Who is responsible for the creation of a composite article?
The student-at-law is responsible for arranging their own articling program, however a principal is welcome to provide guidance and suggestions to a student-at-law and assist with networking.
How do I know the student-at-law is well qualified?
All students-at-law must meet the same qualifications for permission to article in Alberta. Although students may come from a variety of educational backgrounds, they all meet Canadian legal education requirements or those set by the National Committee on Accreditation for internationally trained law students and lawyers.
Who pays the student-at-law’s salary?
In a composite article, each principal will pay for the portion of articles the student-at-law spends with him or her during the articling term. It is up to each student-at-law and principal to determine salary and any benefits in accordance with legal requirements.
Who pays the student-at-law’s law society fees?
There is no requirement for a principal/principal’s practice setting to pay for the student-at-law’s law society fees, although this is the common practice with a traditional article. It would be up to the student-at-law and the principal(s) involved to reach an agreement, if any, regarding payment for law society fees.
Who pays for CPLED?
There is no requirement for a principal/principal’s practice setting to pay for CPLED, although this is the common practice with a traditional article. It would be up to the student-at-law and the principal(s) involved to reach an agreement, if any, regarding payment for CPLED. Many firms agree to pay their proportionate share based on the time the student will be employed with their firm.
Do composite articles have to be continuous?
The 12 month articling requirement does not require continuous practice. The student-at-law, therefore, can have a short break between each portion of a composite article as long as they complete the 12 months set out in the requirements.
Articles 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.
How long does a portion of a composite article have to be?
There is a no minimum requirement for an articling position. Therefore, a portion of a composite article will generally range from one to eleven months to meet the 12 month total requirement (unless a portion of the articles is a clerkship at a court, in which case the total articling term must be 15 months).
What forms are required for a composite article?
In addition to the Application for Admission as a Student-at-Law (Form 2-1), the student-at-law is required to complete an Education Plan (Form 2-5/2-6 for any court clerkship) and an Articles of Clerkship form (Form 2-8/2-9 for any court clerkship).
When moving from the first articling portion to each subsequent portion a new Articles of Clerkship (Form 2-8/2-9 for any court clerkship) must be submitted to the Law Society. An amended or updated educations plan (Form 2-5/2-6 for any court clerkship) must be completed for each articling portion.
In addition, when the student-at-laws leaves each articling portion, the student and his or her principal must complete a Certificate of Principal (Form 2-12/2-13 and Evaluation Certificate (Form 2-7).
What do composite articles look like?
Within the existing Rules of the Law Society of Alberta, composite articles might be:
- A one to 11 month rotation in different firms or organizations;
- Law firms assuming the cost of a student-at-law only for the period that they work with a firm;
- Exposure to different firm structures, cultures and practice styles;
- An expanded network of contacts and potential job opportunities;
- “Hands-on” exposure to some of the most demanding but satisfying areas of law; and
- A chance to really know what area of law might be a “fit” for a new lawyer.
Paraphrased from: Composite Articles a Win-Win for Both Employers and Students.
The Advisory: Volume 8, Issue 2. Marie L. Gordon, QC, Gordon Zwaenepoel. (April 2010)