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An articling secondment means moving from one firm or organization to another firm or organization for a temporary period of time. In a secondment, a student-at-law retains the same principal for the entire articling period. An example is an article with a large firm where the student-at-law spends six weeks working in a corporate in-house setting as a secondment from the large firm. You must first receive permission from your principal and the Law Society before participating in a secondment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Secondments are not a requirement of articling in Alberta. Students-at-law can article at a single firm or in a single practice area as long as all the requirements of the Education Plan are met. If you choose to complete a secondment, it is your principal’s responsibility to continue to confirm that the requirements of the Education Plan are met.
You must first receive permission from your principal to participate in a secondment and you must notify and be approved by the Law Society before participating in a secondment that exceeds one week.
You must submit a secondment application in your Lawyer Portal and select the supervising lawyer and the duration of the secondment. Please be sure this is submitted a minimum of 10 days prior to the proposed start date. Your proposed secondment must be approved by the Law Society prior to commencement.
During your secondment, you can continue to use the mailing address of your primary employer. It is your responsibility to maintain a current email address and phone number within the Lawyer Portal in case the Law Society needs to contact you.
Your secondment supervisor must meet the same eligibility requirements as a principal (see Rule 55 of the Rules of the Law Society of Alberta) and your secondment must be in Alberta.
As a student-at-law, you are not covered by the Alberta Lawyers Indemnity Association (ALIA) policy and would typically fall under your principal’s policy. If you are moving to an in-house position for a secondment, you must ensure that you are indemnified or insured for errors and/or omissions in their policy.
Typically, secondments last from one to six weeks. If your planned secondment will exceed six weeks, please contact the Law Society for approval. If there are any changes to the approved secondment duration and location, you must first obtain approval from the Law Society.