Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Law 21 and Articling for Law Grads in Ontario

Jordan Furlong, lawyer and editor-in-chief of the Canadian Bar Association's National magazine has a new blog, Law21, that came to my attention via Connie Crosby.

How can he miss, with a provocative profile teaser like this?

In the 21st century, the practice of law is shaking loose from its traditional moorings and heading out into uncharted territory. Opportunities abound, but so do pitfalls. Most of the old rules won’t apply anymore, while some will matter more than ever.

Welcome to the new legal profession, powered by collaboration, innovation, and client service. This is your front-row seat.

Mr. Furlong's comprehensive analysis of the Law Society of Upper Canada's current task force review of Ontario's bar admision and articling processes is a must read (Part 2 is here).

On the topic of articling, I'll quickly opine that it is nothing short of nutty to propose an abolition of the articling requirement for law school graduates.

If the primary issue is that articling jobs are hard to find, surely the Law Society brain trust can bang heads with the Attorney-General's office, Ontario's private law firms, the Legal Aid Plan and the various, cash-starved community legal assistance clinics throughout the Province to create numerically unlimited, supervised articling placements (pro-bono or subsidized) that will actually do something about the chronic access to justice difficulties in this Province.

I personally can't imagine where I would have been on day one of my law practice in 1986 absent the benefit of the mentorship I received during my own articles from Douglas Lissaman, Gordon Atlin and Richard Belsito. Twenty-plus years later, I am still influenced by their lessons and very different philosophies.

The practical apprenticeship component of legal training in this Province is not just an anachronistic throwback to a kinder, gentler era - it is a necessary step in preparing new professionals for practice in the real world.

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto

Visit our Toronto Law Firm website: www.wiselaw.net


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My daughter has done her LLb in the uk. She has also completed her Accreditation exams this Feb2009. She is trying so hard to get an articling position but no luck so far. Feedback she gets thus far is “good luck, law firms in Canada don't recognize foreign law degrees”. My daughter was on the waiting list to get into uni here and rather then wait it out she chose to do some thing about it. She applied to uk universities to gain a global prospective on law and got immediately accepted. It cost her twenty thousand pounds a year only to come back and find herself having to do 9 exams to gain her accreditation. Law is no longer just serving clients in Canada but is a global service and The Law Society has to come to terms with this. Every student should get a placement through the universities and or through the Upper Law Society of Canada. A fund should be set up where every practicing lawyer practicing in Canada should contribute towards this fund as a member and this money then should be used to subsidise the law firms hiring Articling Students. This way every law student will be guaranteed a position with private law firms,Attorney General's Office, Legal Aid plans, Pro bono clinics etc etc.

Can any one help my daughter gain an Articling position in Corp. Law and Real Estate???? Is it wrong for a concerned father, a parent to reach out for help????