LAO Newsroom

LAO aims to recruit lawyers at every stage of their careers

Posted on: Friday, May 25, 2012

What Lawyer Workforce Strategy participants say

“Participating in the rotations under the Lawyer Workforce Strategy was a great chance for me to see a variety of different opportunities – explore different service lines.”
– Kathryn M. Gamble-Lerchner, LAO’s acting manager of legal services for its toll-free summary legal advice program

“I’ve been here for a month, and it’s already more than met my expectations for hands-on experience in the areas where I am most interested – refugees and immigration.”
Law student Audrey Alix, one of the 51 articling students LAO recruited through the Lawyer Workforce Strategy for 2012. She is articling at LAO’s Refugee Law Office – her first choice.

"I’ll be interviewing inmates, shadowing lawyers and seeing the law in action in bail court. I’m looking forward to applying all the legal knowledge I’ve attained in my three years of law school so far.”
Law student Kimberly Lee-Louis, one of 16 LAO summer students recruited through the Lawyer Workforce Strategy for 2012, now working with Criminal and Family Duty Counsel – Brockville/Perth

Over the past three years, LAO has welcomed 71 summer and articling students, and introduced 122 of its 250-plus staff lawyers to a growing number of opportunities within the organization.

It’s all part of its Lawyer Workforce Strategy, a corporate talent management initiative LAO initiated three years ago.

“We developed this initiative because we recognized that we need to recruit and retain talented legal professionals throughout their entire career – from the time they are summer students to the time they retire,” says Sue McCaffrey, LAO’s Vice President and General Counsel.

LAO’s Lawyer Workforce Strategy first took root in-house in Fall 2009. That's when LAO notified its staff lawyers that they could, through this strategy, apply for the opportunity to:

  • rotate into different positions (in different areas of the province – lawyers hired into the LWS are expected to relocate for subsequent rotation opportunities)
  • experience the diverse range of professional opportunities available at LAO and
  • access ongoing in-house and external education, skills development, professional development training and coaching.

Since then, 122 LAO lawyers have accepted Lawyer Workforce Strategy rotation opportunities in Brampton, Cobourg, the Greater Toronto Area, Kapuskasing, Walkerton, Peterborough, Brantford, London, Chatham, Goderich, Sudbury, Milton, Barrie/Muskoka, Ottawa and Hawkesbury.

Kathryn M. Gamble-Lerchner, for example, who had been working for LAO in Halton, Ontario as supervisory duty counsel, family since 2004, opted to expand her horizons through the Lawyer Workforce Strategy in 2010. For her first rotation, she provided summary legal advice over the telephone in Toronto, at LAO’s toll-free number. She then moved on to project and program development. Today she is LAO’s acting manager of legal services for its toll-free legal summary advice program.

“The Lawyer Workforce Strategy allowed me to come into areas of the organization, such as the provincial office, with which I wouldn’t have had much contact otherwise,” she says. “I found that interesting and exciting.”

Since 2011, the program has expanded to welcome 22 summer law students and 59 articling students (eight in 2011, 51 in 2012), with the goal of enticing them into a career at LAO.

“These young people will help us expand our ranks and build our province-wide team to ensure that we can provide our diverse clients with the range of services they require, throughout the province, on an ongoing basis,” says Sue McCaffery.

“We hope that these students will join our team of lawyers across the province, and make a career with us that combines their passion for social justice with the opportunity to serve the most vulnerable and marginalized members of Ontario’s society.”

Get more information

LAO’s Lawyer Workforce Strategy

LAO’s Lawyer Workforce Strategy careers

For general information about working for LAO, contact LAO’s Human Resources toll-free at or by phone at 1-800-668-8258.


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