The Articling Placement Program (the program)
is now available to assist articling students who are in untenable or unsafe articles due to harassment or discrimination with exiting their current position and finding replacement articles. The Law Society is piloting the program in 2022, with the goal of gathering more information from participating articling students and firms/organizations to make refinements and recommendations for future use.
Articling students have the right to be free from harassing and discriminatory behaviour and have the right to report their circumstances without fear of reprisal or negative impacts. While coming forward about these issues will always be difficult, the program is intended to reassure articling students that reporting their issues will not lead to the loss of articles. The program’s default position is that articling students are believed.
Engaging the Program
An articling student or anyone seeking information about the program can contact the Law Society’s Equity Ombudsperson
for an initial, confidential conversation to discuss their experience of harassment or discrimination.
During these confidential conversations, the articling student can ask questions, discuss their concerns and gather information on possible next steps. It is an opportunity for the articling student to understand the resources and supports that are available to them, as well as assess their options.
Once the articling student decides to engage the program, the Equity Ombudsperson will respond as quickly as possible since the student may be in an untenable or unsafe situation. If the Equity Ombudsperson concludes that the articling student’s experience has met the program criteria for establishing harassment or discrimination, the Law Society will take steps to quickly end the current articles and will contact the previous principal. The work to find replacement articles will begin as soon as the articling student is formally in the program.
The Law Society has recruited a roster of 10 law firms that meet specific eligibility criteria and are willing to offer replacement articles to articling students through the program. View a full list of the participating roster firms on our website
For more information on the program, view our website and FAQ
. If you are an articling student wanting to find out more about whether your circumstances qualify for the program, please reach out to the Equity Ombudsperson for an initial conversation via email
or phone at 587.391.6596.
The program was developed in response to the results of the 2019 articling survey
, which revealed that approximately one-third of respondents reported experiencing harassment and/or discrimination during recruitment and/or articling.
However, many of these articling students do not report the behaviour and continue in their articling positions because of:
- a perceived lack of support in the firm/organization;
- no safe reporting structure in the firm/organization;
- a fear that raising these issues or formally reporting them within the firm/organization may negatively impact their reputation;
- the power imbalance between lawyers and articling students;
- the potential loss of the articling position and future call to the bar.
Since the Law Society requires students to article before being called to the bar, we must do our part to make articling experiences as safe as possible. We have established a Respectful Workplace Model Policy
that law firms and organizations are encouraged to adapt and use.
Where discriminatory or harassing behaviour has already occurred, articling students should be able to inform the Law Society without fear of reprisal or negative impacts. This is where the program comes in.