LAW CAREERS OFFICE Your Legal Career Search

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					Your Legal Career Search
Updated November 2008

                                                           LAW CAREERS OFFICE
You may have come to law school with a particular legal career in mind, or you may be unsure
of exactly what kind of employment you want to pursue following graduation. For many of you
your career goals will evolve and change during law school. Any successful career path
requires careful self-analysis and preparation. During your first year of law it may take you
awhile to just get acquainted to the study of law. It is never too early to start thinking about your
career plans following law school, because as you may have noticed already, certain
recruitment processes will come up fast. Your job search will be an ongoing process as you
learn more about law and the opportunities available. Remember that everyone is going to
leave law school following their own unique career path. For some it may be working in a legal
aid clinic. For others it may include working as a corporate lawyer with a large national law firm,
representing a First Nation in treaty negotiations or pursuing graduate studies in law. Whatever
path you do decide to follow, it should be one that is right for you. The best way to find the path
that is right for you is to explore all of your options.

  - Summering usually involves working after 2nd year at a large or medium sized law firm in
     Vancouver, Toronto or Calgary
  - Some smaller firms in smaller cities also offer summer positions, and some firms offer
     summering after 1st year
  - Summering gives students an introduction to practicing law and training for articling
  - Duties of a summer student are similar to those of an articling student
  - Many of the larger firms (especially in Toronto) are starting to only recruit 2nd year
     summer students and not articling students, but understand that if you do not locate a
     2nd year summer position there are still many articling positions, especially with medium
     and small firms and government

  - Articling is the final stage of the formal training to qualify to practice as a lawyer with one
     of the provincial law societies; it is essentially an “internship”
  - Articling exposes you to the practical application of the law under the training of a
     qualified lawyer or “principal”
  - The articling requirements are governed by the provincial law societies and the length of
     articles and structure of the bar admissions courses differ between the provinces (see
     pages 2 & 3 for details)
  - Generally the bar admissions process and articling term takes one year to complete
  - Once you complete the bar admissions process you are “Called to the Bar” and qualify
     to practice in that particular province

  - As of November 3, 2006 nine (9) jurisdictions within Canada (British Columbia, Alberta,
     Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island
     and Newfoundland) have fully implemented the National Mobility Agreement (NMA). The
     Barreau du Quebec has signed the NMA, but has not yet implemented it. This
     agreement makes it easier to work and travel across provincial boundaries by giving
     lawyers greater scope to practice temporarily in another province, and by easing the
     admission requirements when transferring between provinces
  - Lawyers who apply for call and admission in a reciprocating province no longer need to
     write transfer exams but must comply with a prescribed reading requirement
Law Careers Office                                                                                    2
UVic, Faculty of Law


Province                    Length of   Required Course Work & Exams
British Columbia            9 months                    10 week Professional Legal Training Course (PLTC)
                                        offered 3 times/yr (May, Sept, February) 4 assessments &
                                        2 qualification exams
                                        - PLTC can be taken at the beginning, middle or end of
                                        articling period
Alberta                     12 months               - CPLED Program runs roughly 5 months, completed
                                        throughout articles
                                        - number of modules, some on-line and others in a

                                        Note: In Alberta students can register in the CPLED
                                        Program without a secured articling job, but must have
                                        articles before starting the program.
Saskatchewan                12 months                    - 8 weeks in class training
                                        - 3 skills assessments
                                        - 3 comprehensive exams

                                        Note: In Saskatchewan students can register in the
                                        CPLED Program without a secured articling job
Manitoba                    12 months                    - 7 month session with 8 modules
                                        - 3 classroom modules, 5 on-line modules to be completed
                                        while working at your articles

                                        Note: In Manitoba students can register in the CPLED
                                        Program without a secured articling job
Ontario                     10 months
(Law Society of Upper                   Note that the Licensing Process changed in 2006
Canada)                                 Skills and Professional Responsibility Program:                          - mandatory 5 week skills and professional responsibility
                                        phase taken first before articling (only offered in May)
                                        - followed by barrister and solicitor licensing exams which
                                        are to be written during your articling term

