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UnknownIdentity

Army Reserves and Articling

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I was wondering whether anyone has experience or knows of other who were army reservists while also summering, articling and/or maybe even working as associates. I am currently a reservist and will be summering/articling at a full-service law firm on Bay Street and I'm hopeful to make it work time-wise, but would like to hear how others have managed.

I'm also a little concerned if it may give rise to conflicts of interests, and more broadly, whether firms are normally against these kinds of commitments outside of the firm. Thanks!

Edited by UnknownIdentity

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No direct experience in this, but I have had classmates in the reserves who summered/articled at large firms... some even went on exercises during their time.

Its all about communicating with your firm about your commitments a head of time and your intention to maintain your duties as a reservist.

It will be up to you to balance the two... but from what I heard it is completely manageable. In this day and age I would be shocked if your firm refuses to accommodate you. 

 

 

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Hi there, I’m a reservist and an associate with a full-service firm in Ottawa. I confirm dan’s sentiment re ensuring your firm knows what they’re signing up for. If they hire you back and you get called, you’ll still be a reservist -which is important and benefits the firm greatly for a number of reasons, of which are all the transferrable leadership, stress and time management skills - but you’ll also be a lawyer with professional obligations to your clients. So if you are loaded for an important career course last minute (classic...) or you volunteer for deployment, you need to make sure your files are meticulously managed in a way that allows whoever would be assisting you in your absense to know what needs to be done in case you’re not reachable for a given period of time. I’m also sure you know we don’t have statutory entitlements to guaranteed positions after deployment or course, so your law firm “knowing what they sign up for” is of utmost importance in ensuring employment with them upon your return. Make sure you advocate in a way that is understandable to the non-military person - explain what your course or deployment will entail (sleep dep, bag drive, leadership, career progression skills etc) and why it will benefit the firm. I would also be happy to discuss if you have any questions, just message me here and we can connect. Best of luck, my friend. 

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In Alberta at least, you are entitled to a certain amount of reservist leave under the Employment Standards Code, but of course clear communication and agreement from your firm is even better :) .

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