We generally hire eight articling students, including our returning summer students. In 2018, we expect to hire an additional four students for 2019/20 articles. We have already hired our students for 2018/19 articles.
Many of our students clerk with the courts prior to commencing articles. We provide clerks with the usual 12-month articling program, including the Professional Legal Training Course (“PLTC”) even though they can usually be called after PLTC and four months of articles. Clerks will be paid as first year Associates after their call, even when they continue in their student rotations.
We strive to give our students meaningful legal work that develops their skills and knowledge, and furthers their education. Types of work include: research; drafting pleadings, agreements and other documents; preparing for and attending chambers, trials, hearings, examinations for discovery and meetings; interviewing witnesses; reviewing documents; and preparing seminar papers and other presentations on various legal issues.
To understand more about a typical day in the life of an articling student, see stage 6 of our “Student Life” series.
We consider Alexander Holburn Beaudin + Lang LLP to be an ideal learning environment for new lawyers. We are a regionally-based firm with local, national and international clients. We are a multi-service firm rather than a boutique. We are of moderate size, allowing our lawyers to gain a greater degree of diversity in their practice and the firm to maintain a more congenial environment. All of these things come to bear on our articled student rotation program.
In our experience, most young lawyers are not entirely sure where their practice preferences lie until they have had an opportunity to experience life practicing in different areas of the law. Upon joining our firm as an articled student, you will be placed in a rotational system to maximize your exposure to a diverse range of legal areas. In each rotation, we actively encourage our students to seek out work in their areas of interest and assume as much responsibility as possible under the guidance of senior lawyers.
Although we recognize that good research skills are essential to your development as a lawyer, we do our best to ensure that the articling experience is much broader than research.
During our litigation rotation, we expect that our students will:
- Prepare pleadings;
- Accompany counsel on examinations for discovery, trials, hearings and mediations;
- Prepare legal memoranda;
- Attend meetings with clients and experts;
- Regularly appear in Chambers; and
- Have conduct of their own small claims files and run small claims trials.
Students will also meet with our senior litigation lawyers to develop strategy in pending cases and prepare matters for trial.
During the rotation in our business law practice, students will likely be engaged in drafting:
- Commercial contracts;
- Wills and trusts;
- Shareholder agreements;
- Franchise agreements;
- Licensing agreements;
- Distribution agreements; and
- Development and management agreements.
Students will also research and prepare legal memoranda, meet with clients and prepare documents relating to residential and commercial real estate transactions and the purchase and sale of corporations through share or asset sales. Students may also assist in private and public financings.
Our firm has made fostering legal talent a priority.
In addition to our ASCEND™ training program, our articling program includes an intensive orientation and a “Student Boot Camp” series of in-house seminars, designed to ensure that our students’ hands-on education is supplemented with more formal training. We also offer our students bi-weekly lunch seminars on practical subjects.
Our Director of Associate and Student Programs is a Partner of the firm who devotes all of her time to supporting and developing our junior legal talent. Students are also assigned a senior and junior mentor.
We include our articled students in all firm functions throughout the year.
This gives students an opportunity to meet with lawyers and staff on a social basis. We also sponsor functions for students alone, to build camaraderie within our student group. It is our intention that, at the end of the articling experience, our students will not only have had a thorough professional experience, but will also have established friendships which will last throughout the balance of their professional careers.
Our articling students are paid an annual salary of $55,000 ($4,583 per month).
We also cover all of the typical lawyer membership expenses for our students, including the British Columbia Law Society and PLTC enrolment fees, as well as the Call and Admission fee. We also pay the cost of Canadian Bar Association and Vancouver Bar Association memberships for our students.
Other aspects of our program include the following:
- Articled students are given 10 paid vacation days, and payment of salary during the 10-week Professional Legal Training Course;
- Our ASCEND™ training program includes a series of courses for students that include legal, marketing, IT and personal development program opportunities; and
- Students are provided with their own offices, computer with Quicklaw, Westlaw and Internet access, legal administration services, and office services support. Our students are well-supported.