2018-2019 Articling Recruitment Procedures

Preamble

These Procedures are binding on all students and lawyers who participate in the recruitment of articling students in Ontario. These Procedures are to be followed in spirit as well as in letter.

The purposes of these Procedures are to:

  1. provide an orderly recruitment process that promotes fair dealings between students and firms and among firms, and
  2. reduce interference with students’ studies and pressures on students.

Participants are reminded that compliance with these Procedures is required under rule 6.2-1 of the Law Society’s Rules of Professional Conduct. Deliberate breach or circumvention of these Procedures by a lawyer may result in a charge of Professional Misconduct against the lawyer who participates in or authorizes the circumvention.  Deliberate breach or circumvention of these Procedures by a student may result in an Admissions Hearing to determine if the student meets the Good Character requirement for call to the bar and admission as a licensee of the Law Society. 

It is the responsibility of all participants in the recruitment of articling students in Ontario to ensure its integrity through compliance with these Procedures. Breach or circumvention of these Procedures should be reported in writing to the Law Society of Upper Canada, by email to articling@lsuc.on.ca, to the attention of the Team Manager, Articling Program. 

The dates in these Procedures will be adjusted each year. Comments with respect to these Procedures may be submitted for consideration by the Law Society of Upper Canada at the end of the recruitment cycle. Comments must be submitted in writing, by email to articling@lsuc.on.ca, to the attention of the Team Manager, Articling Program.

These Procedures are organized as follows:

Section A - Definitions 

Section B - General Procedures Applicable to Recruitment by All Firms

Section C - Recruitment by Firms Located in Toronto

Section D - Recruitment by Firms Located Outside of Toronto:

  • Additional procedures for firms located in Ottawa
  • Additional procedures for firms located in Middlesex County
  • Additional procedures for firms located in Hamilton


A. Definitions


The following definitions are provided for clarity:

2018-2019 Licensing Cycle” means the period from May 1, 2018 to April 30, 2019.

August 14 Interview Week” means the interview week for articling student positions in Toronto which starts at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, August 14, 2017.

“early offer” means an offer of an articling position made by a firm to a student who is or has previously been employed and/or hired as a summer student with that firm.

“firm(s)” means an employer of articling students and includes a law firm, sole practitioner, company or non-profit organization legal department, government department or ministry, and legal clinic, but does not include the Supreme Court of Canada, the Tax Court of Canada, the Federal Court, the Federal Court of Appeal, the Court of Appeal for Ontario, and the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario. Students appointed to serve the Judges of these courts are not required to be recruited for such clerkships in accordance with these Procedures.

Hamilton” means the municipal area incorporated as the City of Hamilton by the City of Hamilton Act, 1999, S.O. 1999, c. 14, Sched. C. 

Middlesex County” is composed of the City of London and the County of Middlesex (consisting of the Municipalities of North Middlesex, Southwest Middlesex, Middlesex Centre and Thames Centre, and the Townships of Adelaide Metcalfe, Lucan Bidulph and Strathroy-Caradoc, and the Village of Newbury).

Ottawa” means the municipal area incorporated as the City of Ottawa by the City of Ottawa Act, 1999, S.O. 1999, c. 14, Sched. E.

“recruitment activity” means open houses, firm tours, and similar activities held for students, as well as any activity originated by a firm and directed toward specific individuals or targeted groups for the purpose of encouraging employment with that firm, including but not limited to the conducting of interviews and the making of offers of employment.
Commentary: Activities which are not considered recruitment activities include but are not limited to participation in law school orientation, job fair and mooting events; dinners held for prize-winners; and seminars and other educational opportunities provided to students, participation in which is open to a recognized law school student group (or groups).

student” means a law student who reasonably expects to be eligible to commence articling in the 2018-2019 Licensing Cycle.

summer student” means a law student employed by a firm for the summer months (from May to August) of 2017, who reasonably expects to be eligible to commence articling in the 2018-2019 Licensing Cycle.

Toronto” means the municipal area incorporated as the City of Toronto by the City of Toronto Act, 2006, S.O. 2006, c. 11, Sched. A.

All times listed in these Procedures refer to the time in Toronto.

