Provincial Court of Alberta
The Provincial Court of Alberta came into being in 1973 pursuant to the provisions of the Provincial Court Act, S.A. 1971, c. 86. However, the Court can trace its roots back to the Canada Jurisdiction Act 1803 (U.K.), 43 George III, c. 138. In 1873, Justices of the Peace were appointed pursuant to an ordinance passed by the Territorial Council. The Provincial Court has now grown from a court originally composed of lay magistrates, into a full trial court of record with over 110 full-time sitting judges.
The Court sits in 74 locations in the province, and through a variety of provincial and federal statutes, exercises extensive jurisdiction in criminal, civil, family, and youth matters. Most of the residents of Alberta who have dealings with the judicial system find themselves in the Provincial Court. The Court is very conscious of the fact that it is from interaction with this Court that many people form their view of the administration of justice in Alberta.
The Articling Program
Each student-at-law is assigned to an individual judge who is the student's principal. While that judge may sit primarily in one division of the Court, the student is available to, and encouraged to work with, all members of the Court in all three divisions - Civil, Family/Youth and Criminal. It is through these relationships that the student articling with the Provincial Court gains a unique insight into litigation from behind the bench.
The student and the principal work together to monitor the work experience of the student so that at the end of the 10-month articling period a student will have enjoyed a varied and balanced workload. The work assigned to a student-at-law will include research and the writing of legal memoranda, attendance in court, file and evidence organization, review and analysis of materials submitted by counsel, and meeting with judges to analyze and discuss specific cases and issues. Students may also review, edit or discuss draft judgments.
Students articling with the Provincial Court participate in a number of seminars and discussions on topics of interest to prospective practicing lawyers. Arrangements are made to ensure that articling students attend in the Provincial Court, Court of Queen’s Bench, and the Court of Appeal, and meet with the presiding judges and justices as required by the terms of the Law Society’s Education Plan.Students are provided with an orientation and the training necessary to effectively employ on-line and other research resources including the Judicial Library. Students are also encouraged to consult with Provincial Court Legal Counsel.
Articling students will find the Provincial Court atmosphere to be collegial, team oriented, and supportive. They will also find that articling with the Provincial Court provides them with a unique opportunity to participate in the practical application of law which they have been studying for three years in law school. In short, the Provincial Court's articling students will see the law in operation on the "front lines."
Number & Location of Students
While each Provincial Court Judge is permitted by statute to act as a principal to a student-at-law, practical budgetary and personnel constraints limit the number of articling positions which can be offered. Generally, two to four positions are offered in Calgary and one is offered in Edmonton.
Judges in other base points of the Court (e.g., Lethbridge, Red Deer, etc.) may choose to take on a student-at-law, and students interested in articling with the Court at a location other than Calgary or Edmonton should not hesitate to express their interest.
Term of Article & Start Dates
Under the terms of the Law Society of Alberta bar admission requirements, a student articling with a court must article for 10 months with that court and five months in a non-court (private firm or government law practice) setting.
Students articling in Edmonton will start their article on June 1 of the year.
The start dates for students articling in Calgary can be adjusted so that they accommodate both the student and the Court. Depending on the number of students, Calgary Provincial Court may want to stagger student start dates. Student attendance at CPLED sessions will also be staggered so that not all of the students will be attending the same CPLED session at the same time.
Salary & Benefits
As of April 2014, the articling students’ biweekly salary was $1906.42. The Government of Alberta pays Law Society of Alberta application and admission fees, and CPLED registration fees.
Each articling student has their own office in the courthouse and shares an adjacent student common area. Students are entitled to 10 days of holidays over the course of the 10-month article, as well as up to 15 days of sick leave. Students are eligible to participate in the Government of Alberta employee benefits program.
Qualifications & Application Requirements
Any individual qualified for admission to the Law Society of Alberta as a student-at-law may apply for a position as a student-at-law with the Provincial Court.
Students have already been hired for the 2015/16 and 2016/17 articling years. The application deadline for the 2017/18 articling year will be in early December 2015.
Candidates must provide the following on or before the application deadline:
- a cover letter,
- a curriculum vitae,
- a transcript of the applicant‘s law school marks for first year and the fall term of second year,
- three letters of reference, one of which must be an academic reference, and
- a sample of the applicant‘s legal writing (e.g. a research paper written for a law school course).
If applicants do not have their second year fall term marks before the application deadline, applicants are asked to bring their transcript to their interview or submit them to the Provincial Court as soon as they receive them after the interview. Copies of transcripts are acceptable, and can be emailed.
Offers of employment are conditional on the candidate passing a security screening.
Students, as new employees of the Government of Alberta, are required to swear an oath of service and confidentiality, the text of which can be found at section 20 of the Public Service Act, R.S.A. 2000, c. P-42.
How to Apply
The Court must receive complete applications on or before the application deadline. Note that applications must be sent or delivered directly to the Provincial Court at the address(es) noted below, NOT to Government of Alberta human resources or employment offices. Application packages should be marked - "Articling Application".
Electronic applications will be considered.
Letters of reference can be included as part of the application package or sent separately to the address(es) noted below. Emailed letters of reference must be attached as a PDF document, on letterhead and must be signed.
To apply for an articling student position in Edmonton, please send or email an application package to:
The Honourable J. Henderson
Judge of the Provincial Court of Alberta
Law Courts Building
#1A Sir Winston Churchill Square
Edmonton, AB T5J 0R2
To apply for an articling student position in Calgary, please send an application package to:
The Honourable A. A. Fradsham
Judge of the Provincial Court of Alberta
Calgary Courts Centre
Suite 1903 – S
601 – 5th Street S.W.
Calgary, AB T2P 5P7
You can email your application for an articling student position in Calgary to: firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information, contact Lynda Jenkins, Legal Counsel at (403) 297-3968 or email@example.com or Kim Boyd, Judicial Assistant at (403) 297-3969 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition, the following students-at-law are available to answer your questions: