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Articling with the Crown: Hireback Chances


TheBigShort

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TheBigShort
  • Law Student

Hello all,

I am wondering what the hireback rate is like for articling students with the Alberta Crown (or other comparable provinces)? Anecdotally, I have heard that most articling students do not secure a permanent position with the Crown upon being called to the bar. Is this an accurate assessment of the current market? If so, what can one do to increase their chances of hireback?

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CleanHands
  • Lawyer

For the past few years, to my knowledge every ACPS articling student was hired back as a Crown Prosecutor on a one-year contract. You probably know better than me whether that's still the case for your articling year. This at least gives some nice breathing room to find a permanent position, and something to put on one's resume if they don't end up going permanent.

Permanent hiring is cyclical and dependent upon institutional needs.

Pretty much every articling student who was called to the bar in 2022 could be hired back permanently if they wanted it and were willing to be a bit flexible with the office they went to. Edmonton General took a ton of them, which is unusual as generally certain rural offices have been in constant need of people and new calls needed to put in their dues there before moving to a city office. There were a bunch of new positions created that the ACPS needed to fill. They were so desperate to fill positions that they were even hiring fresh Bond NCA grads and such (it was embarrassing).

2023 calls on the other hand are having a hell of a time and you are right that most don't have permanent positions yet.

Honestly IMO there is minimal correlation between an articling students' performance and hireback, as long as they aren't notably bad. If you want to increase your chances, be willing to relocate anywhere in the province and apply to every opening with any office. If you can get on with the ACPS permanently at any office, you can apply when there are openings at your preferred office. You could be a JD gold medalist, SCC clerk genius who does the best work the ACPS has ever seen and it wouldn't get you hired back at a specific office if there isn't a position available. That's government for you.

One caveat I would make is that personally I would avoid taking a job with the bail office unless you have no other options. Not only is it way less interesting and stimulating work, but they gain far less relevant experience than Crowns in other offices and it's kind of a dumping ground for what the ACPS considers their more marginal talents (to put it politely) and can be a dead end (when hiring for other offices they will take someone who has been in docket court, been doing charge assessments, and who has been running trials every week over someone who has only been getting bail experience nine times out of ten).

Edited by CleanHands
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BondGuy
  • Lawyer
Quote

They were so desperate to fill positions that they were even hiring fresh Bond NCA grads and such (it was embarrassing).

Hey, one of my colleagues from Bond is a Crown . Experienced and competent. This is great news - hope they continue to show the profession NCA candidates should be judged on individual merits and not lumped into one pile. 

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CleanHands
  • Lawyer
17 minutes ago, BondGuy said:

Hey, one of my colleagues from Bond is a Crown . Experienced and competent. This is great news - hope they continue to show the profession NCA candidates should be judged on individual merits and not lumped into one pile. 

Not so much a matter of "judging on individual merits" as scraping the bottom of the barrel when they suddenly get funding for tons of new positions and need to fill them ASAP.

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PzabbytheLawyer
  • Lawyer
On 2/12/2024 at 10:41 AM, BondGuy said:

Hey, one of my colleagues from Bond is a Crown . Experienced and competent. This is great news - hope they continue to show the profession NCA candidates should be judged on individual merits and not lumped into one pile. 

Are they Canadian and went to Bond? Does Bond filter out candidates on any performance metric at all if you're Canadian?

Experienced in my eye is often a stand in for assessing merit. To some extent there's obviously a correlation, but using "years of x" as a placeholder for competence is an estimate.

If they're actually competent, that's great. Our justice system needs more competent lawyers. 

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CleanHands
  • Lawyer
1 hour ago, PzabbytheLawyer said:

Are they Canadian and went to Bond? Does Bond filter out candidates on any performance metric at all if you're Canadian?

Experienced in my eye is often a stand in for assessing merit. To some extent there's obviously a correlation, but using "years of x" as a placeholder for competence is an estimate.

If they're actually competent, that's great. Our justice system needs more competent lawyers. 

"Competent Bond grad" is an oxymoron. By definition they are incompetent if they went to Bond.

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Friends, we have had enough derailed threads about Bond on the forum (and its predecessor forum). It's a well hashed out argument, I'll ask that we don't do it again unless we've got something new to raise. 

Especially since there ARE colleagues of ours who studied out there. Warning a new student about pitfalls of the school is fine when it comes up, but let's please enjoy the weekend 

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