It’s articling season in Alberta. If you’re one of the many students who didn’t land an offer this week, that’s the first thing that you have to remember. You’re one of many students who didn’t land an offer this week.
During the official recruitment period the supply of jobs will inevitably be much smaller than the demand. While firms can safely decide not to participate in the recruitment period, how many students do you know who had the courage to take that risk? As taxing as articling week is on students, it’s also onerous for firms. As such, a lot of firms opt out of recruitment week and instead plan to hire on their own schedule and on their own terms – even large and midsize firms are opting out. Many other firms don’t know what their staffing needs will be a year from now and won’t be in a position to advertise until closer to the position’s actual start date. While it can be discouraging that your job search isn’t over yet, there’s still a good supply of good positions out there. From here on applications, interviews and offers can also proceed at a far less hectic pace.
Not having an articling position also means you still have time to think about what kind of lawyer you want to be. If you went to law school with the goal of making a difference in society, how will you reflect that goal as you move forward in your job search? If you went to law school because you thought a law degree would get you a better job, what does “better” look like to you now that you’re two thirds through your degree? If you went to law school to keep your options open while you decided what to do when you grow up, what type of practice will allow you the opportunity to learn while you make up your mind?
As your search continues, keep in mind that mobility is the new reality. For many of you, finding an articling position will not be your first law job. It’s also very unlikely that it will be your last. While an articling position often comes with the prospect of longer term employment, it is still just a one year term at the outset. Looking for a job for a 12 month term rather than aiming to lock in the rest of your life might help to keep things in perspective.