2017-2018 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, or by mail/fax to the attention of the Team Manager, Articling Program, Law Society of Upper Canada. 

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, or by mail/fax to the attention of the Team Manager, Articling Program, Law Society of Upper Canada.

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 the City of Ottawa
  • Additional procedures for firms located in the County of Middlesex
  • Additional procedures for firms located in the City of Hamilton

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A. Definitions


The following definitions are provided for clarity:

“City of Ottawa” is composed of the following eleven former municipalities: Cumberland, Gloucester, Goulbourn, Kanata, Nepean, Osgoode, Ottawa, Rideau, Rockcliffe Park, Vanier and West Carleton.

“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 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.

“Middlesex County” is composed of the following: the City of London, the Municipalities of North Middlesex, Southwest Middlesex and Thames Centre, the Townships of Adelaide Metcalfe, Lucan Bidulph, Middlesex Centre and Strathroy Caradoc, and the Village of Newbury.

“out of province candidates” means those students enrolled in a law school outside the province of Ontario.

“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 student enrolled in a law school or registered with the National Committee on Accreditation who reasonably expects and is scheduled to commence articling in 2017.

“summer months” means the months of May, June, July and August.

“summer student” means any student employed by a firm for the summer months of 2016, following enrolment in any year of an approved LL.B. or J.D. program, who will be eligible to article in 2017.

“time” means the time in Toronto, Canada.

“Toronto” means the City of Toronto.

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B. General Procedures Applicable to Recruitment by All Firms

Commentary: The offer and acceptance of an articling position constitutes a binding agreement between the principal and the student that 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 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 2017-2018 Articling Term 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. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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 accept an offer shall honour the undertaking thus given, regardless of what offers are subsequently received, and shall not thereafter participate in interviews with other firms. A student’s verbal acceptance of an offer constitutes a binding agreement between the student and the firm that may not be terminated unilaterally by either party.
  8. Firms shall not knowingly make an offer to a student who has already accepted a position at another firm.
  9. (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 2017-2018 Articling Term, 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 the student notifying the firm of acceptance or rejection or the earliest time until which offers of employment must be allowed to remain open.
    (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.

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C. Recruitment by Firms Located in Toronto

Commentary: The general recruitment procedures outlined at Part B are also applicable to firms located in Toronto.

  1. Firms shall not set application deadlines earlier than Friday, July 1, 2016 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. The time and date of interviews shall not be communicated in any way until 8:00 a.m. on Friday, July 15, 2016.
    Commentary: A firm may communicate, at any time after July 1, 2016, (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 15, 2016, 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.
  4. Firms shall not communicate their intention to interview a student and subsequently not do so.
  5. Interviews shall not be conducted prior to 8:00 a.m. on Monday, August 8, 2016. There shall be no recruitment activities for students who have applied for an articling position in the 2017-2018 Articling Term between 5:00 p.m. on Friday, July 1, 2016 and 8:00 a.m. on Monday, August 8, 2016. During the week of August 8, 2016, interviews shall only be conducted between 8:00 a.m. on Monday, August 8, 2016 and 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 10, 2016. Between 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 10, 2016 and 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 11, 2016, firms are prohibited from contacting students and students are prohibited from contacting firms. Recruitment activities are not restricted at other times.
    Commentary: In exceptional circumstances, the Law Society will allow students who are unable to attend for interviews during the week of August 8, 2016 permission to attend interviews prior to that week. Students seeking such exemptions must be eligible to article in the 2017-2018 Articling Term. Applications for exemption must be made in writing to the Law Society of Upper Canada, by email to articling@lsuc.on.ca, or by mail/fax to the attention of the Team Manager, Articling Program, Law Society of Upper Canada. 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. No communication of offers of employment shall be made prior to 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 11, 2016, subject to the exception in Section B.9. All offers made at or after 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 11, 2016 shall be allowed to remain open until at least 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 11, 2016. Any offers made at or after 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 11, 2016 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 or committed to accepting a position at another firm or organization. 

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D. Recruitment by Firms Located Outside of Toronto

Commentary: The general recruitment procedures outlined at Part B are also applicable to those firms covered by Part D.

