Law School Graduates Can’t Get Articling Jobs? So What?

A big issue among Ontario lawyers these days is the paucity of articling jobs for law students looking to become lawyers (generally, to become licensed as a lawyer you have to work for another lawyer as an “articling student”, basically a glorified apprenticeship, for 10 months).  Between a sharp drop-off in activity in the legal community, and increases in enrollment at Ontario law schools and in the number of Canadians law students who couldn’t get into a respectable Canadian school attending law school abroad (hello, Bond University, I’m looking at you), we’ve reached a crisis point with hundreds of students graduating from law school (often with 6-figure student loans) with no realistic possibility of ever becoming lawyers.

To the Law Society of Upper Canada (the “LSUC”), this is a problem to be addressed.  Since lawyers can’t be persuaded to hire more articling students then they need, the LSUC is proposing to create a new parallel licensing arrangement (the “PLA”), consisting of a  4-month long “Law Practice Program” and a 4-month co-op placement.

Personally, I don’t think the current excess supply of law students is a problem, over time it will decrease if gradates can’t find jobs.  And the PLA is a non-solution to this non-problem that, if it achieves anything, it will be to increase the amount of disciplinary complaints about new lawyers.

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Terrorism makes you stupid

It’s a source of wonderment to my criminal lawyer friends that people accused of committing serious crimes can’t be bothered to shut-the-fuck-up and get a lawyer after they’re arrested.  For Crowns, this tendency, while baffling, is appreciated, since it makes convictions that much easier.  The running theory is that crime makes you stupid, and if anyone ever wanted proof of that proposition, I give you Chiheb Esseghaier, one of the suspected accused in the alleged plot to attack a VIA train.  

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The VIA Bombers, the Imam and Islam in Canada

I’ve already discussed the Iranian connection with the alleged terror plot against a VIA rail train.  The other interesting angle is that the alleged plotters apparently came to the attention of the RCMP thanks to a tip from a Toronto-area Imam concerns about the apparent radicalization of one of the suspects. 

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Iran, Canada and the Alleged VIA Bombers

Yesterday, the RCMP arrested two alleged terrorists for attempting to to attack a VIA train travelling between Toronto and New York.  Details of the plot are still sketchy, but according to at least one account, the two alleged terrorists intended to derail VIA train 97 as it crossed the Whirlpool Bridge, near Niagara Falls – plunging the train and its passengers into the Niagara Gorge.  Interestingly, in light of Canada’s recent diplomatic history with that country, the RCMP also alleges that the two alleged terrorists  received support from “Al Qaeda elements in Iran“.

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