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What kinds of things are you doing during your family law articles?


Garfield
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Garfield
  • Articling Student

Curious as to what other family law articling students are doing during their articles. I don’t get to do much other than drafting going to intakes and other low risk stuff etc. (Not complaining, just describing.) I am allowed to communicate directly with clients to say, draft an affidavit, but only the “smaller” clients, not the “bigger” ones. I don’t get to speak in court but I get to attend court, which is fun 

what are others doing? 

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Phaedrus
  • Lawyer

When I articled, I interviewed a few clients and drafted affidavits, prepared application packages, prepared research memos, requested financial disclosure from various institutions, and made a lot of Excel tables to calculate assets, debts, and historical maintenance. Some of the work felt assistant-y or paralegally, but I have to do all that work myself in my current position so it was a valuable experience. 

I didn't have the opportunity to speak in court for our family files, but did for routine criminal matters. 

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Twenty
  • Articling Student

Research memos: I find family law jurisprudence interesting, so I don't mind getting new research projects. Some of the topics I researched on include: parental alienation, executive compensation packages, jurisdiction challenges, rules of court, challenging separation agreements, spousal and child support research, exemptions. 

Overseeing a client file: The firm assigned me one client whose divorce I will be "in charge" of from beggining to end. I have phone calls with the client, communicate with them, draft their documents, etc. My work gets overseen by a lawyer. 

Court appearances: Three months into articling, I've appeared before a judge for two consent orders and one order for subservice. 

Other things: excel spreadsheets for property division, drafting (an affidavit, demand letter, and desk divorce documents like divorce judgement), meeting with a client to go over a letter, wrote a blog post on a development of the law, summarizing a client's file by going through all the past disclosures/communications, updating internal documents, scanning and organizing financial disclosure, etc.

Learning lots and more or less enjoying articling so far. 

 

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Toad
  • Articling Student
  • Drafted Binding JDR, mediation, and arbitration briefs. 
  • Drafted concise letters (short briefs for Special Chambers)
  • Drafted affidavits
  • Drafted research memos and opinion letters
  • Prepared divorce packages (Divorce Judgment, Affidavit of Applicant, Request for Divorce)
  • Drafted Statement of Claims for Divorce and Division of Family Property, Lis Pendens, and Notices to Disclose
  • Reviewed disclosure, prepared Disclosure Statements, harassed clients to provide their disclosure.
  • Correspondence with opposing counsel, clients, third party organizations.
  • Generated ChildView child support and spousal support calculations
  • Prepared retroactive and ongoing child support tables
  • Drafted prenuptial/postnuptial/separation/settlement agreements
  • Prepared settlement offers
  • Bunch of communication with clients
  • Prepared questions for a questioning
  • Shadowed arbitrations, Court of Appeal arguments, mediations, Binding JDRs, Special Chambers, Regular Chambers, Family Docket, four-way meetings, questionings, Early Intervention Case Conferences
  • Attended at Family Docket, read in a Consent Order in Regular Chambers
  • Swore Affidavits and Notarized documents
  • Assisted with billing and administrative tasks
  • I would have argued before the Court in Regular Chambers twice, but both settled. 

Obviously my articling principal reviews everything, but I have had major involvement on many big files. I had one of my arguments on a fairly unique issue accepted by the Justice and same is now cited on CanLii, which I found pretty cool. 

 

Edited by Toad
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