Practice Placements

What is a Practice Placement?

  • A 4-month / 15-week Practice Placement.
  • Approved by the Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC) to replace the mandatory articling requirement for Bora Laskin Law graduates only.
  • Required for our students in 3rd Year (3L) in Fall OR Winter term:
    • Fall Term, begins each year in early September for 15 weeks
    • Winter Term, begins each year in early January for 15 weeks
  • Firms can select term preference or have a different student in each term.
  • Unpaid Practice Placement, very similar to a Nursing, Medicine or Education professional placement for students to further develop their skills. You may opt to support your student through housing and relocation expenses.
  • Excellent for small firms that cannot manage 10-month paid articling positions and that want to attract students to their community or firm. 
  • Opportunity for all Bora Laskin Law students to work in small to medium-size firm environments in different communities across Ontario.
  • Opportunity for firms to assess students for junior associate positions post-graduation.
  • Practice Placement experience and suitability is monitored by the Faculty.
  • Firms fully participate in the selection of their placement students. 
  • No student is forced on you. No student is forced into a Practice Placement.
  • Practice Placement evaluations conducted by placement supervisors, based on the LSUC articling requirements.

How is the Practice Placement part of the Integrated Practice Curriculum (IPC)?

Skills are built in throughout our three year curriculum - not just taught in the last few months. Each year, the incoming class is only 60 students and as such, we have flexibility to incorporate skills into almost every course.

Law Students in classroom

In first year, students participate in a variety of legal skills - designed to reinforce concepts discussed in the classrooms, putting theory into practice right away. Rather than replace time spent on legal theory, there is more classroom time added. Rather than 100% final exams, skills components allow there to be other assessment methods, reinforcing the value placed on skills development.

In second year, Civil Practice, our capstone course, fully immerses a student into a civil action - acting in small firms with a local practitioner as their “principal”. They take a fact situation from initial client interview through to appeal, including a four-hour trial in late February.

Student will also take mandatory Family Law, Solicitor Transactions, as well as The Business of Law course (small firm practice concerns and considerations).

Our Faculty have all practiced law in a range of firm sizes, including ‘Bay Street’ corporate litigation and small town law and are therefore comfortable incorporating skills into their courses. Many of our courses are taught by practitioners.

Mandate circlesWhen we admit students, we look for academic excellence as well as connection to our three mandates. 

As such, our students are very open to practicing in underserviced areas, returning to their hometowns to work in small practice, or to practice in Aboriginal / Indigenous Law.

This combination of admission standards and Practice Placement locations is working - as evidence by 54% of our first graduating class working as lawyers across northern Ontario: in Dryden, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Kapuskasing, and Sault Ste. Marie. 

Another 10% are practicing in small towns: Bracebridge, Brantford, Brockville, Owen Sound, and Sarnia.

What types of Practice Placements do our students participate in?

Locations of placements pie chart

Northern Ontario locations include: Dryden, Fort Frances, Kapuskasing, North Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Sioux Lookout, Sudbury, Thunder Bay and Timmins.

Types of legal offices pie chartSize of legal offices pie chart

*Small town Ontario locations include: Ayr, Belleville, Cambridge, Georgetown, Grimsby, Guelph, Kitchener, Owen Sound, Perth, Sarnia, Stratford and Welland.

 

The wide range of Practice Placements offers greater opportunities for students to have a variety of experiences to select from, when applying to Practice Placement locations.

The majority (73%) of our Practice Placements are in firms with 10 or fewer lawyers, which is reflective of our mandate of small practice focus.

 

How can my office be involved in Practice Placements?

Each year, we look for firms to join the list of opportunities open for students in September and October for the following school year.

Students apply during second year (2L) to their preferred firms through our Student Services Office. Supervisors interview their top candidates and then both students and supervisors rank and best matches are made. Practice Placement matches are usually made in early February. Practice Placements begin in either September or January of the student’s third year (3L). Students will spend one semester on Practice Placement and one in classes. They will graduate in May, write their Bar Exams in June and can be called to the Bar in September.

Download an Organization Application form or for more information, please email or call: 

Office of the Dean, Alodie Mergulhao

Email:  lawfaculty@lakeheadu.ca

Phone:  (807) 346-7811