                                        Note: In Ontario students can register in the Bar
                                        Admissions Course without a secured articling job & LSUC
                                        will offer assistance in the articling search
New Brunswick               44 weeks    8 weeks broken up into four 2-week sessions, with exams
www.lawsociety-                         after each session
Law Careers Office                                                                                      3
UVic, Faculty of Law

Nova Scotia                  12 months                                                - Bar Admission Course consists of two
                                                       components: a six-week Skills Training Course
                                                       and the Bar Examination
Prince Edward Island *       12 months                                               - Bar Admission Course consists of two
                                                       components: a two-week course offered in the
                                                       province and a seven-week Bar Admission
                                                       Course in Nova Scotia
*Note: Students who wish to be called to the bar of PEI must have taken the following courses in law
school: Administrative Law, Canadian Constitutional Law; Civil Procedure; Commercial Law, Contracts;
Corporate Law, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure; Ethics and Professional Responsibility; Evidence;
Family Law; Property Law; Torts; and Wills and Trusts
Newfoundland & Labrador      44 weeks                  8 weeks (Oct-Nov) with 6 exams

Yukon                        10 months               - students take the BC PLTC course

Northwest Territories        10 months               - students take the Alberta Bar Admission’s                                 course
Nunavut                                              - Law Society of Nunavut is working to put                              together a student-at-law admissions package
                                                     - students who can find a lawyer called to the
                                                     NWT or Nunavut bar for 5 years to act as a
                                                     principal can take the Alberta bar admission and
                                                     be called to the Nunavut Bar


    -   In most provinces, recruitment of articled students takes place sometime during the
        spring or summer after second year of law school for articling to begin the following year
    -   Recruitment of articled students can take place much earlier in the Maritime Provinces
        (starting at the beginning of first year of law school in NL and PEI). Make an
        appointment with the LCO if your plan is to article anywhere on the East coast.
    -   Many smaller cities (including Victoria) or smaller firms will not hire for articles until
        students are in their 3rd year of law school
    -   Increasingly most of the larger firms in the major cities (Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton,
        Toronto, Ottawa) are filling their articling positions with their 2nd year summer student
        hires. This can affect Co-op students
    -   Many of the larger Toronto firms now only hire 2nd year summer students and do not hire
        additional articled students
    -   The recruitment of 2nd year summer students with medium and larger law firms takes
        place very early (September/October of 2nd year)
    -   The LCO will hold a session in March for 1st years specifically on the topic of how
        to prepare for the 2nd year summer job search and On-Campus Interviews (OCI’s)
    -   Although start time for articling can vary from province to province, most students start
        their articles in the spring or the fall following graduation
Law Careers Office                                                                              4
UVic, Faculty of Law

   - Very few firms offer 1st year summer positions. Most students will return to a summer job
      they have had in the past.
   - Calgary and Edmonton firms tend to have more 1st year summer opportunities than other
      regions, although still few compared to 2nd year summer and articling positions. The LCO
      will organize resume collection late October/early November for select firms. If you are
      interested in working in Alberta make an appointment to meet with the LCO and
      keep checking your email for information.
   - Large Toronto firms also offer a limited number of 1st year summer positions.
      Recruitment follows the LSUC guidelines and happens in January/February.
   - Intellectual Property (IP) firms tend to hire 1st year students who have a hard science
      background ((BSc, BEng, Masters, PhD).
   - Very few Vancouver and Ottawa firms hire 1st year summer students. Most positions
      would be with Intellectual Property firms and the hiring would follow the same timelines
      as the second year summer hiring in those cities.
   - Other small and mid-sized firms in all regions may hire first year students, but likely
      won’t advertise these opportunities. Students should use the employer database on the
      LCO website to research firms and contact them directly to see if they are hiring. They
      could hire at anytime throughout the year, but generally will make decisions in the

EXAMPLE of a Typical Law Firm Recruitment Timeline

   If you started law school in Sept 2008, and you are a not in Co-op you will be graduating in
   May 2011 and seeking articles in the 2011-2012 articling year. You will most likely start your
   articling search during the winter/spring of 2009. If you are applying for 2nd year summer
   positions you will be applying for Summer 2010 (applications generally due Fall 2008).

