Pay and Benefits within the Articled Student Program
Articled students are hired as time-limited regular employees and receive full medical and dental benefits, as well as four weeks of paid holiday. The salary is $49,900.22 annually or $1,912.67 bi-weekly. Articled students are also eligible to apply for the Pacific Leaders Loan Forgiveness program.
The ministry pays the Law Society of British Columbia enrolment fees for its students, including the Professional Legal Training Course (PLTC) fees, and continues the students’ salary during PLTC. The ministry also pays the students’ call fees at the end of articles.
Start and end dates of articles
The start and end dates of articles are flexible, but that flexibility is limited. Depending on your circumstances, it may be possible to start your articles at a different date than other students and to take the Professional Legal Training Course at the beginning, middle or end of your articles.
Conflicts of interest
If, for example, you worked on a file during a co-op term in which a British Columbia ministry was named as a party, you may be in a conflict of interest. While such a conflict would not prohibit you from doing your articles at the ministry, you would likely face restrictions including:
- Accessing computer drives where information on a case you worked was stored
- Discussing the case with any LSB lawyers
- Going into any areas of the office where the files of that case are stored
- Taking any part in future litigation against or on behalf of your previous clients on the original case or that was related to that case
Criminal record checks
All successful candidates for jobs with the Ministry must pass a criminal record check. Articled students must pass a second criminal record check, under the Criminal Records Review Act, because they may have to work with or have unsupervised access to children.
Students working with the Prosecution Service, either on rotation or articled to them, will be required to pass a further, enhanced security screening.
The Law Society requires each articled student to be assigned a principal. The principal ensures that, during articles, the student is instructed on the various aspects of the practice of law and of professional conduct. The Articled Student Program makes every effort to match its students with principals who share the students’ legal interests.
Continuing legal education
Articled students are provided with legal education seminars and events throughout the year. The curriculum is flexible and presentations supplement articles by providing students with important information and the opportunity to meet as a group to share their articling experiences. Continuing legal education can include skills development seminars, scholarly presentations, and tours of provincial facilities, such as the Legislature.
Past seminars include:
- Privacy, freedom of information, and freedom of speech
- The use of electronic documents in litigation
- The historical evolution of Aboriginal law
- Chambers practice
In recent years the ministry has hired back more than half of its articled students as lawyers after articles. Certain employment opportunities are open only to ministry articled students. The number of opportunities for students depends on the availability of jobs, budget, the student’s performance, and other factors.