Photo: Linda Pim
CELA offers a unique articling experience, focusing on administrative and environmental law. The articling student deals directly with individuals seeking legal information, giving the student valuable practice in dealing with the public and interviewing potential clients. The articling student also gains background to the political process as part of CELA’s law reform activities. Finally, there is considerable opportunity to gain litigation experience.
Legal Research and Litigation
Case work activities can include legal research, writing memos and drafting opinion letters, drafting motion records, affidavits and facta; meeting with clients, attending motions court, and assisting lawyers at discoveries and hearings.
Most legal inquiries from the public are initially directed to the articling student, who is responsible for researching the issue and providing an answer in consultation with one of the lawyers. Students may also write articles or blog posts for the CELA website.
Students are given the opportunity to participate in researching and writing articles, position papers, and submissions under the supervision of CELA staff. There are also opportunities to appear before standing committees, city councils or commissions, and to give presentations at conferences.
Working at CELA
The articling student is an important member of the team, which consists of five staff lawyers, two researchers and two support staff. Work is assigned and monitored by the staff lawyers, although there are many times when the student is required to work as part of a larger group. At the same time, with only five lawyers, articling at CELA provides an excellent hands-on learning environment. Students receive a high degree of responsibility and, as such, it is important that the student be a self‐starter and be comfortable working independently.
The staff at CELA foster an office atmosphere that is congenial and cooperative. The dress code is relaxed as long as it is appropriate for the occasion. The number of hours worked each week varies depending on the caseload.
Applying to CELA
CELA hires one articling student each year. You can look for our posting for a 2024-25 Articling Student position in spring 2023.