How to obtain an articling position

The Law Society does not arrange articles. Students must secure an articling position. For assistance, contact the career services office at your law school.

Articling responsibilities and obligations

  • Submission of Articling Agreement. As part of the application process to the Law Society Admission Program, a student must submit an Articling Agreement signed by the student and articling principal that outlines the responsibilities of both parties during the articling term.
  • Submission of Articling Skills and Practice Checklist. The Articling Skills and Practice Checklist identifies the practical training and experience the student is expected to receive during articles. A completed checklist must be included with the student’s application package for call and admission upon completion of articles.
  • Submission of a mid-term and final report. The principal and student must meet at approximately the half-way point of the articling term to discuss the progress of the student and prepare and submit a mid-term report to the Law Society. At the end of the articling term, the principal and student must submit a final report to the Law Society certifying completion of their obligations under the Articling Agreement.

Attendance requirements and leaves

An articling student must work full-time in the office of a principal for a continuous period of not less than nine months, except for law clerks or others who have been granted a reduced articling period.

A principal may give a student up to 10 working days as vacation during the articling portion of the program. Any vacation time will not be calculated in the nine-month period. If you are required to take more than 10 working days off from your articles for holidays or sick time, you must apply for a leave of absence.

To apply for a leave of absence you must notify the Law Society in writing in advance of the leave or, in the case of a maternity or parental leave, as soon as possible.

Leaves can be granted provided that:

  • the total time of the leave, other than maternity and parental leaves, does not exceed 22 working days or such longer period approved by the Executive Director;
  • the leave does not affect your attendance in the Professional Legal Training Course; and
  • your principal consents to the leave.

Any time taken for a leave of absence will not be calculated in the nine-month articling period.

Maternity and parental leaves

A student who becomes a birth or adoptive parent during or within 12 weeks before the articling period is entitled to 12 weeks or, where the student is the primary caregiver of the child, 16 weeks parental leave.

A student is entitled to 18 weeks maternity leave during the period from 11 weeks before to 17 weeks after giving birth, in addition to the parental leave entitlement. If the maternity or parental leave causes you to fail to attend any part of PLTC, the Credentials Committee may require you to attend all or part of PLTC at a session held after the completion of the maternity or parental leave.

Employment outside of articles

During the articling term and while you are enrolled in PLTC, you are not permitted to accept employment from any person other than your principal or a person to whom your articles are seconded, except with the approval of the Law Society. Working at your firm while attending PLTC is not advised.

Any employment outside of articles must have the principal's consent, be performed outside normal office hours, and in no way interfere with your articles or commitment to PLTC. You must first apply to the Law Society for approval in advance of engaging in any employment outside of articles.

Part-time articles

You may apply to complete some or all of your articles on a part-time basis by submitting to the Law Society at least two months before the enrolment start date:

  • the enrolment application and enrolment fees; and
  • a letter from you and your prospective principal setting out:
    • your principal's express approval of the part-time arrangements;
    • the type of experience to be provided to you;
    • the hours per day you will work in the office of your principal; and
    • the length of your proposed articling term.

Your proposed articling term must be a continuous period that will give you work experience equivalent to the regular nine-month articling period, and your articles must be completed within two years of the articling start date.

The part-time equivalent of the articling period must be calculated on the following basis: eight hours of scheduled work equals one day of articles (22 working days @ 8 hours = 176 x 9 months = 1,584 hours). No credit will be given for more than eight hours per day. Any request to alter these requirements must first be approved by the Credentials Committee at one of its regular monthly meetings.

Reporting requirements

You and your principal must prepare and submit a mid-term report and a final report  to the Law Society. There is no prescribed form for the reports. The reports should be made by letter.

The mid-term report is completed at approximately the halfway point of the articling term. It describes your progress to date and includes a plan for completing the obligations of the Articling Agreement, including the requirements of the Articling Skills and Practice Checklist.

The final report is completed at the end of the articling term. It certifies completion of the obligations under the Articling Agreement

Bencher interview

During the articling term, a student receives instructions respecting a personal interview with a Bencher which is to take place when the student has completed three months of articles.

Secondment during the articling period

A student may be permitted to attend in the office of another lawyer who is qualified to act as a principal, for a period or periods not exceeding in total eight weeks of the student’s prescribed term of attendance, for the purpose of obtaining training in practice areas in which the principal is unable to instruct the student.

The student should inform the Law Society by letter of the period during which the student will be attending another office. Permission may also be granted, with or without conditions, for an extension of the eight-week period of secondment.

Appearances as counsel and undertakings

An articled student is allowed to appear as counsel and accept undertakings provided the student and his or her principal follow the limitations of Law Society Rule 2-60 and the student is properly supervised. Students enrolled in temporary articles are not permitted to appear as counsel except within the limitations of Law Society Rule 2-71.

A regulation under the Evidence Act allows articled students, including temporary articled students, to act as commissioners for taking affidavits in BC. This also requires appropriate supervision.

Termination of articles

Neither the articled student nor the principal should terminate articles without a report from each party being made to the Law Society and, unless the termination was by mutual agreement of you and your principal, the matter will be referred to the Credentials Committee.

For more information, contact memberinfo@lsbc.org.