B. General Procedures Applicable to Recruitment by All Firms

Commentary: The agreement between the principal and the student to engage in an articling placement carries professional obligations over and above the normal contractual obligations. Principals and students may refer to the Articling Program page on the Law Society of Upper Canada website for further information regarding the Articling Program (http://lsuc.on.ca/articling/).

Part B of the Procedures also applies to both Parts C and D.

  1. Any firm in Ontario seeking to recruit a student who will commence an articling position in the 2018-2019 Licensing Cycle shall be governed by these Procedures with respect to the recruitment of that student.
  2. Firms must not participate in the recruitment of students unless they are confident that they will be able to offer a position to a qualified student.
  3. A firm that communicates its intention to interview a student must subsequently do so, unless the student has advised the firm that the student does not want to participate in the interview. 
  4. Interviews may be conducted in person on the premises of the interviewing firm or at another location, or remotely by telephone, videoconference, or other remote online communication platform. The location of interviews and the method(s) by which interviews are conducted are within the discretion of the interviewing firm. Interviews conducted remotely are subject to the same requirements and guidelines that apply to interviews conducted in person.
    Commentary: In scheduling their interviews, students are to allow for interview lengths of at least 90 minutes. Students who are interviewing in person should also allow for travel times between premises when scheduling their interviews.
  5. Offers of employment shall not be made at any time on terms or in circumstances that do not give students a proper opportunity to consider the offer before deciding. Offers which are conditional upon the position still being available when the acceptance is received shall not be made.
    Commentary: When making offers and early offers, firms may communicate any relevant information about the terms of employment, including the position’s anticipated start date, compensation, and benefits.
  6. Throughout the recruitment process, firms shall not put undue pressure on students to accept an offer of employment, or to reveal their intention to do so.
    Commentary: Students may voluntarily communicate their intention to accept a prospective offer from a firm if such an offer were made. However, attempts by firms to solicit these intentions, however veiled or indirect such communications by firms might be, are considered inappropriate.
  7. Students shall deal with offers received as expeditiously as possible regardless of the stipulated time that the offer shall be allowed to remain open.
    Commentary: Failure to communicate a rejection of an offer as soon as a decision to reject is made prejudices not only the offering firm but also fellow students to whom the offer may next be made.
  8. Students who accept an offer shall immediately notify firms from whom they have an outstanding offer or with whom they have scheduled interviews. Students who have already accepted an offer shall not thereafter participate in interviews with other firms or accept offers subsequently received.
  9. Firms shall not knowingly make an offer to a student who has already accepted a position at another firm.
  10. (a) Firms may make an early offer of an articling position, in accordance with these Procedures, to any student who is or has previously been employed and/or hired as a summer student with that firm, at any time prior to the earliest time after which communications of offers of employment may otherwise be made by that firm.  
    (b) A student who receives an early offer must respond within two business days by notifying the firm that the student either accepts, rejects, or is holding the offer.
    (c) Accepting an early offer constitutes a binding agreement between the student and the firm.
    (d) Rejecting an early offer immediately releases the firm from any obligations to the student with respect to the recruitment process for the 2018-2019 Licensing Cycle, and allows the firm to consider other applicants for the articling position.
    (e) Holding an early offer means that the offer remains valid and binding until the earlier of either:
    1. the student notifying the firm of acceptance or rejection; or
    2. the earliest time until which offers of employment must be allowed to remain open in the city in which the firm is located.
    (f) Firms shall not put undue pressure on students to communicate an acceptance or rejection of an early offer.
    Commentary: If a firm makes an early offer to a student(s), which has been initially held by the student(s) and then subsequently accepted after the firm has already scheduled interviews with other applicants for the position(s) that is or are no longer available, then the firm must contact those other applicants to cancel those interviews as expeditiously as possible.

C. Recruitment by Firms Located in Toronto

Part C of these Procedures applies to any firm, either within or outside Toronto, seeking to recruit a student who will spend a significant portion of the articling placement with the Toronto office of the firm. The general recruitment procedures outlined at Part B also apply to firms located in Toronto.

