So, you may know that PSLawNet lists articling opportunities for Canadian law students. Articling is akin to an apprenticeship for law graduates, and it’s a prerequisite for practicing law in Canada.
In Ontario, an articling task force was created in response to a shortage of articling positions, especially those more oriented to social justice.
. . . 12.1 per cent of those [law graduates] seeking articles in the 2010-11 licensing year went unplaced, a big jump from a rate of 5.8 per cent three years ago.
The access-to-justice issue in Canada is twofold: First, sole practitioners, small firms and legal clinics do most of the legal work for low- and middle-income people and they do not have the resources to provide articling opportunities. Second, most articling opportunities are with medium and large firms that do not address social justice issues.
The task force’s final report should be out in June 2012. Read more here.
How would having an apprenticeship system in the U.S. affect our access-to-justice gap? Let me know your thoughts!