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Articling during COVID-19 shutdown

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2 minutes ago, Jaggers said:

It's Bluejay AI now.

I'm not familiar with that case... I've only dabbled. 

 

;)

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6 hours ago, Jaggers said:

You also did not consider the different common law treatment of fixed-term vs indefinite contracts of employment.

This was my thinking. 

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On a brighter note, the LSO finally emailed us with an update that was empathetic (included an excerpt below). Really glad that they're talking about holding a ceremony after this ordeal is over 

 

Quote

Many of you have asked whether it would be better to postpone the calls to the bar that were to take place in June, rather than to cancel them. If we were to postpone or reschedule the planned call to the bar ceremonies without implementing an administrative or paper call, this would result in a delay in granting licensure, affecting your ability to promptly proceed with your legal careers.
 
We recognize the symbolic importance that the call to the bar ceremonies provide for candidates after many years of study and preparation. We are working on plans to hold ceremonies that will provide an opportunity for you to gather with friends, family, and colleagues to celebrate your achievements, for those who are interested in participating.
 
Due to the evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is challenging to predict when it will be possible to schedule such an event, and there are significant logistical challenges that we have to contend with. I assure you that we are working on it. We will provide further information as soon as feasible.
 
I want to acknowledge the very real challenges and difficulties that candidates are facing as a result of the impacts of COVID-19. We are committed to assisting you wherever possible and we continue to work on solutions and make adjustments to our processes in response. We also recognize the extraordinary efforts being made by your law schools, mentors and other supporters; together we are working to get you through these challenging times and to tackle this complex situation. I thank you for your patience.

 

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6 minutes ago, ZineZ said:

On a brighter note, the LSO finally emailed us with an update that was empathetic (included an excerpt below). Really glad that they're talking about holding a ceremony after this ordeal is over 

 

 

They must have gotten quite a backlash for such a quick response. Really glad to see it though!

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Did they provide any further guidelines on whether they would consider approving a longer length of time in the future?

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On 4/1/2020 at 8:57 PM, lookingaround said:

To be fair to LSBC, allowing lengthy abridgements is severely problematic on a basic level - if the articling term is truly necessary to turn out qualified lawyers, then allowing an abridgement due to a viral outbreak means illness=ok to have unqualified lawyers practicing. If, however, people can be let free with society confident they'll do just as good a job as if they hadn't had the abridgement, it questions why in any event articling is the length that it is.

 

I know the US doesn't require articling, but for whatever reason, Canadian law societies have decided it's necessary. If they're right, I wouldn't want them allowing abridgements that counted towards the term required, while students were not in fact learning, and if they're wrong/want to change that opinion, I wouldn't want them to reverse course later just because an illness was over.

To this point, however, there are a  lot of incompetent lawyers who have finished their articling terms..... I know because I've dealt with some who don't know how to do basic things in civil litigation and have no business sense (despite practicing for many years). I think competence really depends on whether or not the individual practicing wants to learn anyways. Besides, there is no reason that the additional months that need to be covered can't be done through a module.... it is the 21st century and many lawyers will need to be tech savy in the future anyways 

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1 hour ago, honeybear said:

Did they provide any further guidelines on whether they would consider approving a longer length of time in the future?

If you are talking about approving an abridgement request (e.g. if you got laid off and we’re expected to finish is June), the current answer is no. 
 

I applied to abridge approximately 9 weeks and they only approved me for the maximum 6 week period, which means I’m on the hook for the remaining 3 weeks before I can be called. 🙄

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9 minutes ago, ottawhat said:

 

I applied to abridge approximately 9 weeks and they only approved me for the maximum 6 week period, which means I’m on the hook for the remaining 3 weeks before I can be called. 🙄

But what do they expect you to do for those 3 weeks? Unpaid work for your current firm?

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9 minutes ago, Disputes said:

But what do they expect you to do for those 3 weeks? Unpaid work for your current firm?

These are the questions I asked, and the answer I got was, “things are constantly changing and we advise you to keep checking the LSO website for further updates.”

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On 4/1/2020 at 5:57 PM, lookingaround said:

To be fair to LSBC, allowing lengthy abridgements is severely problematic on a basic level - if the articling term is truly necessary to turn out qualified lawyers, then allowing an abridgement due to a viral outbreak means illness=ok to have unqualified lawyers practicing. If, however, people can be let free with society confident they'll do just as good a job as if they hadn't had the abridgement, it questions why in any event articling is the length that it is.

 

I know the US doesn't require articling, but for whatever reason, Canadian law societies have decided it's necessary. If they're right, I wouldn't want them allowing abridgements that counted towards the term required, while students were not in fact learning, and if they're wrong/want to change that opinion, I wouldn't want them to reverse course later just because an illness was over.