  1. Firms shall not set application deadlines earlier than Friday, July 7, 2017 at 5:00 p.m.
  2. Student applications for interviews received by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, July 7, 2017 shall be treated without regard for the date of receipt. 
    Commentary: In considering whether or not an interview will be granted and the time and date of such interview, the date of receipt of an application shall not be a factor if the application is received by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, July 7, 2017.
  3. There shall be no recruitment activities for students who have applied for an articling position in the 2018-2019 Licensing Cycle between 5:00 p.m. on Friday, July 7, 2017 and 8:00 a.m. on Monday, August 14, 2017, except for the scheduling of interviews and of any other recruitment activities to be conducted during the August 14 Interview Week.
  4. The time and date of interviews shall not be communicated in any way until 8:00 a.m. on Friday, July 21, 2017. 
    Commentary: A firm may communicate, at any time after July 7, 2017, (a) that it will or will not be interviewing a student and (b) that the interviewing will be conducted in accordance with these Procedures. However, the firm shall not suggest the specific date or time of the expected interview prior to 8:00 a.m. on Friday, July 21, 2017, nor may students participate in the making of such appointments before that time. Firms may, however, advise students, in advance, of dates and times of events to which all interviewees will be invited.
  5. Interviews shall not be conducted prior to 8:00 a.m. on Monday, August 14, 2017.
    Commentary: In exceptional circumstances, the Law Society will allow students who are unable to attend for interviews during the August 14 Interview Week permission to attend interviews prior to the August 14 Interview Week. Applications for exemption must be made in writing to the Law Society of Upper Canada, by email to articling@lsuc.on.ca, to the attention of the Team Manager, Articling Program. Such exemptions apply only to the date(s) for interviewing; all firms and students are bound by these Procedures as to the date on which offers of employment may be made.
  6. During the August 14 Interview Week, interviews shall only be conducted between 8:00 a.m. on Monday, August 14, 2017 and 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 16, 2017. Between 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 16, 2017, firms are prohibited from contacting students and students are prohibited from contacting firms. Recruitment activities are not restricted at other times during the August 14 Interview Week. 
  7. No communication of offers of employment shall be made prior to 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 16, 2017, subject to the exception in Section B.10. All offers made at or after 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 16, 2017 shall be allowed to remain open until at least 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 17, 2017. Any offers made at or after 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 17, 2017 shall be allowed to remain open for a reasonable period of time. The period during which an offer shall be allowed to remain open must be communicated by a firm making an offer to a student at the time the offer is made.
    Commentary: This procedure applies to all participating firms covered by Part C of these Procedures whether they employ summer students or not. Offers may only be made to students who have not already accepted a position at another firm. 

D. Recruitment by Firms Located Outside of Toronto

The general recruitment procedures outlined at Part B also apply to those firms governed by Part D.

