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Moosatron

Laid-off articling student looking for advice

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20 minutes ago, Moosatron said:

I should also say i'm in Calgary I suppose. 

Ouch, are you looking outside the Calgary market? I don't think that city is ever going to recover.

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well I was starting to think that I should seriously consider moving outside of the city and looking more rural. I live in a condo so up until now I haven't really considered it. I've also completed 5 months, which means if I don't want to do the bar exam equivalent and have to do a full year to complete articles in another province I need to stay in Alberta. 

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You said you graduated in 2018 and were laid off in 2019 - that puts you at probably over a year since you've been laid off? Not trying to be negative, but I'm not sure I understand the gap. Have you been looking for articles this whole time? 

My advice would be to focus on simply sending out your resume and cover letter to as many places as possible. It's a better use of your time to simply send out an application, tell them you need X more months of articles due to the circumstances, and that you'd be happy to meet to discuss further. 

 

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9 minutes ago, tuquoque said:

You said you graduated in 2018 and were laid off in 2019 - that puts you at probably over a year since you've been laid off? Not trying to be negative, but I'm not sure I understand the gap. Have you been looking for articles this whole time? 

My advice would be to focus on simply sending out your resume and cover letter to as many places as possible. It's a better use of your time to simply send out an application, tell them you need X more months of articles due to the circumstances, and that you'd be happy to meet to discuss further. 

 

I have been trying to get an articling job for that long tuquoque. As far as my experience goes it seems like employers would prefer to hire a brand new articling student rather than an articling student that has been laid off. Moreover, Calgary has been in a huge recession, I've met lawyers who said they would have a job for me but for the state of their practice due to the economy. And this was before Covid-19 hit. It's been bad enough that a few months after I started the LSA reduced the articling period to 8 months and allowed students to start PREP, the renamed CPLED bar admission program before getting an articling position.

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5 hours ago, Trew said:

While I agree with your overall position in not pursuing this matter further, either as a civil action or a regulatory complaint, I nonetheless think the LSA should be more active in these circumstances. If we accept the premise that articling is a licensing requirement that instills competence, then the LSA should be as concerned with this as they would be with cheating on the bar exams. Simply put, this employer should not be supervising any articling students in the future unless they have a valid justification for this sudden termination. Given that no notice was given, they should at least have to claim that covid affected their bottom line and they couldn't afford to employ you anymore. 

The LSA requires you to file a report when you terminate articles, I imagine said report includes a reason for dismissal. 

And while it sounds nice to say the law societies should be more involved in terminating articles, I don't think students would actually want that. At the bare minimum, cracking down on articling principals would lead to fewer articling principals, which would harm students far more than the principals. But an obvious and concerning knock-on effect would be that it's likely not that hard to make out a claim of incompetence against many articling students. If principals are suddenly required to truly justify the reason for terminating, many will keep a clear log of the articling students failures. If that happens, what's to stop the law societies from coming in, seeing that the student is incompetent, and wiping clear the months of service they've already completed? 

So while it's easy to say the law societies should be more involved in this kind of thing, it's easy to see how further involvement could harm students quite significantly. 

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1 hour ago, Moosatron said:

I have been trying to get an articling job for that long tuquoque. As far as my experience goes it seems like employers would prefer to hire a brand new articling student rather than an articling student that has been laid off. Moreover, Calgary has been in a huge recession, I've met lawyers who said they would have a job for me but for the state of their practice due to the economy. And this was before Covid-19 hit. It's been bad enough that a few months after I started the LSA reduced the articling period to 8 months and allowed students to start PREP, the renamed CPLED bar admission program before getting an articling position.

At this point, I would consider enrolling in the LPP in Ontario. Getting called should be your priority

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4 hours ago, Moosatron said:

I have been trying to get an articling job for that long tuquoque. As far as my experience goes it seems like employers would prefer to hire a brand new articling student rather than an articling student that has been laid off. Moreover, Calgary has been in a huge recession, I've met lawyers who said they would have a job for me but for the state of their practice due to the economy. And this was before Covid-19 hit. It's been bad enough that a few months after I started the LSA reduced the articling period to 8 months and allowed students to start PREP, the renamed CPLED bar admission program before getting an articling position.

Sorry to hear. My understanding is that the change to the articling period would not affect you since you enrolled prior to Jan 1, 2019? Either way, it doesn't necessarily seem like a bad thing in your case - that means the firm only has to take you on for a few months of articling before you get called. 

My experience is that the casual coffee meeting type networking really won't get you an article. I wouldn't be shy about just sending off applications wherever you can and candidly explain your situation. At the very least, you will probably get a straight answer more quickly. 

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15 hours ago, tuquoque said:

Sorry to hear. My understanding is that the change to the articling period would not affect you since you enrolled prior to Jan 1, 2019? Either way, it doesn't necessarily seem like a bad thing in your case - that means the firm only has to take you on for a few months of articling before you get called. 

My experience is that the casual coffee meeting type networking really won't get you an article. I wouldn't be shy about just sending off applications wherever you can and candidly explain your situation. At the very least, you will probably get a straight answer more quickly. 

Thanks tuquoque, 

I think I will follow your advice and outright apply for articles with firms, but I will also do so offering composite articles as small firms may not be able to handle 7 months but 3 or 4 months or even less might be good enough for them. 

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