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Lawyer2018

Changing Articling in mid and 10 days Abridgment

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Hi Everyone,

1. Has anyone changed their articling in between? I am asking this because I am working for a sole practitioner at less than a minimum wage and I don't like the area  he practice. I completed my four months already. Is it safe to apply other law firms? Should I mention on my resume about present articling?  My fear is that after articling in Personal Injury I would not get a chance to get into other firms practicing  in other areas of law and there are no chances of hireback. 

2. Has anyone applied for 10 days abridgment in articling  term on compassionate ground to LSO? Is it easy to get or difficult ? as I have used extra days for my exams and some sick days. I will short of 5 days for September Call. 

Thank you. 

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If you're already 4 months in, why wouldn't you just ride it out?  Start looking for associate jobs from now while you've got time on your side.

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Posted (edited)

There are a few posts about threads about this floating around.  I'd give those a read if I were you. My view is that this is a bad idea, unless you're literally unable to make ends meet with the salary. Yes, low pay sucks, and yes working in an area that isn't your top choice sucks. But you did decide to take the job and complete nearly half of the articling term. It may very well be more trouble than it's worth to pursue this avenue, and also result in a negative impact on your reputation.

Notwithstanding those issues, you most definitely should not be applying to other articling positions yet. Talk your principal/ the Law Society first.

Edited by spicyfoodftw

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I won’t weigh in on whether you should or shouldn’t do this - but I will urge you to check your Law Society website and find the applicable rules.

This can be done but it needs to be handled properly. It’s not the same as any kind of job you have had before - much less simple to quit at this particular stage. 

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Thank you everyone for your replies @Starkand @spicyfoodftw

My only reason to change is that I do not want to practice in this area of law after articling.  Do you think I have chances to secure an associate position in other firms with different practice?  I mean why would they hire me if I have worked in entirely different area of law. 

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5 minutes ago, Lawyer2018 said:

Thank you everyone for your replies @Starkand @spicyfoodftw

My only reason to change is that I do not want to practice in this area of law after articling.  Do you think I have chances to secure an associate position in other firms with different practice?  I mean why would they hire me if I have worked in entirely different area of law. 

People do this all the time.  You're not pigeon holed into the area of law you articled in.  You just need to be able to sell a new firm on why you're interested in their area of law which really isn't much different than what everyone did when they were looking for an articling position in the first place.

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10 minutes ago, Hegdis said:

I won’t weigh in on whether you should or shouldn’t do this - but I will urge you to check your Law Society website and find the applicable rules.

This can be done but it needs to be handled properly. It’s not the same as any kind of job you have had before - much less simple to quit at this particular stage. 

This is what I found on website. 

Assignment of Articles

 An assignment of articling placement occurs when you permanently transfer to another approved articling principal during the term.

To receive credit with the first Principal, a Certificate of Service must filed and the record of experiential training must be filed by both you and your principal.

If a placement is assigned the very next business day, the Assignment of Articles form will be filed. If more than 1 business day elapses before you begin articling for the new principal, then you must file a new Articles of Clerkship form for this new principal.

The assigned Principal must file the experiential training plan within 10 business days of the candidate’s start date.

If the placement is with two or more firms, either consecutively or concurrently, the issue of conflicts of interest must be addressed. Please refer to the Rules of Professional Conduct on Conflicts from Transfer between Law Firms.

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24 minutes ago, Lawyer2018 said:

Thank you everyone for your replies @Starkand @spicyfoodftw

My only reason to change is that I do not want to practice in this area of law after articling.  Do you think I have chances to secure an associate position in other firms with different practice?  I mean why would they hire me if I have worked in entirely different area of law. 

Doing PI, you'll have plenty of transferrable skills for other types of litigation. Even if you decide litigation isn't for you, my understanding is that at this stage, it's doable (though more challenging) to switch to solicitor work. As Stark commented, it's about your ability to sell yourself on being interested in whatever your target firm does. No one is going to look at a new call and think they've amassed far too much experience in one particular area of law to switch. 

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You'll be fine. Litigation skills gained in PI are absolutely invaluable and you'll quickly realize as you go into general practice that the vast majority of lawyers do not like going to court. This includes lawyers practicing in civil litigation. Do everything you can to get into examinations for discoveries, applications, small claims matters, and especially in actual superior court/supreme court/queens bench trials.

