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crepemyrtle

OCI on one city, articling in another?

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If I land a summer job in one city and they want to hire me for articling, is it possible to negotiate securing that articling job with the firm in a different city the firm operates in? Technically, with OCIs likely being online/remote this year, I wonder if it makes sense to apply to as many cities as possible to increase the chance of landing an OCI. Thank you.

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13 minutes ago, crepemyrtle said:

If I land a summer job in one city and they want to hire me for articling, is it possible to negotiate securing that articling job with the firm in a different city the firm operates in?

It really depends on whether the firm has an opening for an articling student at that other office. Also, by letting you transfer they would be creating a hole in the office you summered at. My gut feeling is that they wouldn't let you switch offices unless you had a compelling/compassionate reason to do so. You'd probably have a better shot at transferring once you become an associate, but then you'd also  need to transfer your license if you're moving between provinces.

There's a reason that each office hires separately - its to meet their individual needs. You can certainly try, but you have to accept that the most likely outcome is being stuck where you are (or leaving the firm entirely). 

13 minutes ago, crepemyrtle said:

I wonder if it makes sense to apply to as many cities as possible to increase the chance of landing an OCI.

If BigLaw is so important that it takes priority over where you want to live, then go for it. This question makes me concerned that you're overly focused on OCIs - don't forget that the vast majority of jobs exist outside of the OCI process.

Edited by canuckfanatic
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Thank you - that makes sense. I thought the transferability was simple, so I figured if the summer jobs are online, I would apply everywhere. However, your response encourages me to cold call firms outside of the OCI process. 

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10 hours ago, crepemyrtle said:

If I land a summer job in one city and they want to hire me for articling, is it possible to negotiate securing that articling job with the firm in a different city the firm operates in? Technically, with OCIs likely being online/remote this year, I wonder if it makes sense to apply to as many cities as possible to increase the chance of landing an OCI. Thank you.

I think if the firm likes you, if they think they will lose you if they don't transfer you, and the other office needs/wants you, then that sort of transfer is possible.

Is that all going to line up between one summer and articling? Maybe. But generally I've seen that sort of move done after a few years of practise because the person is moving to be with family, a spouse, etc. 

If you tell you home office "I just don't want to be here, can I go to Toronto?", I suspect the firm will not be happy. 

Summer students sometimes spend a summer or few months in another office, but my impressions is that, for articling and practise, they are looking at locking people down so they can train them and make them profit as soon as possible. 

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This sounds like a question that is very employer specific.

All you can do is ask each employer, or simply submit a cover letter and CV where you clearly lay out your plans. It might hurt your chances of hearing back from them, but if you do, then you know that they are at least open to considering your plan.

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7 minutes ago, SNAILS said:

Simply submit a cover letter and CV where you clearly lay out your plans. It might hurt your chances of hearing back from them, but if you do, then you know that they are at least open to considering your plan.

There's no "might" about it. No point putting in an application if you're going to do that; you won't be getting an interview if you do.

National firms with offices in different cities have separate recruiting for each office for a reason. Some statement along the lines of "I don't actually want to work in Calgary, I really want to work in Toronto but this is my fallback workaround if you don't hire me there directly" is not going to play well.

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14 minutes ago, SNAILS said:

This sounds like a question that is very employer specific.

All you can do is ask each employer, or simply submit a cover letter and CV where you clearly lay out your plans. It might hurt your chances of hearing back from them, but if you do, then you know that they are at least open to considering your plan.

Really bad advice

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One thing about this forum is that one can't get away with even a slight inaccuracy in one's wording.

So ya, if you write that on your resume and cover letter, you have a very low chance of getting an interview. By that same logic, you can't bring it up during the hiring process either, nor within your first few months of employment.

At that point you will be in a situation where you are working at a firm where your bosses' understanding of your commitment to the firm does not match the reality of the situation.

So you will be asking for a transfer later, and the success of this request is quite unpredictable for anyone on these forums since we do not even know the size of the firm, the locations out of which they operate, your niche role within that firm, how the economy with develop in that particular legal niche and location, and how the pandemic will impact all of this.

