Articling Student Program
The Saskatchewan Ministry of Justice and Attorney General offers a unique and diverse articling experience. In 2024-25, the ministry will hire articling students for positions in Regina, North Battleford, Yorkton and northern Saskatchewan, and it may consider other rural locations as well. Articling students will be articled to a Senior Counsel working for the ministry.
Students hired for an articling position in Regina will rotate through the Legal Services Division (including Civil Law, Constitutional Law, Legislative Services, Legislative Drafting) and Public Prosecutions.
Students will also spend one month at a private law firm and one month in an area of choice within the ministry, such as the Dispute Resolution Office or the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee.
Throughout the articling year, students will work closely with Crown Counsel, who represent the Government of Saskatchewan in civil litigation and provide legal services to ministries, boards and agencies in areas such as health, education, highways, environment, government relations, agriculture, and family and child protection law. Crown Counsel also provide legal advice on constitutional issues such as division of powers, Charters of Rights, Indigenous law and trade issues. Crown Counsel working in the Legal Services Division also coordinate the development of legal and legislative policy and draft legislation and regulations.
During the Prosecutions rotation, students work with Crown Prosecutors in the Provincial Court and Court of King's Bench, and they have the opportunity to independently conduct trials in Provincial Court and Traffic Court.
Throughout the articling year, students will be provided with opportunities to work on justice system innovations and improvements.
Saskatoon, Northern and Rural Area Articles
Students hired to article in Saskatoon or a northern or rural Public Prosecutions Office obtain significant criminal law and litigation experience.
Public Prosecutions has offices in: North Battleford, La Ronge, Meadow Lake, Melfort, Prince Albert, Swift Current, Yorkton and Moose Jaw.
Public Prosecutions conducts prosecutions primarily under the Criminal Code of Canada and the Youth Criminal Justice Act. Public Prosecutions promotes safe communities through just resolution of criminal charges, ranging from the prosecution of trial matters to working with justice partners to implement alternative appropriate resolutions.
Students will hone their criminal law and litigation skills by managing files, including case evaluation, docket court appearances, negotiations and trials in appropriate cases. Students will have the opportunity to attend circuit court and work with experienced prosecutors on significant criminal files.
To round out the articling experience, two months will be spent with a private law firm to gain experience in other practice areas.
1. About the Program
Students are articled to senior counsel in the ministry. Principals and other lawyers in the ministry act as mentors and supervise the daily activities of articling students. The mentors are available to answer questions and support students throughout each rotation to ensure students receive a reasonable amount of work in a variety of practice areas.
Legal Counsel to the Deputy Minister administers the articling program, schedules student rotations and offers support and guidance to principals, mentors and students throughout the articling year.
The lawyers who have supervised the activities of the articling students, in consultation with other lawyers in the division, provide evaluations of the students' work to the student's Principal. Students receive a copy of their evaluations.
Once articling has been successfully completed, the ministry makes significant effort to hire-back successful students.
2. Legal Divisions
Public Prosecutions Division
The lawyers in this division, known as Crown Prosecutors, prosecute offences primarily under the Criminal Code of Canada and the Youth Criminal Justice Act in all Saskatchewan courts and in the Supreme Court of Canada. Crown Prosecutors provide legal advice to the RCMP in its provincial policing role and to municipal forces in matters under investigation.
Over 100 lawyers are employed with Public Prosecutions Division. They are located at the Prosecutions head office in Regina and at 10 regional offices in Regina, North Battleford, Moose Jaw, La Ronge, Prince Albert, Saskatoon, Swift Current, Yorkton, Melfort and Meadow Lake.
Articling students work with experienced Crown Prosecutors conducting prosecutions in Court of King's Bench and in Provincial Court. Students can independently conduct summary conviction trials in Provincial Court and Traffic Safety Court. A student working in Public Prosecutions Division will gain:
- practical knowledge and extensive court experience;
- an understanding of the wide discretionary powers vested in agents of the Attorney General and the appropriate exercise of these powers in the public interest;
- experience researching and writing legal opinions on matters such as evidence, criminal procedure and statutory interpretation; and
- an understanding of the complexity of dealing with victims and other members of the public.
Legal Services Division
The Legal Services Division provides general legal services to government ministries and agencies. Approximately 50 Crown Counsel lawyers work in this division in seven general areas.
(i) Litigation: Counsel represent the government in a large range of civil litigation matters, appearing before all levels of court and before regulatory boards and tribunals. The types of cases range from personal injury claims to tax matters, class actions and administrative law.
