What is articling?

Articling is a 12-month period of experiential learning meant to assist in the transition from law school to the actual practice of law. During articling the goal is to provide each articled clerk with an opportunity to gain experience in a variety of relevant areas, including (but not limited to) professional responsibility, personal practice and office management, interviewing and advising, negotiation, and advocacy. A clerk’s work must be supervised by other lawyers, who provide constructive feedback and assist them in learning legal practice and client management skills.

A clerk may commence articling throughout the calendar year on the first of any month; however, the official start dates are March 1, June 1, September 1 and December 1, with June 1 serving as the most common start date.

What are the prerequisites for applying to article?

In order to be eligible to commence articles and apply to the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society (the “Society”), an applicant must meet the following requirements:

  1. have a law degree;
  2. be lawfully entitled to work in Canada; and
  3. have an articling position arranged.

How to find a position?

The responsibility for finding an articling position is up to the applicant. An applicant can participate in interviewing sessions at law school, send out resumés to firms, and post a “seeking articles” notice on the Career opportunities page of the Society’s website. (All notices are also shared directly with lawyers through the InForum newsletter; use this online form to submit a notice.)

The traditional articling position will have a clerk working with a qualified principal or supervising lawyer for 12 months. There are also a number of other ways to fulfil the 12-month articling requirement, including sharing articles among several legal services providers over the course of the year-long period.

Applicants who have completed clerkships in other provinces may apply for credit toward the requirement.

How to apply?

Before beginning articles, an applicant and principal must to apply to the Society and should complete the checklist provided in the Articling Application Form available in the menu bar to the right under Information for Articled Clerks, as well as any relevant documents under Information for Principals

Please note: Applications should be submitted at least six weeks prior to the preferred articling start date (or by April 1 if applying to begin on June 1), in order to avoid a delay in the applicant’s preferred start date.

Once received, the application is then processed by Society staff in Education & Credentials. Completed applications are considered in the order in which we receive them.