What are they?
An articling student is a law school graduate who first has to work for a year under the supervision of a senior lawyer. Articling is similar to an apprenticeship. If the student successfully completes their articles they are then admitted to the Law Society of Alberta and can practice as a lawyer. Since the student is not yet a lawyer, the cost of hiring an articling student is much lower than hiring senior counsel, or even a junior lawyer! The best part about hiring an articling student is that a senior lawyer must review all work completed by the student. Therefore when hiring an articling student its like getting a senior lawyer at a discounted rate.
How can this help me?
Hiring an articling student is one way to keep costs low during your family matter while knowing that all work done by the student will still be monitored and reviewed by a senior lawyer.
What is the downside?
Students article for one year. If your matter takes longer than one year, your file may change many hands.Waiting for a senior lawyer to review work can create slower turn around times to complete work. The smoothest way to get through your legal matter is to have one lawyer on a full retainer. Resolve Legal Group recognizes that this may be difficult for individuals to achieve; this is why Resolve Legal Group has created opportunities for clients to have access to justice through our specialized programs. Please note that at times clients can feel frustrated when carrying the bulk of the work themselves. If you are having difficulty taking on the bulk of the responsibility as a self-represented litigant, the cost effective nature of these alternative service programs can end up not as cost-effective as a full retainer. This is particularly true for complex files or when a client is not willing or not able to adhere to deadlines, or be a diligently organized self-starter. This may occur where clients have high work or family demands that prevent them from attending to their own matters on a timely basis.
When choosing any one of these alternative service programs, it is very important that individuals make an honest self-assessment as to their abilities to work within one of these alternative service delivery models effectively before commencing.