The Legal Excellence Program - Calgary

Articling Opportunities Across Canada

Prairie Region - Calgary Office

The Prairie Region is one of six regional bases of operation in the Department of Justice Canada. Within our Region there are four offices across the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. In Calgary, the 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 a clear emphasis on litigation exists, challenging and interesting solicitor’s (advisory) work is also conducted.

General Articling Information

In Alberta, lawyers belong to the Law Society of Alberta (LSA), for further information and rules refer to the Law Society Website.

Students in Calgary rotate through the three sections: Public Prosecution, Tax Law and Aboriginal Law, during the articling year.

In each section, a lawyer is assigned as the student’s Principal. A supervising lawyer is also assigned for each rotation to monitor the student’s work in that section and provide a written evaluation at the end of the rotation.

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 LSA requirements, they also attend classes through the Canadian Centre for Professional Legal Education (CPLED) consisting of two 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 Calgary are entitled to:

  • Annual salary is $42,894;
  • 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 Calgary office intends to hire an articling student for the 2018-2019 articling year. All applications for 2018-2019 positions must be received by our office before 5:00 p.m. MST 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 applications 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;
  • 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 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/courier to:
    Department of Justice Canada
    601, 606 4th Street SW
    Calgary, Alberta T2P 1T1
    Attention: Katherine Chandler-Pillipow

  • By e-mail (in a PDF format) to: articlingCGY@justice.gc.ca
    Attention: Katherine Chandler-Pillipow

If contacted for a second 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.

Areas of practice

The lawyers employed in Calgary are divided into three sections:

Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC)

Prosecutors and agents conduct prosecutions across Canada on behalf of the Attorney General of Canada under a wide range of federal statutes, including the Customs Act, the Controlled Drugs & Substances Act and the Income Tax Act. PPSC prosecutors also act as agents of the Solicitor General of Canada for court applications to obtain wiretap authorizations.

PPSC counsel play an important advisory role on criminal law matters and act on behalf of the Attorney General of Canada on significant criminal cases before the appellate courts. These lawyers provide operational advice in the development of criminal law policies and amendments.

In addition, PPSC counsel provide strategic direction and assistance on drug, money laundering and proceeds of crime investigations and prosecutions, with particular emphasis on organized crime.

PPSC also manages the development of proceeds-of-crime law, an emerging and highly specialized area of law, working in partnership with other government departments such as the Ministry of the Solicitor General. A concrete example of such collaborative work in this cutting-edge area is the work that PPSC prosecutors perform with police investigators in the Integrated Proceeds of Crime Units, which are strategically located across the country.

On the international level, the PPSC is the focal point for the execution of Canada’s international criminal obligations in areas of extradition and mutual assistance.

Articling students will handle such matters as docket court appearances for adjournments and setting trial dates, summary conviction trials, sentencing hearings and Charter motions research. They also provide assistance in more complex matters and perform researches.

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 Court 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 Crown and represent the federal Crown’s interest in bankruptcy proceedings in the superior court 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 in Tax Court.

Aboriginal Law Services (ALS)

The 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 people.

ALS is divided into a litigation component and a solicitor’s (advisory) component. Although our primary client is Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), 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 INAC’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;
  • Defence of Indian residential school abuse claims.

In the ALS, articling students can expect to be involved in both litigation and solicitor’s (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 (solicitor’s) advisory services, the articling students would assist in research of law and policy, drafting documents, and providing advice and support to INAC.

Contact Information

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

Katherine Chandler-Pillipow
Deputy Regional Director and Senior Counsel

Department of Justice Canada
601, 606 4th Street SW
Calgary, AB T2P 1T1

Telephone: 403-299-3558
Facsimile: 403-299-3507
E-mail: articlingCGY@justice.gc.ca

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