   Co-op students, depending on the number of work terms that you do, will either be applying
   for articles in the same year as your non-Co-op colleagues, or you will be applying for the
   following articling term, 2012-2013. If you do 3 Co-op terms you could graduate August
   2011 and you could theoretically start articling September 2011. Of if you do 4 co-op terms
   you would graduate December 2011 and you could apply for articles in the 2012-2013 term.
Law Careers Office                                                                                        5
UVic, Faculty of Law

     British           Vancouver:
     Columbia              - Voluntary guidelines established by the Vancouver Bar Association
                                (VBA) for the recruitment of students by downtown Vancouver firms sets
                                out established interview weeks for summer & articling
                           - Interviews are granted on a rolling basis, so apply early
                           - Articling – apply in spring after 2 year transcripts are available & the
                                interview week usually occurs during the 3 week of August
                           - 2 year summer positions – apply in late August/early September &
                                interview week occurs in October.
                           - Ministry of AG recruits for articles early (end of February of 2 year)
                           - Some Victoria firms follow the Vancouver timeframe for hiring, but many
                                will wait until into a student’s 3 year
                           - If you are looking in Victoria, be patient & network!
                           - 2 year summer positions – are available with some firms, but they
                                likely won’t post the positions so you need to contact them directly
                       Northern BC:
                           - Prince George firms tend to start their interviewing in May of 2 year law
                           - 2 year summer positions – are available with some firms, but they
                                likely won’t post the positions so you need to contact them directly
                           - no structured recruitment; apply in spring after 2 year law for the
                                articling to start the following year
                           - 2 year summer positions – are available with some firms, but they
                                likely won’t post the positions so you need to contact them directly

     Alberta           Calgary:
                          - Articling – major law firms participate in the “Match” – a computerized
                              matching process administered by National Matching Services
                     that coordinates the first choices of students after
                              the interviewing with the first choices of firms
                          - students can interview with Match & non-match firms
                          - for articling, most firms in the Match have application deadlines at the
                              beginning of May after 2 year; the Match Student Agreement forms are
                              due mid-May
                          - 2 week articling interview period set usually for the first 2 weeks of June
                          - 2 year summer positions – interviewing occurs anywhere from Sept –
                              Jan of 2 year with some of the larger Calgary firms having an agreed
                              “offer date” in January
                          - some Calgary firms participate in On-Campus Interviews for 2 year
                              summer positions in September at UVic
                          - 2 year summer hiring happens outside of the “Match”
                          - although Edmonton firms do not participate in the Match, their deadlines
                              and interview times for summer and articling are similar to Calgary
Law Careers Office                                                                                      6
UVic, Faculty of Law

     Saskatchewan          -  the Articling Committee at the College of Law at University of Sask has
                              formulated voluntary guidelines for articling hiring
                           - Application deadline is at the beginning of May and interviews take place
                              at the College of Law over a weekend in late May
     Manitoba              -
                           - For articles, there is a Connecting Point program administered through
                              the Faculty of Law at the University of Manitoba.
                           - Applications are due early May and interviews are generally held at the
                              law school later the same month.
     Ontario               - the Law Society of Upper Canada regulates student recruitment more
                              strictly than any other law society in Canada
                           - the full recruitment guidelines are available on the law society website at
                     (under Lawyer Licensing – Articling – Recruitment
                           - many of the recruitment procedures set a deadline for applications, “call
                              day”, interview week, “offer date” and time frame that offers must remain
                           - applications for 2 - year Summer jobs is VERY EARLY. The deadline
                              for summer 2009 positions will likely be September 9, 2008
                           - a number of larger Toronto law firms come to UVic in September for On-
                              Campus Interviews (OCI’s)
                           - selected students are then invited to come to a summer “interview week”
                              at the firm in Toronto (usually the first week in November)
                           - the Articling application deadline is mid-July after your second year with
                              interviews occurring during an interview week usually the 3 week in
                              August (the same as Vancouver)
                           - Summer applications are due at the beginning of February and
                              interviewing takes place in late February and early March
                           - Recruitment for IP summer positions occur earlier, usually in October
                           - Articling applications are due at the beginning of May and interviews
                              take place early June
                       London & Hamilton:
                           - Summer applications due mid January, interviews in early February
                           - Articling applications due at the beginning of May and interviews occur
                              during the last week of May

