Who Students Can Expect to Work With During Articles
It would be impossible for one person to accomplish everything that would need to be in place to provide you with successful articles. We have a team of dedicated individuals committed to helping students achieve success during their articling year. In addition to the roles laid out below, all of the lawyers within the Legal Services Branch (LSB) are happy to share their time and their advice when needed.
Chair – Eva Ross is responsible for overseeing students’ performance during articles. Working with the Articled Student Committee, Eva conducts periodic feedback and check-in sessions with students and principals to discuss any concerns that may arise over the course of the year. She also helps students personalize their articles to maximize opportunities during their articling year.
Articled Student Committee - is a group of lawyers and professional staff who are committed to improving the articling student experience, and to respond to any issues that may arise in the articling year. The committee is responsible hiring new articled students, organizing the yearly program of in-house Continuing Legal Education (CLEs) specifically for students, planning for future recruitment, and addressing any program concerns that may arise.
Articled Student Manager – Hailey Nelson is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the articled student office. She assists with law society paperwork, organizes students’ rotation schedules and helps students navigate the legal office environment, among many others duties. Hailey is always there with a helping hand and a listening ear, and is often the first point of contact for any student who has a question about…anything, really.
Articled Student Support – Diane Knowles acts as support for the articled student program and assists with preparing materials for submission to court, helps students organize their files and assists students in learning to work effectively with a team of professional staff.
Principals – Every student is paired with a principal for the duration of their articles. We attempt to pair each student with a principal who shares some of the student’s interests or is practicing in an area of law that the student is intent on learning more about. Principals work with students throughout the articling year to ensure that students meet the law society requirements to be called to the bar, and provide guidance and support throughout articles.
Mentors – We at the LSB strongly believe in a mentoring culture. We connect each student with mentors who will work with them throughout the articling year and beyond. With over 250 lawyers in LSB, we have a wide variety of practice areas and experiences to draw upon, to provide students with guidance during this formative time in their careers.
Buddies – We also recognize that the articling year is an experience that stretches and challenges students in many ways. To help students successfully navigate articles, we pair each student with a junior lawyer ‘buddy’ – someone who has been recently called to the bar, and has a keen understanding of the particular stresses and challenges of articling. This person acts as a peer support for the student throughout the year.
Small Claims Team – Articled students have conduct of some small claims files throughout all of their rotations (more on that later). These files enable students to build skills in litigation, practice management, client service, and effective communication. Students are supported by supervising lawyers, who provide advice and guidance with issue spotting, legal drafting, courtroom and file preparation and any questions that arise along the way.
Practice Group Liaisons – Students typically rotate through eight to ten practice groups in LSB during the articling year. Within each rotation, practice group liaisons introduce students to lawyers and professional staff, and work with students to develop opportunities and ensure that students have a diversity of work and experiences.
You – The only person who knows which experiences you want to have, and the skills you want to develop during your articling year is you. If you can think of an area of law that you would like experience in, it is extremely likely that someone in the LSB is currently doing just that. The support network described above is certainly able to assist in connecting you with both people and opportunities. Just let us know about your interests!
The most successful students that we have are those who take charge of their articles, and seek out the experiences that they want to have, and the goals they want to accomplish during this year of intensive learning. To have reached this stage in your career, you have already demonstrated great success. We want to build on that success to support you in developing into a great lawyer, and a great colleague.