From the Classroom to the Courtroom: What it means to be an articling student

Kanata CA personal injury, family, and real estate law firm

By: Patrick Snelling

I’ve been asked a number of times to explain what it means to be an articling student. To shed some light on the topic, I looked no further than one of our firm’s current articling students, Fanni Csaba. Here’s what she had to say:

Becoming a licensed lawyer involves a three steps. First, you complete a 3 year long law school degree. Second, you write your bar exams. Finally, you fulfill a 10-month long term as an articling student.

What do articling students do?

As an articling student, you are a lawyer-in-training. At this stage of your legal education, while working under the supervision of an Articling Principal, you are given the opportunity to apply your knowledge to real life situations. You learn how conduct legal research, engage in advocacy, and if you’re lucky, you may even have clients of your own. Whether you choose to article at a law firm, governmental agency, or not-for-profit organization, this experience is invaluable to help you make your transition from the classroom to the courtroom.

How do you get an articling job?

You apply for an articling position the same way you would for any job. You find employers that you think would appreciate your strengths, send in your resumé, and go in for interviews. The Law Society of Upper Canada also recently launched the Law Practise Program (LPP), which satisfies this portion of the licensing process by having students complete a course and a placement. Both the articling and LPP options ensure that you receive enough experiential learning to be ready to take on your new career as a licensed lawyer.

What’s next?

After you’ve completed law school, passed your bar exams, and fulfilled the 10-month long articling program, you are officially ready to be called to the bar as a licensed lawyer. At this point, your future is in your own hands. You can apply to continue work at the firm you articled for, or can check out other employment opportunities. Either way, the process of becoming a lawyer is now complete. Congratulations, let your journey as a lawyer begin!

EDITOR’S NOTE: This publication is the ninth installment of our firm’s Legal Matters series, which answers a reader’s question every week.  If you have a general legal question that you would like to have addressed please send it via email to legalmatters@compellingcounsel.com.