(ii) General Counsel: General Counsel lawyers provide a wide variety of legal services to approximately 20 ministries and agencies of the government. These lawyers provide advice in the areas of health, energy and mines, municipal law, environmental law, administrative law, family law, financial and commercial law, agriculture, education and transportation law, among others.
- prepare contracts and other legal documents;
- assist in the development of legislation, regulations and Orders in Council;
- counsel government officials with respect to legal requirements and procedures;
- provide interpretation of provincial and federal statutes;
- conduct legal research and work on policy projects;
- assist government ministries and agencies with negotiations;
- handle child protection and maintenance enforcement matters; and
- provide general legal advice.
(iii) Constitutional Law: Constitutional lawyers provide legal advice to the government on constitutional matters involving division of powers and the Charter of Rights. They also advise on human rights, Indigenous law, and trade law. They handle litigation files that raise constitutional issues and represent the Attorney General in interventions before the Supreme Court of Canada. These lawyers may also provide advice or representation on Charter issues raised in prosecutions.
(iv) Office of Public Registry Administration: Lawyers provide legal and policy advice to the government on the operation of the Land Registry, Land Survey Directory, Corporate Registry and Personal Property Registry. They provide service directly to the public on complex public registry applications; review and authorize payment for claims under the land titles assurance provisions and compensation provisions for the public registries; and respond to inquiries relating to condominiums.
(v) Legislative Drafting: Lawyers draft all government Bills and Regulations with officials from other government ministries, agencies and Crown corporations. Drafting involves an analysis of the proposed policy to be implemented in legislation, a review of comparable legislation within Saskatchewan and other jurisdictions and putting the proposed policy into proper legislative language.
The Lawyers also oversee the preparation of bilingual legislation and the printing of government Bills for introduction in the Assembly. They serve as adviser to the Legislation and Regulation Review Committee of Cabinet and to the Red-Tape Reduction Committee. As well, the Branch drafts proposed Uniform Acts for the Uniform Law Conference of Canada and works with the courts in drafting their rules of court.
(vi) Legislative Services: Lawyers co-ordinate the development of consultations on, and implementation of, all Acts and Regulations for Saskatchewan Justice. This includes guiding the bills through the legislative process in the Legislative Assembly. Lawyers provide legal advice to Executive Council and the Government House Leader. They provide legal and policy advice to other ministries, agencies and Crown Corporations in the preparation of their Acts, Regulations, and Orders in Council. Lawyers participate in public and legal education respecting the legislative process and new legislation and they provide policy advice on consumer issues and financial institutions regulation.
(vii) Family Law: Lawyers provide solicitor and litigation expertise for maintenance enforcement and child protection proceedings.
Justice Services Division
The Justice Services Division provides services in the areas of dispute resolution, policy development, the Public Guardian and Trustee, Family Justice Services, Criminal Justice System Review, and e-Justice.
(i) Dispute Resolution: Lawyers and mediators in the Dispute Resolution Office provide mediation services and training, including court-ordered mediation. They also operate the High Conflict Family Mediation Program.
(ii) Public Guardian and Trustee: The Public Guardian and Trustee is an administrator of last resort to protect the property rights of children and adults who are incapable of managing their own financial affairs. This office also includes the Counsel for Children and Youth program.
(iii) Family Justice Services: Lawyers provide services to parents who require assistance in dealing with the difficulties of family breakdown, separation and divorce. Family Justice Services also operates a Family Law Information Centre that provides basic law information. They are also responsible for the administration of the legal requirement for marriage.
(iv) Criminal Justice System Review: A team of lawyers and Justice officials are undertaking a review of Saskatchewan's criminal justice system. The areas for review are bail, First Nations law enforcement, civilian oversight in policing and policing effectiveness, court flow, re-visioning justice, and strengthening Indigenous relationships.
(v) e-Justice: An initiative that aims to transform and modernize portions of the justice system to address access to justice concerns and provide better service to citizens through the implementation of online information and dispute resolution.
Administrative Justice and Strategic Relations Division
AJSR Division lawyers provide services in the areas of federal provincial territorial relations and Indigenous relations. In addition, the Division includes a number of offices related to administrative tribunals and commissions.
(i) Office of Tribunal Counsel: Lawyers in the Office of Tribunal Counsel advise and assist a number of arm's-length adjudicative tribunals with a variety of issues. Examples of the types of solicitor work include drafting contracts, advising with decision-writing, statutory interpretation and the principles of administrative justice, and providing training to clients when requested. The Office also provides representation for its clients before the courts and other tribunals in proceedings including judicial review applications, statutory appeals and civil litigation.
