The Legal Excellence Program - Edmonton

Articling Opportunities Across Canada

Prairie Region, Edmonton Office

The Prairie Region is one of six regional bases of operation in the Department of Justice Canada. Within our region, the Department of Justice maintains offices in Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, and Winnipeg.

In Edmonton, DOJ lawyers represent the federal government in a wide variety of matters affecting departments and agencies of the government of Canada that operate within the province of Alberta. Although our lawyers regularly appear before the federal courts (Federal Court, Federal Court of Appeal, and the Tax Court of Canada) the provincial superior courts (Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta, Court of Appeal of Alberta) and the Supreme Court of Canada, DOJ counsel are also involved in challenging and interesting solicitors’ work.

General Articling Information

The Edmonton office takes its commitment to its articling students seriously by providing an exceptional articling experience, which promotes legal excellence, and whenever financially feasible, appoints its articling students to term or permanent positions after they have successfully finished their articles. The Edmonton office has a very good record for doing so.

In Alberta, lawyers are regulated by the Law Society of Alberta (LSA). For further information, refer to the LSA’s website.

Students in Edmonton spend their articling year working in three sections of the Department of Justice – Aboriginal Law Services, Civil Litigation and Advisory Services, and Tax Law Services – and are seconded to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (formerly the Federal Prosecution Service) for a three month term.

Students receive feedback on assignments from counsel throughout each rotation and are provided with a written evaluation at the end of each rotation.

Pursuant to the rules of the LSA, one lawyer is assigned as the articling student’s principal throughout their articles. Alberta is the only jurisdiction in Canada in which articling students are admitted to the bar individually. The student’s principal typically makes the application to the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta seeking an order admitting the student as a member of the Alberta bar.

Five counsel also sit on the Edmonton office’s Articling and Summer Student Committee, whose members are the students’ supervising lawyers in each of the sections.

Students also have access to and are encouraged to participate in the National Mentoring Program.

Professional Development

Articling students attend mandatory training such as the Orientation to the Public Service Course; Orientation to the Prairie Region and an Articling Student Orientation. As part of Law Society of Alberta requirements for admission to the bar as lawyers, students also attend classes through the Canadian Centre for Professional Legal Education (CPLED) consisting of three one week periods during their articling year. The Department of Justice as a learning organization supports many other opportunities throughout the year provided within and outside the department.

Salary and Benefits

Articling Students with the Department of Justice in Edmonton are entitled to:

  • Annual salary is $39,652;
  • 15 days vacation per year, pro-rated;
  • 15 days paid sick leave per year, pro-rated;
  • Medical and dental coverage;
  • Pensionable service.

How to Apply

All articling positions for the 2017-2018 period have been filled.

The Edmonton office intends to hire articling students for the 2018-2019 articling year. All applications for 2018-2019 positions must be received by our office before 5:00 p.m. MDT May 12, 2017. Interviews will be conducted at a time prescribed by the LSA.

This posting is open to persons residing in Canada and Canadian citizens residing abroad.

All applicants must include the following documents:

  • A letter of application, setting out in 250 to 500 words why a career with the Department of Justice Canada appeals to you;
  • A curriculum vitae; and
  • Law school transcript that includes second-year first-term marks (students who are selected for an interview will be required to bring an official transcript to their interview).

Applications that neglect to include all of the above items will be considered incomplete. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.

All applications should be submitted by one of the following methods:

  • By regular mail or courier to:
    Department of Justice Canada
    300 EPCOR Tower
    10423 - 101 Street
    Edmonton, AB
    T5H 0E7
    Attention: Rhonda Nahorniak

  • By e-mail to:
    Attention: Rhonda Nahorniak

If contacted for an interview, you will be required to bring your birth certificate, your Canadian passport, or your citizenship card as proof of Canadian citizenship.

The Department of Justice is committed to employment equity and encourages applications from students who are members of the following groups: Aboriginal persons, visible minorities, persons with disabilities and women. Students who wish to have their employment equity status considered at the time of articling interviews should self-identify in their applications.

Pursuant to subsection 39(1) of the Public Service Employment Act, candidates who are Canadian citizens shall be appointed in preference to candidates who are not Canadian citizens.

Applicants must demonstrate in their application that they meet the following qualifications: Statement of merit criteria and conditions of employment

Summer Positions

First year law school students may apply for a four month term position with the Department of Justice, from May to September. Summer students spend the summer in two of our three practice areas: Aboriginal Law Services, Public Safety Defence and Immigration and Business and Regulatory Law, and Tax Law Services. Summer students do a range of work very similar to that of our articling students, with a significant emphasis on the practical aspects of litigation and solicitors’ work. While summer students may not appear in Court on behalf of the Crown, summer students are encouraged to attend examinations for discovery, hearings, and trials with counsel.