     New                   -   recruitment of students can happen very EARLY with East Coast
     Brunswick,                employers
     Nova Scotia,          -   Newfoundland and PEI firms start recruiting/interviewing for articled
     Prince Edward             students during the fall of 2nd year
     Island,               -   In Newfoundland, 2 year summer work experience counts toward your
     Newfoundland              articling requirements
                           -   In Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, firms generally interview during
                               January of 2 year
                           -   An offer of articling often is accompanied by an offer of summer
                           -   NL, PEI, NS & NB do hire some first year students in the fall/spring of
                               first year for the summer.
     Yukon, NWT            -   No formalized recruitment times; apply for articles in spring after 2 year
Law Careers Office                                                                                   7
UVic, Faculty of Law

   1. Do I have to article?

   If you want to be a practicing lawyer called to a provincial bar in Canada, you are required to
   article. There are a wide variety of career options that utilize a law degree, but do not
   require you to be a “practicing” lawyer. The majority of UVic law students do choose to
   article and be called to the bar of a provincial law society. Some choose to be called to the
   bar first and then pursue “alternate or non-traditional” legal careers. If you decide not to
   article, a law degree is recognizable as excellent education that provides you with many
   transferable skills to use in a variety of different careers. Some reasons to consider articling
   include: 1) it provides you with an opportunity to “test” the practice of law out and see if you
   like it; 2) articling will help you develop skills including writing, oral advocacy and
   negotiation; 3) it will enable you to practice law should your interests change down the road.

   2.    What are “alternative or non-traditional legal” careers and how do I find out
         about them?

   Alternative or non-traditional legal careers are wide-encompassing terms that can capture
   just about every type of employment that is outside of the traditional practice of law. Some
   alternate careers may be “law-related” or they may be totally unrelated to law. Some
   examples of law-related alternative careers include: mediation and alternative dispute
   resolution; policy and legislation; communications; legal teaching & research; law
   enforcement; politics; banking/investment. Some examples of non-law career fields that
   utilize the skills you learn in law school are: entrepreneurial; non-profit sector/fundraising;
   marketing/public relations; business/management consulting; writing/journalism.

   These types of careers are not as obvious as finding an articling job in a law firm, and may
   take some extra work on your part. An essential step in discovering an alternate career path
   is going through a self-assessment process to determine where your interests, skills and
   strengths are. An excellent book to help you do this is Kimm Alayne Walton’s, “Guerrilla
   Tactics for Getting the Legal Job of your Dreams” (available from the LCO and on reserve in
   the library). You can also participate in UnCommon Law Day, an annual event (usually in
   January) that brings in law grads that have non-traditional law-related careers.

   3.    Do I need a “law-related” job during the summer after first year law school?

   Most of the summer recruitment legal processes are not geared towards first year law
   students. As you will have noticed some law firms in Alberta, Ottawa and Toronto do hire a
   limited number of first-year law students, but the number of total available positions is quite
   small. Most law firms prefer to hire second year law students after you have completed
   some more of the core courses. You will hear from your professors, practicing lawyers and
   current articled students that really you should take a “break” from law after first year. You
   may go back to a summer job that you had prior to law school. You can use the summer
   after first year to get involved in some volunteer or community activities that can be valuable
   experiences to draw on when you are applying to legal jobs later. Check out the main
   Career Services office at UVic (located next to the bookstore) for resources in finding non-
   legal summer employment. All job postings are posted on the Workopolis website. Go to for instructions on how to obtain the UVic password.
Law Careers Office                                                                             8
UVic, Faculty of Law

   4.    What is a Clerkship?

   Law clerks generally assist judges with the research before and after a case is heard in
   court. Duties of clerks include legal research, summarizing decisions, preparing preliminary
   memoranda, and observing the court process. Clerking is an excellent experience if you are
   interested in the academic or theoretical aspects of law, or if you are interested in pursuing
   litigation. It is an unparalleled opportunity to see “behind the scenes” of the court process
   and to observe first-hand how judicial decisions are made. Clerking opportunities are
   available with a number of provincial superior level courts and at the federal level.
   Applications for clerkships can be competitive and academic performance in law school is
   important in the selection process. Clerking can count as part or all of the articling
   requirements depending on which provincial bar you wish to be called to. If you are
   interested in clerking, the recruitment process usually begins in late fall of your 2nd year.
   Watch for emails from the LCO.

   5.    What is normally included in a legal application package?

   Your application package to a legal employer whether it is for summer or articling should
   include: 1) a cover letter tailored specifically to the firm or organization to which you are
   applying; 2) a 2-page resume; and 3) photocopies of official undergraduate and law school
   transcripts. Reference letters and writing samples are optional. Do not include a writing
   sample unless the employer specifically indicates that they want to see one. A memo can
   work well, but be sure to indicate if it is open or closed. You can check for what an employer
   likes to see in an application package on their website, in the Quicklaw National Articling
   Database (NAD), and firm brochures. The LCO is available to review your resume and
   application package – just make an appointment by contacting Katie Macquarrie
   ( Email a copy of your resume to Jennifer Moroskat (
   the day before your appointment.
Law Careers Office                                                                                9
UVic, Faculty of Law


   1. Be Prepared & Research
      Only you can plan your own unique job path. Do your research to find out about all of
      the options that might be right for you. Self-assessment is a key part of any career
      planning – start by using some of the career resources provided by the LCO.
      Responsibility for developing your career goals and finding employment is ultimately

   2. Get Involved and meet people with similar interests (AKA Networking)
      Get involved in some law school activities – it may be a way to explore some of your
      interests in law. Come out to career sessions. You will have an opportunity to meet
      lawyers and find out what the practice of law is like. Join the CBA and participate in the
      mentor program and join sections such as the Young Lawyers Section. This is especially
      important if you want to article in a smaller community such as Victoria

   3. Be Proactive and Persistent
      Finding an articling job really can be a lot of work at times and you may need to be
      patient. The process can be competitive and at other times arbitrary. It may be the first
      time that you face rejection. But, remember there may only be “one” job interview that
      goes perfectly and if you are offered the job all past rejections will not matter at that

   4. Keep in touch with the LCO
      Don’t hesitate to come see the LCO when you have questions or you just need some
      reassurance in preparing for a job interview. The door is always open to you. If it is a
      busy time of year, you may need to schedule an appointment. Remember to let the LCO
      know if you accept a position somewhere.


Law Careers Office
 Emails from the LCO – watch for our emails to the student listservs with important
   recruitment information – file for later reference. A weekly email will be sent as a summary
 Career Information Sessions, listed on the LCO website under Upcoming Events
 Resume and Interview Workshops
 Events (UnCommon Law Day, BC Employers Wine and Cheese, On-Campus Interviews,
   Vancouver Firms Open House, etc)

Law Careers Office Website –
*Password: available from the LCO or in the resource room
 Student Information
    Bar Admissions – Links to Canadian Law Societies and their associated bar admission
    Career Research – Legal career research links
    Government Information – Links to Government employment websites
    LCO Handouts
 Job Postings Database including summer, articling and other positions (clerkships,
   internships, etc.)
 Employer Database with over 900 legal employers across Canada with links to firm websites
 Upcoming Events hosted by the Law Careers Office
Law Careers Office                                                                              10
UVic, Faculty of Law

Career Resource Room – Room 140 Fraser
 LCO Handouts (cover letter and resume writing, interview tips, applications tips, volunteer
opportunities, summering and articling guidelines, UVic mentor list, etc.)
 Articling handbooks from other law schools
 Extra brochures on shelves which may be taken
 Legal Magazines: Lexpert, Canadian Lawyer, The National, Career Verdict
 Old Canada Law List and BC Lawyers Listing (current copies available in the Law Library)
 Clerkship Postings and Information

 Quicklaw’s National Articling Database (db NAD)
 Career Materials on Reserve in Library – Articling Handbooks from other law schools
 Phonebook and Yellow Pages
 Membership in the Canadian Bar Association – great for networking
 Other UVic Law students and alumni
 Professors, friends and family

Do not hesitate to come see us if you need help getting started.

       Jennifer Moroskat                                   Katie Macquarrie
       Law Careers Officer                                 Law Careers Assistant                          
       Office: Room 140C                                   Office: Room 140
       Phone: (250) 472-4719                               Phone: (250) 721-8790
                       Contact Katie if you have forgotten the password.

                               Office Hours: 8:30am – 4:30 pm
                            To book an appointment, contact Katie.