LAO Newsroom




LAO welcomes 51 articling students to meaningful jobs throughout Ontario

Posted on: Friday, June 15, 2012


What LAOs articling students say about the Lawyer Workforce Strategy


Through the Lawyer Workforce Strategy, Ive gotten to meet with clients and appear in court. Ive had the opportunity to learn about many different areas of the law from dedicated, incredible lawyers and other staff.
Joo Eun Kim, one of the eight articling students who joined LAO in 2011. He has worked for LAOs family law service centre in North York, criminal duty counsel at College Park, the Refugee Law Office, the Office of General Counsel and LAO Law


Ive been here for a month, and its already more than met my expectations for hands-on experience in the areas where I am most interested refugees and immigration.
Audrey Alix, one of the 51 articling students who joined LAO in 2012. She began her 10-month articles in LAOs Refugee Law Office


The chances of joining Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) as an articling student are better than ever. LAO selected 51 articling students from a field of 195 applicants for 2011-12 way up from eight positions the year before. Better yet, LAO hopes to hire the same number of articling students next year.


Good news for law students


Thats particularly good news at a time when law students are finding it increasingly difficult to find articling positions. As the Law Society of Upper Canada noted in an April 2012 meeting, one in seven law graduates thats 15% of applicants will be without articles in 2013.

LAOs newest articling students got their jobs thanks to an inclusive new Lawyer Workforce Strategy initiative LAO developed three years ago.


LAOs Lawyer Workforce Strategy


Our goal with this initiative was to attract law students who want to combine their passion for social justice with the opportunity to serve the most vulnerable members of Ontarios society, explains Sue McCaffrey, LAO Vice President and General Counsel.

We need to expand our ranks and build our province-wide team in the long run. And we know that one of the best ways to do that in the short run is to attract young people, and encourage them to build a career with us.


Awards and accomplishments even before joining LAO


Our newest articling students join a team that earned a track record for excellence before joining LAO. Previous students recruited through the Lawyer Workforce Strategy had earned multiple academic awards and scholarships as well as post-graduate degrees in law and social sciences. Their national and international accomplishments in the past include social justice work in human rights, war crimes prosecution and development projects and training on Bay Street.


Seeking out talented law students


LAO staff seeks out students from Ontarios six law schools with the skills and commitment to serve low-income Ontarians. Because LAO has a diverse clientele that includes many people who consider French their first language, LAO also seeks candidates outside Ontario. We visit Dalhousie University and the University of Manitoba looking for students keen to practice in Ontario, and we go to McGill University and the Universit de Moncton, seeking students who are bilingual.

Formal interviews in the fall narrow the field down to the most suitable candidates, pursuant to the schedule and other requirements set out by the Law Society of Upper Canada.


LAOs diverse services, clients and business


From the day they arrive, LAOs articling students are immersed in LAOs diverse services, clients and business. They also learn and grow through rotating placements throughout the province, gaining exposure to and support in diverse, substantive areas of the law and different, possibly even remote areas of the province.

The 2011-12 articling team, for instance, includes one student who will start in criminal law and seven who will start in refugee law. It will also include 15 students who will start in family law rotations, and 28 who will take duty counsel or clinic resource roles or positions that combine family and criminal law rotations.


LAO offers a satisfying career in social justice


Wherever they go, the students will enjoy a supportive work environment, dedicated mentors and reasonable wages.

Plus, if LAOs Sue McCaffrey has her way, the experience will be just the beginning of a satisfying career in social justice. Upon successful completion of their articling and a positive recommendation from their principal/mentor, each and every student will be offered an opportunity to join Legal Aid Ontarios dynamic, responsive and flexible legal team.


Get more information

LAOs Lawyer Workforce Strategy

LAOs Lawyer Workforce Strategy careers


For general information about working for LAO, contact LAOs Human Resources toll-free at genlws@lao.on.ca or by phone at 1-800-668-8258.