Court of Appeal Articling Program

ARTICLING PROGRAM


Articles of Clerkship with the Court of Appeal of Alberta

Each year, the Court of Appeal of Alberta invites applications for articling student positions in Edmonton and Calgary.

The Articling Program 

Court of Appeal of Alberta articling students gain valuable insight into appellate reasoning and decision-making processes. Discussion and interaction among students, justices and legal counsel is encouraged and there is, generally, an open-door policy at the Court.

During the course of their articling term with the Court, students hone their legal research, analysis and writing skills and learn valuable lessons in the art of advocacy by observing counsel in court.

In fulfilling their duties, students are exposed to many areas of the law, including: administrative, constitutional, contract, corporate and commercial, criminal, employment, family, tort and wills and estates law.

Duties

Articling students review motion and appeal materials, research a broad range of legal issues and prepare pre- and post-hearing memoranda of fact and law. They may also be asked to review, edit and comment on draft reasons for judgments or application decisions, and/or assist justices with speeches and academic papers and presentations.

While articling with the Court of Appeal of Alberta, students must complete the Law Society of Alberta’s Education Plan. The Education Plan requires students to obtain practical experience, training and mentoring in key competency areas: 1. ethics and professionalism, 2. practice management, 3. client relationship management, 4. conducting matters, and 5. adjudication, alternative dispute resolution.

Students are encouraged to complete the Canadian Centre for Professional Legal Education (CPLED) program during their articling term with the Court.

Other Educational Opportunities 

Students receive a comprehensive orientation to the Court of Appeal of Alberta and its legal research resources at the commencement of their articles.

Students also attend numerous tours and seminars during their articling term with the Court. The tours and seminars introduce students to the inner workings of the Alberta court system and review a broad range of practice areas. Justices and other court officials present most of the tours and seminars.

Resources 

Although articled to a single justice, students will have an opportunity to work with most, if not all, of the justices of the Court of Appeal of Alberta. They are also encouraged to seek information and advice from the Court's legal counsel and librarians.

Students have offices in the same areas as the justices and their staff. They have full access to judicial libraries, the Alberta Law Libraries and many online legal research resources.


Start Date and Term of Employment 

The start dates vary. Generally, some students commence their employment at the beginning of June and some start at the beginning of August.

Students articled to a justice of the Court of Appeal of Alberta complete a ten-month term with the Court. In order to be admitted to the Alberta bar, they must also complete a five-month articling term with an Alberta lawyer.


Salary and Benefits 

As of April 2016, the articling students' bi-weekly salary is $1988.30. 

Students are entitled to ten vacation days and up to fifteen sick leave days during their articling term with the Court of Appeal of Alberta. They are also eligible to participate in an Alberta government employee benefits program which includes: group life insurance, extended medical benefits and accidental death and dismemberment insurance plans.

The Alberta government pays the students' Law Society of Alberta application and admission and CPLED program registration fees. 

Qualifications

Articling students must have a Canadian common law degree or an equivalent qualification recognized by the Law Society of Alberta.

The Court of Appeal of Alberta seeks students of good character and reputation with strong academic records and well-developed legal research, analysis and writing skills. It hires individuals who are motivated and demonstrate an ability to produce high quality work under strict deadlines. Ideal candidates are good team players and capable of working well in a cooperative and collaborative work environment.


Other Requirements

Offers of employment made to articling students are conditional on the candidate passing a security screening.

As new employees of the Alberta government, students will be required to take and subscribe an oath. The text of the oath can be found in section 20 of the Public Service Act, RSA 2000, c. P-42.

At all times during their articling term with the Court of Appeal of Alberta and afterwards, students must keep in confidence, and not disclose to anyone outside of the Court, anything relating to the work they do for the Court.


How to Apply

All 2018-2019 articling applications (including transcripts and reference letters) must be received by noon on December 1, 2016. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Candidates must submit:

1. a cover letter;
2. a curriculum vitae;
3. all post-secondary transcripts;
4. one academic reference letter (which comments on the candidate's legal research, analysis and writing skills);
5. the names of, and contact information for, two additional referees; and
6. a legal writing sample (approximately five to fifteen pages in length).

Although an application package may include copies of post-secondary transcripts, if a conditional offer of employment is received from the Court of Appeal of Alberta, official transcripts must be provided.

The reference letter must be: (i) sent separately by the referee or (ii) included in the application package in a sealed envelope with the referee’s signature across the seal. If an application package is submitted electronically, the reference letter must be sent separately by the referee (via e-mail or regular mail).

Application packages should be marked “Articling Application”.

To apply for an articling student position in Edmonton, please send an application package to:

Madam Justice F. L. Schutz
Court of Appeal of Alberta
5th Floor, Law Courts Building
1A Sir Winston Churchill Square
Edmonton, AB T5J 0R2

To submit an application package electronically, please e-mail the package to Sharif Farrag, Legal Counsel, at sharif.farrag@albertacourts.ca

To apply for an articling student position in Calgary, please send an application package to:

Madam Justice P.A. Rowbotham
Court of Appeal of Alberta
TransCanada Pipelines Tower
2600, 450 1st Street S.W.
Calgary, AB T2P 5H1

To submit an application package electronically, please e-mail the package to Laurel Watson, Legal Counsel, at laurel.watson@albertacourts.ca

Those who wish to be considered for articling student positions in Edmonton and Calgary must send separate application packages to each city and are encouraged to indicate their preferred location in their cover letter.


Interviews

Interviews will be conducted by one Court of Appeal of Alberta justice and one legal counsel. In Calgary, interviews will be in late December 2016. In Edmonton, interviews will be in January 2017 and possibly in late December 2016 for out-of-province candidates.

The Court does not pay interview travel expenses. Interviews typically last about twenty minutes.


Further Information

For further information, please contact the Court of Appeal of Alberta's legal counsel and/or current articling students:

In Edmonton:

  • Sharif Farrag, Legal Counsel, 780.422.9718, sharif.farrag@albertacourts.ca
  • Emily Chick, Student-at-Law, 780.644.3611, emily.chick@albertacourts.ca
  • Kathleen Elhatton-Lake, Student-at-Law, 780.644.3610, kathleen.elhatton-lake@albertacourts.ca
  • Nicholas Willis, Student-at-Law, 780.644.3612, nicholas.willis@albertacourts.ca
  • Brenna Meade-Clift, Student-at-Law, 780.415.0006, brenna.meade-clift@albertacourts.ca
  • Bradon Willms, Student-at-Law, 780-415-0007, bradon.willms@albertacourts.ca

  • In Calgary:

  • Laurel Watson, Legal Counsel, 403.297.6692, laurel.watson@albertacourts.ca
  • Elsbeth Cochrane, Student-at-Law, 403.476.4708, elsbeth.cochrane@albertacourts.ca
  • Lauren Mills Taylor, Student-at-Law, 403.476.4709, lauren.mills@albertacourts.ca
  • Antonia Alisauskas, Student-at-Law, 403.355.4085, antonia.alisauskas@albertacourts.ca
  • Justin Lafferty, Student-at-Law, 403.355.4248, justin.lafferty@albertacourts.ca