Articling opportunities with sole practitioners

While the majority of the province’s law graduates find articles with large firms, there are a lot of opportunities with sole practitioners. About one-quarter of the province’s private practice lawyers are sole practitioners, yet they employ only about 14 per cent of the province’s articled students.


Location of sole practitioners (by Law Society election district):

BC map

Number of sole practitioners in BC: 2,340
Articled students employed by sole practitioners: 63 

Number of private firms in BC with more than 50 lawyers: 15
Articled students employed: 122 

Sole practitioners age 60 and older: 856 

Number of private-practice lawyers and students employed, by size of firm; ratio of students to lawyers:

Firm size

Lawyers

Students

Students / 100 lawyers

Solo 

2,340 

63 

2.7 

2 to 5

1,923

125

6.5

6 to 10

965

52

5.3

11 to 25

1,347

72

5.4

26 to 50

531

29

5.5

Over 50

1,392

122

8.8

Total

8,498

463

5.7 (avg)

 

Registration deadlines for 2016 PLTC:
October 15, 2015: to attend PLTC February - April 2016 (Vancouver only)
December 15, 2015: to attend PLTC May - July 2016 (Vancouver, Victoria or Kamloops)
March 01, 2016: to attend PLTC September - November 2016 (Vancouver only)


SOURCE: LAW SOCIETY OF BC, JULY 2015

Resources for Students Seeking Articles With Small Firms

Law Society Learning Centre
The Law Society offers free online courses that help prepare students for working in a small practice and help them develop skills that might be needed at small firms. Courses include Small Firm Practice Course, Practice Refresher Course and Legal Research Essentials. 

Rural Education and Access to Lawyers
The Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch’s Rural Education and Access to Lawyers initiative was designed to attract new lawyers to small, rural BC communities, many of which have a shortage of lawyers or are projected to in the coming years. The focus of the program is to place law students in rural law firms for summer work experience and to facilitate the placement of articled students in communities with fewer than 100,000 people and a greater than 500 person-to-lawyer ratio.