have their membership lapsed with no refund.


Observer Membership (Criminal Defence Lawyer)
For practicing criminal lawyers OUTSIDE of Ontario who do NOT practise in Ontario at all.
Download Application

$56.50 ($50 + $6.50 HST)
Called to the bar after January 1, 2017

$113.00 ($100 + $13.00 HST)
Called to the bar on or before December 31, 2016

Benefits that WILL be provided to Criminal Defence Lawyer Observer Members:

  • Include in online membership directory
  • Listserv access (email discussion forum with more than 850 criminal lawyers)
  • Access to members only section of website
  • Access to all CLA events and conferences at the member rate
  • Access to CLA member rates to webcast recordings
  • For The Defence newsletter
  • Corporate GoodLife Membership discount (open to members and up to four family members). A $350+ savings a year off a regular GoodLife Membership
  • Exclusive access to various discounted products and services, including: theatre, hotels, attractions, movies, shopping, travel & much more, to all members through our discount partner Perkopolis.

Benefits that WILL NOT be available to Criminal Defence Lawyer Observer members:

  • CLA Membership ID card
  • CLA voting privileges
  • Cannot run for any director positions on CLA Board


Observer Membership (Law Professor)
For law professors that are NOT practicing criminal defence attorneys or judges.
Download Application

$113.00 ($100 + $13.00 HST)

Benefits that WILL be provided to Law Professor Observer Members:

  • Access to all CLA events and conferences at the member rate
  • Access to CLA member rates to webcast recordings
  • Conference materials at member pricing
  • For The Defence newsletter
  • Corporate GoodLife Membership discount (open to members and up to four family members). A $350+ savings a year off a regular GoodLife Membership
  • Exclusive access to various discounted products and services, including: theatre, hotels, attractions, movies, shopping, travel & much more, to all members through our discount partner Perkopolis.

Benefits that WILL NOT be available to Law Professor Observer members:

  • Access to members only section of website
  • Inclusion in online membership directory
  • CLA Listserv Access
  • CLA Membership ID card
  • CLA voting privileges
  • Cannot run for any director positions on CLA Board


Criminal Lawyers’ Association

189 Queen Street East, Suite 1
Toronto, ON M5A 1S2
P. 416-214-9875
F. 416-968-6818
[email protected]

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