I started off like you in a small PI firm in a small city outside Toronto. It wasn't quite a solo practitioner, but it wasn't far off. It also sucked, a lot, as most articles do. By far the worst experience of my legal career. I ended up doing insurance side litigation at a significantly larger firm in downtown for the next year and then finally accepting a position at a Bay street general litigation boutique.

The biggest key is building a good reputation. My jump from small  3 lawyer firm in nowheresville to downtown midsize firm was entirely based on the verbal recommendation of my articling principal. He put me in touch with the firm that hired me as they were often on the other side of our files.

I'm decent at my job, but I didn't do anything beyond making sure i was reliable and keeping an ear to the ground for new opportunities.

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6 hours ago, Lawyer2018 said:

Hi Everyone,

1. Has anyone changed their articling in between? I am asking this because I am working for a sole practitioner at less than a minimum wage and I don't like the area  he practice. I completed my four months already. Is it safe to apply other law firms? Should I mention on my resume about present articling?  My fear is that after articling in Personal Injury I would not get a chance to get into other firms practicing  in other areas of law and there are no chances of hireback. 

2. Has anyone applied for 10 days abridgment in articling  term on compassionate ground to LSO? Is it easy to get or difficult ? as I have used extra days for my exams and some sick days. I will short of 5 days for September Call. 

Thank you. 

 

5 hours ago, Lawyer2018 said:

Thank you everyone for your replies @Starkand @spicyfoodftw

My only reason to change is that I do not want to practice in this area of law after articling.  Do you think I have chances to secure an associate position in other firms with different practice?  I mean why would they hire me if I have worked in entirely different area of law. 

You need to work on written and possibly spoken English if you want better opportunities. 

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, Chuckles64 said:

You'll be fine. Litigation skills gained in PI are absolutely invaluable and you'll quickly realize as you go into general practice that the vast majority of lawyers do not like going to court. This includes lawyers practicing in civil litigation. Do everything you can to get into examinations for discoveries, applications, small claims matters, and especially in actual superior court/supreme court/queens bench trials.

I started off like you in a small PI firm in a small city outside Toronto. It wasn't quite a solo practitioner, but it wasn't far off. It also sucked, a lot, as most articles do. By far the worst experience of my legal career. I ended up doing insurance side litigation at a significantly larger firm in downtown for the next year and then finally accepting a position at a Bay street general litigation boutique.

The biggest key is building a good reputation. My jump from small  3 lawyer firm in nowheresville to downtown midsize firm was entirely based on the verbal recommendation of my articling principal. He put me in touch with the firm that hired me as they were often on the other side of our files.

I'm decent at my job, but I didn't do anything beyond making sure i was reliable and keeping an ear to the ground for new opportunities.

Thank you so much for the reply and sharing your experience. 

Edited by Lawyer2018

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On 3/27/2019 at 11:59 AM, Lawyer2018 said:

My only reason to change is that I do not want to practice in this area of law after articling.  Do you think I have chances to secure an associate position in other firms with different practice?  I mean why would they hire me if I have worked in entirely different area of law. 

The way I see it, you have two options: 

You stick with your current articling position and when you're finished, you look for an associate position more closely aligned with your interests after. When applying, you can explain to the new firms that you decided during articling that you don't want to pursue a career in PI, but that you honoured your commitments and stuck with it. You can tell them what you learned during your articles and why those skills are applicable to their practice (ex. you managed strict deadlines, balanced competing priorities, interviewed clients and managed their expectations, drafted pleadings that required little revision, researched complex issues and articulated your findings in a understandable and cogent way, demonstrated professionalism in court and with opposing counsel, etc.). You may even have a positive letter of reference from your principal. 

or

You leave your current articling position and begin searching for a new position. You have to search for a new position, because from what you've told us, you don't have other articles lined up. Most people searching for articles will attest to the fact that it's no easy task landing an interview, let alone securing a job. When and if you secure an interview with another firm, they'll probably have a lot of questions for you. Why did you leave? Nothing serious, you  just decided you didn't like the practice area. What if you decide you don't like their practice area? You will probably need a better answer than quit after 4 months. Do you have a letter of reference? Probably not. 

Absent some serious reason for leaving (e.x. harassment or abuse by your employer, personal circumstances beyond your control, etc.) you should probably just stick out the remaining 6 months. 

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