  1. Firms shall not set application deadlines earlier than Friday, May 5, 2017 at 5:00 p.m.
  2. Student applications for interviews received by the application deadline set by the firm shall be treated without regard for the date of receipt.
    Commentary: In considering whether or not an interview will be granted and the time and date of such interview, the date of receipt of an application shall not be a factor if the application is received by the application deadline.
  3. Where no other interview period is stipulated in Part D of these Procedures, interviews shall not be conducted prior to Friday, May 5, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. In addition, a student shall not participate in interviews until after the student has completed all requirements of second year law school.
  4. Where no other offer date is stipulated in Part D of these Procedures, communication of offers of employment shall not be made prior to 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 18, 2017, subject to the exception in Section B.10. Offers made at or after 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 18, 2017 shall be allowed to remain open for a reasonable period of time. The period during which an offer shall be allowed to remain open must be communicated by a firm making an offer to a student at the time the offer is made.
    Commentary: This offer date and its corresponding procedural requirements apply to all regions where no other offer date is specified in Part D of these Procedures. 
  5. Additional Procedures Governing All Articling Recruitment by Firms Located in Ottawa
    Commentary: The following procedures, for firms located in Ottawa, apply in addition to Sections D.1-D.4 and the general procedures in Part B.
    (1) Firms shall not set application deadlines earlier than Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 5:00 p.m.
    Commentary: In considering whether or not an interview will be granted and the time and date of such interview, the date of receipt of an application shall not be a factor if the application is received by May 23, 2017.
    (2) No communication of offers of employment shall be made before 8:00 a.m. on Monday, June 19, 2017, subject to the exception in Section B.10.
    (3) All offers made on Monday, June 19, 2017 shall be allowed to remain open until 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 20, 2017.
    (4) All offers made between 12:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 shall be allowed to remain open for 24 hours.
    (5) Any offer made after 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 shall be allowed to remain open for a reasonable period of time.
    (6) The period during which an offer shall be allowed to remain open must be communicated by a firm making an offer to a student at the time the offer is made.
  6. Additional Procedures Governing All Articling Recruitment by Firms Located in Middlesex County
    Commentary: The following procedures, for firms located in Middlesex County, apply in addition to Sections D.1-D.4 and the general procedures in Part B.
    (1) Firms shall not set application deadlines earlier than Friday, May 5, 2017 at 5:00 p.m.
    Commentary: In considering whether or not an interview will be granted and the time and date of such interview, the date of receipt of an application shall not be a factor if the application is received by Friday, May 5, 2017.
    (2) Interviews may not be held prior to the week beginning Monday, May 29, 2017.
    Commentary: In exceptional circumstances, the Law Society will allow students who are unable to attend for interviews during the week beginning Monday, May 29, 2017 permission to attend interviews prior to Monday, May 29, 2017. Applications for exemption must be made in writing to the Law Society of Upper Canada, by email to articling@lsuc.on.ca, to the attention of the Team Manager, Articling Program. Such exemptions apply only to the date(s) for interviewing; all firms and students are bound by these Procedures as to the date on which offers of employment may be made.
    (3) No communication of offers of employment shall be made prior to 8:00 a.m. on Monday, June 5, 2017, subject to the exception in Section B.10.
    (4) All offers made on Monday, June 5, 2017 shall be allowed to remain open until 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 6, 2017.
    (5) All offers made on Tuesday, June 6, 2017 shall be allowed to remain open for a period of 24 hours.
    (6) All offers made after Tuesday, June 6, 2017 shall be allowed to remain open for a reasonable period of time.
    (7) The period during which an offer shall be allowed to remain open must be communicated by a firm making an offer to a student at the time the offer is made.
    (8) Students shall deal with offers received as expeditiously as possible regardless of the stipulated time that an offer shall be allowed to remain open.
    (9) Students who accept an offer shall immediately notify firms from whom they have an outstanding offer or with whom they have scheduled interviews.
    (10) Firms extending offers and students who are in receipt of offers may agree to extend any of the times upon mutual consent.
  7. Additional Procedures Governing All Articling Recruitment by Firms Located in Hamilton
    Commentary: The following procedures, for firms located in Hamilton, apply in addition to Sections D.1-D.4 and the general procedures in Part B.
    (1) Firms shall not set application deadlines earlier than Friday, May 5, 2017 at 5:00 p.m.
    Commentary: In considering whether or not an interview will be granted and the time and date of such interview, the date of receipt of an application shall not be a factor if the application is received by Friday, May 5, 2017.
    (2) Interviews may not be held prior to the week beginning Monday, May 29, 2017.
    Commentary: In exceptional circumstances, the Law Society will allow students who are unable to attend for interviews during the week beginning Monday, May 29, 2017 permission to attend interviews prior to Monday, May 29, 2017. Applications for exemption must be made in writing to the Law Society of Upper Canada, by email to articling@lsuc.on.ca, to the attention of the Team Manager, Articling Program. Such exemptions apply only to the date(s) for interviewing; all firms and students are bound by these Procedures as to the date on which offers of employment may be made.
    (3) No communication of offers of employment shall be made prior to 8:00 a.m. on Monday, June 5, 2017, subject to the exception in Section B.10.
    (4) All offers made on Monday, June 5, 2017 shall be allowed to remain open until 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 6, 2017.
    (5) All offers made on Tuesday, June 6, 2017 shall be allowed to remain open for a period of 24 hours.
    (6) All offers made after Tuesday, June 6, 2017 shall be allowed to remain open for a reasonable period of time.
    (7) The period during which an offer shall be allowed to remain open must be communicated by a firm making an offer to a student at the time the offer is made.
    (8) Students shall deal with offers received as expeditiously as possible regardless of the stipulated time that an offer shall be allowed to remain open.
    (9) Students who accept an offer shall immediately notify firms from whom they have an outstanding offer or with whom they have scheduled interviews.
    (10) Firms extending offers and students who are in receipt of offers may agree to extend any of the times upon mutual consent.
     
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