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Articling Student Program

The Saskatchewan Ministry of Justice offers a unique and diverse articling experience. In 2020-21, the Ministry is offering up to six articling positions. Articling students would be articled to the Deputy Minister of Justice and Deputy Attorney General, with articles located in either Regina or a northern or rural location.

Regina Articles

The Ministry will have up to three positions available in Regina.

You will be rotated through the Legal Services Division (including Civil Law, Constitutional Law, Legislative Services, Legislative Drafting, and the Office of Public Registry Administration) and Regina Public Prosecutions.

You will also spend one month at a private law firm and one month in an area of your choice within the Ministry, such as the Dispute Resolution Office, or the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee.

You 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, aboriginal law, and trade issues. They coordinate the development of legal and legislative policy and draft legislation and regulations.

You will also work with Crown Prosecutors in the Provincial Court and Court of Queen's Bench, and have the opportunity to independently conduct trials in Provincial Court and Traffic Court.

You will also have the opportunity to work on justice system innovation and improvement.

Northern and Rural Area Articles

The Ministry will have up to three positions available in northern and rural areas.

You will be based in a northern or rural Public Prosecutions Office, where you will spend your time obtaining significant criminal law and litigation experience. Public Prosecutions has offices in:


North Battleford

La Ronge

Meadow Lake

Melfort

Prince Albert

Swift Current

Yorkton

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.

You will hone your criminal law and litigation skills by independently managing files, including case evaluation, docket court appearances, negotiations, and trials. You will have the opportunity to attend circuit court and to work with experienced prosecutors on significant criminal files.

To round out your articling experience, you will also spend time learning civil and family law with a private law firm. Students also get an opportunity to tour the Regina Correctional Centre and the Legislative Building.

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1. About the Program

Students are articled to the Deputy Minister of Justice and Deputy Attorney General, Glen Gardner, Q.C. Senior lawyers in the Ministry act as mentors and supervise the daily activities of articling students. These mentors are available to answer questions, to ensure students receive a variety of work and to ensure the workload is reasonable.

The Executive Assistant to the Deputy Minister administers the articling program. The Executive Assistant schedules student rotations and generally ensures that the articles are running smoothly.

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 Deputy Minister. Students receive a copy of their evaluations.

Once articling has been successfully completed, the Ministry makes significant effort to hire-back students whenever possible.

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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 Queen'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.

General Counsel:

  • 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 interpretations 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, aboriginal 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.

Innovation Division

The Innovation Division provides services in the areas of dispute resolution, policy development, and the Public Guardian and Trustee.

(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) Policy Development: Lawyers work on civil law policy development and implementation, including access to justice initiatives and online justice solutions. Crown Counsel provide legal analysis and leadership on federal legislation and initiatives, such as cannabis reform, and promote Saskatchewan's provincial interest. They also work on a wide variety of justice initiatives, such as domestic violence, family law training, and access to justice.

(iii) 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.

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3. Benefits

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.

Salary

  • $4,050/month
  • Attendance at the Saskatchewan CPLED program (Bar Admission Course) is at full pay
  • Travel expense allowance available for CPLED sessions

Entitlements

  • 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

Benefits

  • Public Employees Extended Health Care Plan
  • Public Employees Pension Plan
  • Group Life Insurance
  • Dental Plan
  • Disability Income Plan
  • 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
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4. How to Apply

While the Ministry of Justice emphasizes a strong academic record, that is certainly not all that is considered.

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.

The Ministry follows the Saskatchewan College of Law Saskatchewan Articling Interview Guidelines.

The application deadline is Thursday, May 9, 2019, at 10:00 AM. Applications must be received by email, mail or fax 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.

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5. Apply

To apply, please send us:

  • your cover letter, including which positions and locations you are applying for and why;
  • your resume;
  • 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 AM, Thursday, May 9, 2019.
  • Interviews will be booked on Friday, May 17, 2019.
  • Interviews will be conducted on Thursday, May 23 and Friday, May 24,  2019.
  • The earliest offers will be made is 10:00 AM, Tuesday, May 28, 2019. 

Please send your complete application by the deadline to:

Executive Assistant to the Deputy Minister of Justice & Deputy Attorney General
1000-1874 Scarth Street
Regina, SK  S4P 4B3
articlingprogram@gov.sk.ca
Fax: (306) 787-3874

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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) 787-5660.

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