  1. Firms shall not set application deadlines earlier than Friday, May 6, 2016 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. Interviews shall not take place prior to the application deadline. In addition, a student shall not participate in interviews until after the student has completed all requirements of second year law school.
    Commentary: Where no other interview period is stipulated in Part D of these Procedures, no interviews shall take place prior to the application deadline of Friday, May 6, 2016.
  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 Thursday, May 19, 2016 at 5:00 p.m., subject to the exception in Section B.9. Offers made at or after Thursday, May 19, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. 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 the City of Ottawa
    Commentary: The following procedures, for firms located in the City of Ottawa, apply in addition to Sections D.1-D.4 and the general procedures in Part B.
  6. (1) Firms shall not set application deadlines earlier than Tuesday, May 24, 2016 at 5:00 p.m.
    (2) No communication of offers of employment shall be made before 8:00 a.m. on Monday, June 20, 2016, subject to the exception in Section B.9.
    (3) All offers made on Monday, June 20, 2016 shall be allowed to remain open until 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 21, 2016.
    (4) All offers made between 12:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 21, 2016 shall be allowed to remain open for 24 hours.
    (5) Any offer made after 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 21, 2016 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.

  7. Additional Procedures Governing All Articling Recruitment by Firms Located in the County of Middlesex
    Commentary: The following procedures, for firms located in the County of Middlesex, apply in addition to Sections D.1-D.4 and the general procedures in Part B. 
  8. (1) Firms shall not set application deadlines earlier than Friday, May 6, 2016 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 6, 2016.
    (2) Interviews for 2017-2018 articling positions may not be held earlier than the week of May 30, 2016.
    (3) No communication of offers of employment shall be made prior to 8:00 a.m. on Monday, June 6, 2016, subject to the exception in Section B.9.
    (4) Out of province candidates may be interviewed prior to the week of May 30, 2016; however, no offer may be extended to them prior to 8:00 a.m. on Monday, June 6, 2016.
    (5) All offers made on Monday, June 6, 2016 shall be allowed to remain open until 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 7, 2016.
    (6) All offers made on Tuesday, June 7, 2016 shall be allowed to remain open for a period of 24 hours.
    (7) All offers made after Tuesday, June 7, 2016 shall be allowed to remain open for a reasonable period of time.
    (8) 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.
    (9) Students shall deal with offers received as expeditiously as possible regardless of the stipulated time that an offer shall be allowed to remain open.
    (10) Students who accept an offer shall immediately notify firms from whom they have an outstanding offer or with whom they have scheduled interviews.
    (11) Firms extending offers and students who are in receipt of offers may agree to extend any of the times upon mutual consent.

  9. Additional Procedures Governing All Articling Recruitment by Firms Located in the City of Hamilton
    Commentary: The following procedures, for firms located in the City of Hamilton, apply in addition to Sections D.1-D.4 and the general procedures in Part B.
  10. (1) Firms shall not set application deadlines earlier than Friday, May 6, 2016 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 6, 2016.
    (2) Interviews for 2017-2018 articling positions may not be held earlier than the week of May 30, 2016.
    (3) No communication of offers of employment shall be made prior to 8:00 a.m. on Monday, June 6, 2016, subject to the exception in Section B.9.
    (4) Out of province candidates may be interviewed prior to the week of May 30, 2016; however, no offer may be extended to them prior to 8:00 a.m. on Monday, June 6, 2016.
    (5) All offers made on Monday, June 6, 2016 shall be allowed to remain open until 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 7, 2016.
    (6) All offers made on Tuesday, June 7, 2016 shall be allowed to remain open for a period of 24 hours.
    (7) All offers made after Tuesday, June 7, 2016 shall be allowed to remain open for a reasonable period of time.
    (8) 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.
    (9) Students shall deal with offers received as expeditiously as possible regardless of the stipulated time that an offer shall be allowed to remain open.
    (10) Students who accept an offer shall immediately notify firms from whom they have an outstanding offer or with whom they have scheduled interviews.
    (11) 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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