Areas of Practice

The lawyers employed in Edmonton, Alberta are divided into three sections:

Aboriginal Law Services (ALS)

The Aboriginal Law Services (ALS) section was formed as a separate section in 1998 in response to the influx of litigation involving aboriginal issues, along with the increased demand from federal departments for legal advice relating to their dealings with aboriginal peoples.

ALS is divided into a litigation component and an advisory component. Although our primary client is the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC), ALS also offers legal services to other federal government departments as well as other sections of the office when native law issues arise in the course of matters they are conducting.

ALS handles matters such as:

  • General advice and litigation arising from AANDC’s day-to-day program operations;
  • General advice and litigation arising from the operations of Indian Oil and Gas Canada;
  • Settlement of land entitlement and other specific claims;
  • Negotiation of self-government agreements;
  • Preparation of multi-department or multi-government agreements relating to aboriginal programming;
  • Constitutional litigation involving aboriginal and treaty rights;
  • Litigation arising from the fiduciary obligations of the Crown;
  • Resolution of Indian Residential School claims.

In the Aboriginal Law Section, articling students can expect to be involved in both litigation and advisory activities. The litigation assignments can include the review and drafting of pleadings, researching and preparing opinions on liability and damages, preparing for and assisting with the conduct of examinations for discovery, and preparations required for pre-trial conferences, trials, and appeals. For advisory services, the articling students would assist in research of law and policy, drafting documents, and providing advice and support to AANDC.

Public Safety Defence and Immigration and Business and Regulatory Law (PSDI/BusReg)

Public Safety Defence and Immigration and Business and Regulatory Law sections are dedicated to a broad spectrum of the legal affairs of government, which do not fall within the specific framework of operations covered by their counterparts in Tax, Federal Prosecution and to some extent Aboriginal Law.

Counsel in this section represent the Attorney General of Canada in civil litigation conducted by or against various departments of the Federal Crown in areas ranging from actions in contract and tort to judicial review of administrative decisions. Some of the client departments represented include the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Parks Canada Agency and the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

The areas of law that engage counsel are diverse and include commercial, constitutional, corrections, environmental, immigration, police, personal injury, administrative and regulatory law. There are also counsel in this section that conduct a solicitor’s practice for some client departments, which involves contract work, transactional work and opinions.

Articling students will be involved in all types of litigation work performed by (PSDI/BusReg), including preparing opinions on liability and damages, drafting pleadings. They will assist with trial preparation and appeals, and attending in Masters Chambers. There will also be ample opportunity to observe senior counsel not only in court, but also at examinations for discovery, mediations, mini-trials and pre-trial conferences. The advisory work includes drafting of agreements and advising client departments on a wide range of operational, policy and legislative matters.

Tax Law Services (TLS)

In the Prairie Region, counsel in the Tax Law Services section represent the Minister of National Revenue in all matters before the Tax Court of Canada and the Federal Courts of Canada in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba and before the Supreme Court of Canada.

Counsel deal with disputes concerning the assessments and reassessments of taxes by Canada Revenue Agency under the Income Tax Act, the Excise Tax Act (GST) and the Employment Insurance Act.

Counsel also provide legal services with respect to the collection of debts owing to the Minister of National Revenue and represent the federal Crown’s interest in bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings in the superior courts of the provinces.

Articling students will have the opportunity to assist with pleadings, motions, trial preparation, collection issues and perhaps conduct an informal procedure hearing before the Tax Court of Canada.

Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC)

For more information about the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, please visit its website.

The Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC) is a federal government organization, created on December 12, 2006, when the Director of Public Prosecutions Act, Part 3 of the Federal Accountability Act, came into force.

The PPSC fulfills the responsibilities of the Attorney General of Canada in the discharge of his criminal law mandate by prosecuting criminal offences under federal jurisdiction and by contributing to strengthening the criminal justice system.

In this regard, the PPSC assumes the role played within the Department of Justice Canada by the former Federal Prosecution Service (FPS), and takes on additional responsibilities for prosecuting new fraud offences under the Financial Administration Act as well as offences under the Canada Elections Act. Unlike the FPS, which was part of the Department of Justice, the PPSC is an independent organization, reporting to Parliament through the Attorney General of Canada.

The PPSC is responsible for prosecuting offences under more than 50 federal statutes and for providing prosecution-related legal advice to law enforcement agencies. Cases prosecuted by the PPSC include those involving drugs, organized crime, terrorism, tax law, money laundering and proceeds of crime, crimes against humanity and war crimes, Criminal Code offences in the territories, and a large number of federal regulatory offences.

The PPSC employs approximately 900 full time employees, including 500 prosecutors, and retains more than 810 private-sector lawyers as agents across Canada.

Contact Information

For more information about articles in the Edmonton Office, please contact:

Rhonda Nahorniak
Regional Director

Department of Justice – Edmonton Office
300 EPCOR Tower
10423 - 101 Street
Edmonton, AB
T5H 0E7

Telephone: (780) 495-4324
Fax: (780) 495-2964

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