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MaggieNoodles

Almost December and no articling position :(

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Hi Everyone,

I have been looking/applying for articling positions but have not had any luck yet. For those of you who found your articling position outside of the formal recruit process, what advice do you have for me? Where did you look for articling positions? Do you know any firms that hire in the next few months? What were your grades? (I have a couple of Cs). Did you network? At this point, I don't mind any area of law but do prefer to work in Toronto.  Your answers are much appreciated! Thank you!

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25 minutes ago, MaggieNoodles said:

Hi Everyone,

I have been looking/applying for articling positions but have not had any luck yet. For those of you who found your articling position outside of the formal recruit process, what advice do you have for me? Where did you look for articling positions? Do you know any firms that hire in the next few months? What were your grades? (I have a couple of Cs). Did you network? At this point, I don't mind any area of law but do prefer to work in Toronto.  Your answers are much appreciated! Thank you!

This may be the problem. Most employers hiring now are small/medium sized shops that specialize in one or two areas. Does your application materials show any demonstrated interest in any area of law? People are not just looking for a warm body to fill a spot. They want someone who could potentially stay with them long-term and has a strong interest in their area of work. 

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23 minutes ago, Deadpool said:

This may be the problem. Most employers hiring now are small/medium sized shops that specialize in one or two areas. Does your application materials show any demonstrated interest in any area of law? People are not just looking for a warm body to fill a spot. They want someone who could potentially stay with them long-term and has a strong interest in their area of work. 

Fully agree. I've given this answer at greater length elsewhere, and a number of times, but it comes down to this. Whatever your background may be (courses, other activities, demonstrated ares of interest) I'm just about certain you present as a good fit for some jobs, while at others you present as a candidate who just desperately wants some kind of job at all. For jobs where you are a good fit, you stand a real chance and eventually, all else being equal, I'd anticipate that you'll catch on somewhere. For those other jobs, your application is probably going straight into the garbage, and if you somehow get to an interview or something it's likely a waste of everyone's time. So the upshot is, despite your fear of lettering any opportunity slip past right now, you should be concentrating your time and energy on the jobs where you stand a real chance (which are the jobs you actually want anyway!) and stop wasting your energy looking for and applying to absolutely anything.

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22 hours ago, MaggieNoodles said:

Hi Everyone,

I have been looking/applying for articling positions but have not had any luck yet. For those of you who found your articling position outside of the formal recruit process, what advice do you have for me? Where did you look for articling positions? Do you know any firms that hire in the next few months? What were your grades? (I have a couple of Cs). Did you network? At this point, I don't mind any area of law but do prefer to work in Toronto.  Your answers are much appreciated! Thank you!

To echo what others have said, in my experience (applying for articling positions myself, and helping conduct my firm's articling recruitment process), I have found that small and medium sized firms are especially concerned with the prospect of their articling students sticking around. Taking on an articling student is an investment on any firm's part - no one wants to spend ten months training someone, only for them to immediately look elsewhere. When there's a small firm, who is likely only hiring one or two articling students in a year and doesn't have a whole host of lawyers and staff to share the "training" responsibilities, finding an articling student who will be a future associate becomes all the more important.  

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I get where you're coming from. I didn't really have a "passion" for any specific area of law upon graduation. I don't think that's as big of a deal as people make it out to be - you can't force what's not there. I also think it would be silly at this stage in the game to not apply to all the job ads you see. Why not at least throw your hat in the ring?

Apply to every job posting you can, but customize your cover letter to make it align with the firm's practice area. A totally generic cover letter won't get you far.

Also, tell *literally everyone* you don't have a job yet and are looking for work. Don't be embarrassed about bringing it up - some random connection or acquaintance might have a lead for you.

I would also recommend cold emailing firms with your resume. (I wouldn't waste energy messaging bigger or midsize firms). Your best bet is to get in touch with small firms outside the city who will be more likely to need help with a sudden surge in clients, etc.

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I know it might not feel this way, but it's hardly too late and you still have plenty of time to find a job before graduation! A lot can happen between now and April/May. I was able to find a lot of (mostly in-house) postings on Indeed, Ziprecruiter, etc. between January and March, and FWIW I didn't secure my articling position until March. Several of my classmates found their articling positions around the same time or in the few months afterwards.

Try hitting up your school's CSO and see if they might have any tips, resources, programs, or upcoming events. My school held a Small Firm Job Fair in March, and specifically gave us a list of firms attending which would be open to hiring articling students. They also compiled a Resume Book of cover letters, resumes, and transcripts of students still looking for jobs, which they circulated around to some smaller firms. I actually had a few firms reach out to me out of the blue after reviewing my materials! 

The Law Society of Ontario's Articling Registry is also a good place to check: https://articlingregistry.lso.ca/ArticleRegistry/article/Login.action

Feel free to message me if you have any further questions, OP! I know how stressful it can be, having gone through the process not too long ago myself. I should also mention that I was able to secure a job in Toronto despite going to school in a different province and not really having connections to the legal market/not doing a lot of networking in Toronto.

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