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3 minutes ago, SNAILS said:

One thing about this forum is that one can't get away with even a slight inaccuracy in one's wording.

Nah, you’re just dispensing bad advice for things you, a law applicant, have yet to actually experience in the legal profession. It’s confusing for people seeking relevant advice and annoying to those who have to correct you.

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31 minutes ago, SNAILS said:

One thing about this forum is that one can't get away with even a slight inaccuracy in one's wording.

So ya, if you write that on your resume and cover letter, you have a very low chance of getting an interview. By that same logic, you can't bring it up during the hiring process either, nor within your first few months of employment.

At that point you will be in a situation where you are working at a firm where your bosses' understanding of your commitment to the firm does not match the reality of the situation.

So you will be asking for a transfer later, and the success of this request is quite unpredictable for anyone on these forums since we do not even know the size of the firm, the locations out of which they operate, your niche role within that firm, how the economy with develop in that particular legal niche and location, and how the pandemic will impact all of this.

Your chance of getting an interview would be 0%. If you want to work in Toronto, apply for Toronto OCIs. Not Calgary ones with a cover letter saying you actually want to work in Toronto. If you put that in your cover letter, at best, the recruiter is going to think you're too stupid figure out how to apply for OCIs in the city you actually want to work in. At worst, they are going to think you're trying to circumvent the competitiveness of the Toronto recruit by sneaking into a Toronto position through Calgary OCIs. 

Hiring in the legal profession is quite unique. I don't think it's possible to give helpful advice on this topic as a law applicant, unless you have also worked in the legal profession. I'm saying that as someone who was pretty senior prior to law school in a different industry, which included being very involved in hiring. Law is completely different. 

To the OP - adding on to what @canuckfanatic is saying, I have heard of people switching offices due to compassionate reasons e.g. their parent got really sick and they needed to move cities to care for them. Or their spouse got a job in a city across the country (this person was an associate when they moved, which I think is also relevant). A firm isn't going to respond positively if you plan ahead of time to move cities between summer and articling just because you would rather be in that city. I think moving as an associate would be a lot easier, if you are worried about needing to move home later.

Edited by Starling
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The gist of how this works (i.e. it's possible to do as a result of life happening after you get hired, but not something one should plan on from the outset) has been articulated.

I'll just add that employers in markets generally considered less "desirable" by out of town applicants (e.g. my home province of Alberta) are very much aware that some students will apply with the intention of summering and/or articling with them and then bailing to their preferred city ASAP. Screening for this and gauging the sincerity of applicants' long-term intentions to live and work in their city is a huge part of their interview processes; arguably even the biggest consideration. Legal employers know how this works and they aren't stupid, and they want a return on their investment in students.

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I think the answer to the original question is pretty clear, but I'm going to stick my neck out and ask about the reverse of the suspect pattern. For instance, if I managed to get recruited by a major firm in Vancouver, with the ultimate goal of transferring to Edmonton. Would it be less problematic that way? Am I the first person ever to ask? ;)

-GM

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1 hour ago, GrumpyMountie said:

I think the answer to the original question is pretty clear, but I'm going to stick my neck out and ask about the reverse of the suspect pattern. For instance, if I managed to get recruited by a major firm in Vancouver, with the ultimate goal of transferring to Edmonton. Would it be less problematic that way? Am I the first person ever to ask? ;)

-GM

The difference in that dynamic relates to the recruitment and selection process in the first place. In contrast to what I wrote about a place like Edmonton above, applicants would be unlikely to ever be asked why they want to work in Toronto and if they are willing to stay there--Torontonians just assume that everyone wants to live and work there. Similarly if you go to UBC, UVic (i.e. your case) or TRU, it's unlikely interviewers will question your interest in working in Vancouver.

The transfer process afterwards would still be dependent upon your and the firm's offices' needs, and those doing the hiring would still likely be unhappy knowing that those were your intentions in the first place. But the difference is that you could likely get away with simply not mentioning this until the time was right, rather than having to bullshit them initially.

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