To bring this back on track:
@BringBackCrunchBerries I believe in this case, the unpaid articles - given the OPs desire to not work in litigation - might be the best choice for them. The marketplace likely isn't great for articling students right now, especially at this late stage in the game. I would also personally advise against the LPP since it very much still carries stigma and employers looking at OP for a first year associate position might judge them for it.
on an application, it would be impossible (and I think an offence) for an employer to ask OP if their job was paid or not. If the firm is even mildly reputable, and if the OP is in a position to take the financial hit, this honestly seems like a decent option for them.