(ii) Office of Residential Tenancies: Under the guidance of the director who is a lawyer, Hearing Officers and Deputy Directors Adjudication hold a law degree and conduct hearings, review evidence, accept testimony and issue decisions on residential tenancy matters. Legal Research Officers are law school graduates, who review decisions prior to issuance of decisions and prepare files for appeals to the Court of King's Bench. Dispute Resolution Facilitators assist clients with information and help resolve disputes prior to hearings.
(iii) Automobile Injury Appeal Commission: The AIAC is an independent, quasi-judicial administrative tribunal responsible for hearing no-fault benefits appeals under the Personal Injury Protection Plan administered by Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI). Lawyers are appointed as board members.
(iv) SGI Appeal Advisors: Once a person files an appeal with the AIAC, they have access to the Appeal Advisor Program. Advisors provide free, independent advice and representation in preparing and presenting your case for appeal. Lawyers and legal assistants in the office provide services to appellants who are not satisfied with an injury benefit decision made by SGI under the no-fault insurance system.
(v) Highway Traffic Board: The Highway Traffic Board is an independent quasi-judicial administrative tribunal responsible for hearing appeals for a number of programs administered by SGI, as well as administering other transportation regulatory functions. Hearings are related to penalties such as licence suspensions, vehicle impoundments, SGI program ratings and commercial vehicle safety ratings. The Highway Traffic Board also reviews applications for operating authority certificates to allow short-line and industrial railways to operate in Saskatchewan. Lawyers are appointed as board members.
(vi) Saskatchewan Legal Aid Commission: SLAC provides legal advice and representation in court to low income people in the areas of criminal and family law. SLAC directly hires their own articling students, but Justice articling students are eligible to serve their option month at a Legal Aid office.
The Government of Saskatchewan offers comprehensive benefits and a competitive salary.
Bar course admission fees
Whether or not the students continue their employment with the Ministry of Justice following articles, the ministry pays their bar course admission fees.
- $4,382/month (subject to change)
- Attendance at the Saskatchewan CPLED program (Bar Admission Course) is at full pay
- Vacation pay (in lieu of vacation leave) earned at the rate 1.25 days per month
- 1.25 sick leave days per month (includes leave for family and bereavement purposes)
- One scheduled day off per month
- Public Employees Extended Health Care Plan
- Public Employees Disability Income Plan
- Public Employees Group Life Insurance Plan
- Public Employees Dental Plan
- Public Employees Pension Plan (PEPP)
- Flexible Benefit
Fees and Expenses Paid by Saskatchewan Justice
- Law Society student registration fee
- All CPLED fees (Bar Admission Course) and CPLED reference materials
- Regina Bar Association Introduction of Students Dinner
- CBA student membership fees
4. How to Apply
It is important that candidates possess strong analytical abilities as well as excellent writing, research and communication skills. Producing quality work under tight timelines and working well with others are equally important. Students should have a drive to innovate and improve the justice system and a willingness to develop the leadership abilities required to enact such change. The student's range of interests and experience are also considered. While the Ministry of Justice emphasizes a strong academic record, this is only one of several qualities that is considered.
The ministry follows the Saskatchewan College of Law Saskatchewan Articling Interview Guidelines.
The application deadline is Thursday, May 11, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. Applications must be received by email on or before this date to be considered. We are committed to achieving a representative workforce.
A connection to Northern or rural Saskatchewan and a desire to practice in the area after articles are considered assets for northern and rural articles.
To apply, please send:
- your cover letter, including which positions and locations you are applying for and why;
- your resumé;
- an unofficial transcript of your marks;
- three references, including contact information;
- a four-page excerpt from one of your papers that demonstrates your writing skills; and
- a 1-2 paragraph idea on a specific justice system innovation or improvement.
The successful candidates shall be subject to a criminal record check as a condition of employment.
Dates to make note of:
- Applications are due by 10:00 a.m., Thursday, May 11, 2023.
- Interviews will be conducted during the week of Tuesday, May 23 and Friday, May 26, 2023.
- The earliest offers will be made is 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, May 30, 2023.
Please send your complete application by the deadline to:
Legal Counsel to the Deputy Minister of Justice and Deputy Attorney General
1000-1874 Scarth Street
Regina, SK S4P 4B3
6. Further Information
Applicants are encouraged to talk to other students who have completed the articling program. To contact students who are presently articling with the ministry, or to obtain further information on the articling program, call 306-787-5249.