While I agree you on the logistics of setting up a potential abridgements for the BC legal market, I do not believe that the COVID-19 health crisis presents "no" solutions that the LSBC/ and or LSAP could adopt. 

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On 3/27/2020 at 3:31 PM, pzabbythesecond said:

Oh yes, now I see. I agree then. But even then, in a sense that's what EI is for - unemployment and lay offs. It's just brutal being unemployed that early on with as much debt we tend to have, so I am sympathetic.

In order to qualify for Employment Insurance ("EI") you have to be employed for 52 weeks prior to the start date of your claim.

Most Articling students intending to apply for regular EI would run afoul of this rule.

By law, regular employers must submit a Record of Employment ("ROE") within five days after your last day of your employment. Subject to any recent legislative change, most provincial employment standard acts exclude professions such as lawyers because they have special rules.

Most Articling students intending to apply for regular EI would require an ROE from their employer. However, given that lawyers are not regulated by provincial employment standards, the production of an ROE can be delayed because a lawyer is not required by law to provide an ROE within the same timeframes that regular employers are. 

The foregoing information may be relevant, particularly for articling students who have been laid off prior to March 15, 2020, or for those students who will remain unemployed after October 3, 2020.

On a different note, I commend students who despite this global pandemic and their financial hardships remain committed to completing their professional obligations. 

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3 minutes ago, Dren41 said:

In order to qualify for Employment Insurance ("EI") you have to be employed for 52 weeks prior to the start date of your claim.

I didnt know this, and this is problematic on many levels.

That being said, if you work for 52 weeks uninterrupted, but two separate jobs (I.e not any one for 52 weeks or longer, but both totaling 52 with no interruption) would you qualify?*

*this may be venturing into legal advice territory, so mods feel free to delete or warn me here. I'm not sure if it is.

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3 minutes ago, pzabbythesecond said:

I didnt know this, and this is problematic on many levels.

That being said, if you work for 52 weeks uninterrupted, but two separate jobs (I.e not any one for 52 weeks or longer, but both totaling 52 with no interruption) would you qualify?*

*this may be venturing into legal advice territory, so mods feel free to delete or warn me here. I'm not sure if it is.

Is it not hours?

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I know many articling students who have gone on EI in between articling and starting back as an associate. So while I'm not going to look it up and venture to provide advice either, I think articling students typically qualify.

Edited by CoffeeandLaw

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Yes, it's based on hours, and it varies by region depending on unemployment levels. Generally 3-6 months of full-time work.

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19 minutes ago, pzabbythesecond said:

I really don't know, I've never had to apply for EI.

To get EI you must have worked at least 600 hours during your qualifying period.

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4 minutes ago, Dren41 said:

To get EI you must have worked at least 600 hours during your qualifying period.

That number is for EI sickness, maternity, parental, compassionate care, or family caregiver benefits. Not normal EI benefits for unemployment.

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Deleted some posts. Let's not get bogged down in arguing pls. Thx.

PS - Also we're treading close to providing legal advice so please ratchet down the specific analysis.

Edited by Ryn

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43 minutes ago, Dren41 said:

In order to qualify for Employment Insurance ("EI") you have to be employed for 52 weeks prior to the start date of your claim.

Most Articling students intending to apply for regular EI would run afoul of this rule.

By law, regular employers must submit a Record of Employment ("ROE") within five days after your last day of your employment. Subject to any recent legislative change, most provincial employment standard acts exclude professions such as lawyers because they have special rules.

Most Articling students intending to apply for regular EI would require an ROE from their employer. However, given that lawyers are not regulated by provincial employment standards, the production of an ROE can be delayed because a lawyer is not required by law to provide an ROE within the same timeframes that regular employers are. 

The foregoing information may be relevant, particularly for articling students who have been laid off prior to March 15, 2020, or for those students who will remain unemployed after October 3, 2020.

On a different note, I commend students who despite this global pandemic and their financial hardships remain committed to completing their professional obligations. 

This post is incorrect and misleading. You shouldn't be posting information on this if you don't have the expertise. EI looks at your previous 52 weeks to determine if you have sufficient hours (this number is variable depending on your region). Most people working full-time will have no issues meeting that hours requirement after 6 months of employment (i.e. the maximum number of hours is 700 for areas with the lowest unemployment: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/programs/ei/ei-list/reports/regular-benefits/eligibilty.html), and often less.

The requirement to issue a Record of Employment is a federal requirement applicable to all employers who have employees engaged in "insurable employment." This applies to law firms employing articling students and associates. Provincial employment standards regulation are completely irrelevant. 

The typical articling student who has worked for several months should qualify for regular EI (i.e. 55% of their previous salary to a maximum of $573 per week). 

Edited by jjbean

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Seems this thread is becoming the hotly anticipated sequel to "Summer Position during COVID19." So, the question we're all wondering about:

Does your firm need to post your photo to its website to qualify for EI?

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