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Jf37

Applying for Articles in Rural towns

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Hi all,

I am looking for some advice regarding applying to article in small, rural towns in western Canada. I will be cold applying to most of the firms I have identified as potentially good fits. If anyone has experienced the process of applying and securing articles in small town locales, I would appreciate your input on the following questions:

1. how is it best to reach out to these firms?

2. being from out of province, but completing 2 years of Law school in B.C., I understand I must show some connection or commitment to living in the community. does a lack of personal connection affect my chances? 

3. I have scoured this website and others looking for potential income information. does anybody have a semi-reliable figure when it comes to being an associate at a small town firm? 

any and all information is appreciated. thanks!

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Phone in, don't just email. I had way better responses from cold calling over cold emails. 

Salary is pretty much impossible to tell without a practice area and town.

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Have your materials ready to forward to them before you call. Being prepared and responsive can reflect genuine desire. 

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2 hours ago, lawstudent20202020 said:

Phone in, don't just email. I had way better responses from cold calling over cold emails. 

Salary is pretty much impossible to tell without a practice area and town.

Small towns to me, being from a very small town already, would be generally from 5-25,000 people.

Many firms in towns of that size are general practices, touching on many areas (family, wills, real estate, etc). 

Any idea on salary with that in mind? I appreciate the advice. It is very difficult to find good information about articling in small towns. 

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Posted (edited)

1. Cold emailing also works - it's how I found my articles. Make sure you have a genuine interest when you apply, though, and when you send cover letters don't just copy+paste them.

2. It might affect your chances, at least a little, but only because they might worry about putting in the resources to train someone and then having that person leave after they were done articling. Be prepared to explain why you want to work in the town, and draw on any connections you can.

3. Agreed about salary - it depends on the location and practice area. However, according to some very general info I've gotten from our career services (although it was from a survey a few years ago), 1st year associate salary for BC's Lower Mainland, Kamloops, Kelowna and the Interior averages between $50-75k. In AB it was the same for areas outside of Edmonton/Calgary and between $75k-100k in Calgary.

Hope that helps, it is pretty hard to find any info on it. 

Edited by pyrrah

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Posted (edited)

write better on email them! what exactly do you want to start?

Edited by Amy7g1q

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On 5/28/2020 at 10:39 PM, Jf37 said:

Small towns to me, being from a very small town already, would be generally from 5-25,000 people.

Many firms in towns of that size are general practices, touching on many areas (family, wills, real estate, etc). 

Any idea on salary with that in mind? I appreciate the advice. It is very difficult to find good information about articling in small towns. 

I am in a town most would consider small/rural but you would probably consider mid-sized. There are almost no articling students. Generally, firms/lawyers just don't seem to have the excess money for them or they don't see them as providing value. I think at any given time the community legal clinic in my town probably has close to the same amount of articling students as the rest of the town combined, and the clinic tends to have 2 students. 

There are exceptions. Small town firms can still have big dreams, and certain firms looking to grow might have something that looks like an articling program. Or, similarly, a larger firm might have a satellite office in a small town and an articling student who splits time between that location and their main office. A lawyer looking to expand or have more time off or time to do other types of work might hire an articling student to be their future junior associate. Lawyers looking to retire in ~5 years sometimes hire articling students with the idea of educating a successor. Some lawyers hire articling students as cheap labour. If you can make $50,000 for articles in a small town you're probably comfortably above average ($50,000 as a first year call might be close enough to average). I would think that a good chunk of the articling jobs are closer to minimum wage. 

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