Lack of articling placements an access-to-justice issue

From: Canadian Lawyer Magazine

Panel says more opportunities needed in social justice lawyering

Written by Devanne O’Brien

Posted Date: October 31, 2011

A panel at the University of Ottawa’s law school said the Law Society of Upper Canada’s articling task force ought to focus on the lack of social justice articling opportunities available to recent law school graduates.

“The articling task force was set up in response to a perceived and actual shortage of articling positions in Ontario,” explained Suzanne Bouclin, who moderated the Oct. 26 panel discussion. “[T]he critical problem is less a shortage of articling positions, but specifically articling positions in career paths more oriented towards social justice.”

The shortage described by Bouclin was a key finding in a law society report published in May. It showed that 12.1 per cent of those seeking articles in the 2010-11 licensing year went unplaced, a big jump from a rate of 5.8 per cent three years ago.

University of Ottawa law professor David Wiseman said he sees the shortage as related to “the other crisis” in articling: a distribution of articling positions that is not conducive to social justice.

The task force, he suggested, is an opportunity to “put access to justice on the table.”

For the full story, click HERE.

For more on the panel from Adam Dodek, University of Ottawa Faculty of Law, commenting at http://www.slaw.ca on November 2, 2011, click HERE.

For more on articling from Jeff Gray, law reporter for the Globe and Mail, reporting on November 1, 2011, click HERE

For information on the consultation process and the Task Force Report, click HERE.

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