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Outside of the traditional article, students-at-law can choose composite articles to fulfil the articling requirement of becoming a lawyer in Alberta.
Composite articles are articles that are made up of a variety of practice settings that accumulate to fulfill the minimum articling requirement in Alberta. They can be an amalgamation of multiple short- or long-term articling positions.
Each time you change practice settings, you also change to a new principal. For example, you could have five practice settings, in five different practice areas, with a new principal in each setting.
Students-at-law considering composite articles should:
- Ensure the articles meet the education plan requirements.
- Ensure they have an agreement in place with each articling principal to ensure a common understanding of practice area(s), articling term start and end dates, expectations, salary and any other relevant items.
- Ensure an Application for Admission as a student-at-law is submitted. When moving from the first articling portion to each subsequent portion, a new Articling Agreement must be submitted to Membership through the Lawyer Portal at least 30-days prior to your commencement date.
- Ensure after each articling position, that your principal certifies the articles through their Lawyer Portal on the “My Students” page.
- Ensure Canadian Centre for Professional Legal Education (CPLED)applications and fees are completed and submitted in accordance with the requirements of the Practice Readiness Education Program (PREP).
As a helpful resource for further information, read our article Rising to the Challenge about another student’s experience with composite articles.
The student-at-law is responsible for arranging their own articling term. However, a principal is welcome to provide guidance and suggestions to a student-at-law and assist with networking.
The articling term does not require continuous practice as a student-at-law. The articling term and PREP must be completed within three years of admission as a student-at-law. If an extension is needed, it must be requested prior to the expiry of the student-at-law status. Please review Rule 58.1 of the Rules of the Law Society and s. 44 of the Legal Profession Act.
There is no requirement regarding the length of a composite articling term. However, the total of your composite articling periods should equate to the required articling term of 12-months.