Alberta Court of Justice
The Alberta Court of Justice came into being in 1973 pursuant to the provisions of the Provincial Court Act, S.A. 1971, c. 86. However, the Court can trace its roots back to the Canada Jurisdiction Act 1803 (U.K.), 43 George III, c. 138. In 1873, Justices of the Peace were appointed pursuant to an ordinance passed by the Territorial Council. The Alberta Court of Justice has now grown from a court originally composed of lay magistrates, into a full trial court of record with more than 140 full-time equivalent Justices plus numerous retired Justices who serve when required.
The Court sits in 72 locations in the province, and through a variety of provincial and federal statutes, exercises extensive jurisdiction in criminal, civil, family, and youth matters. Most of the residents of Alberta who have dealings with the judicial system find themselves in the Alberta Court of Justice. The Court is very conscious of the fact that it is from interaction with this Court that many people form their view of the administration of justice in Alberta.
The Articling Program
Each student-at-law is assigned to an individual Justice who is the student's principal. While that Justice may sit primarily in one division of the Court, the student is available to, and encouraged to work with, all members of the Court in all three divisions - Civil, Family/Youth and Criminal. It is through these relationships that the student articling with the Alberta Court of Justice gains a unique insight into litigation from behind the bench.
The student and the principal work together to monitor the work experience of the student so that at the end of the 10-month articling period a student will have enjoyed a varied and balanced workload. The work assigned to a student-at-law will include research and the writing of legal memoranda, attendance in court, file and evidence organization, review and analysis of materials submitted by counsel, and meeting with Justices to analyze and discuss specific cases and issues. Students may also review, edit or discuss draft judgments.
Students articling with the Alberta Court of Justice participate in a number of seminars and discussions on topics of interest to prospective practicing lawyers. Arrangements are made to ensure that articling students attend in the Alberta Court of Justice, Court of King’s Bench, and the Court of Appeal, and meet with the presiding Justices to assist with meeting the terms of the Law Society’s Education Plan. Students are provided with an orientation and the training necessary to effectively employ online and other research resources including the Judicial Library. Students are also encouraged to consult with Provincial Court Legal Counsel.
Articling students will find the Court of Justice atmosphere to be collegial, team oriented, and supportive. They will also find that articling with the Court of Justice provides them with a unique opportunity to participate in the practical application of law they have been studying for three years in law school. In short, the Court of Justice's articling students will see the law in operation on the "front lines."
Number & Location of Students
While each Justice of the Alberta Court of Justice is permitted by statute to act as a principal to a student-at-law, practical budgetary and personnel constraints limit the number of articling positions which can be offered. Currently, two positions are offered in Calgary and two are offered in Edmonton.
Term of Article & Start Dates
Under the terms of the Law Society of Alberta bar admission requirements, a student articling with a court must article for 10 months with that court and five months in a non-court (private firm or government law practice) setting. (NOTE- please refer to the Law Society of Alberta website for the most current requirements regarding the length of post-Court articling term requirements as these may change.)
Students articling in Edmonton will normally start their articles on June 1 of the year.
Salary & Benefits
As of April 2020, the articling students’ biweekly salary was $1988.30. The Government of Alberta pays Law Society of Alberta application and admission fees, and PREP registration fees.
Each articling student has an office in the courthouse. Students are entitled to 8.33 days of holidays over the course of the 10-month article. Students are eligible to participate in the Government of Alberta employee benefits program.
Qualifications & Application Requirements
Students who will qualify under the Legal Profession Act (Alberta) to be admitted to the Law Society of Alberta as a student-at-law may apply for these positions.
Your application must include:
- a cover letter;
- a transcript (or copy) of all post-secondary marks;
- a curriculum vitae;
- Three letters of reference, one of which should be an academic reference letter; and
- an unmarked sample of your legal writing.
If you wish to be considered for positions in Edmonton and Calgary, please send separate applications.
How to Apply
For the 2024/25 articling year, the Court must receive complete applications on or before the application deadline of December 1, 2022, at noon. Note that applications must be sent electronically to the Court of Justice at the address(es) noted below, NOT to Government of Alberta human resources or employment offices. Applications should be titled - "Articling Application".
Letters of reference can be included as part of the application package or sent separately to the address(es) noted below. Emailed letters of reference must be attached as a PDF document, on letterhead and must be signed.
To apply for an articling student position in Edmonton, please email the application package to firstname.lastname@example.org addressed to:
The Honourable Justice K. Palichuk
Justice of the Alberta Court of Justice
Law Courts Building
#1A Sir Winston Churchill Square
Edmonton, AB T5J 0R2
To apply for an articling student position in Calgary, please email the application package to email@example.com, addressed to:
The Honourable Justice A.A. Fradsham
Justice of the Alberta Court of Justice
Calgary Courts Centre
Suite 1903 – S
601 – 5th Street S.W.
Calgary, AB T2P 5P7
All applicants will receive an email confirming receipt of their applications. Any applicant who believes they sent in their application but has not received confirmation by December 9, 2022 should contact Deena.DSouza@albertacourts.ca in Edmonton or firstname.lastname@example.org in Calgary.
For further information, contact Deena D’Souza at email@example.com in Edmonton, or Tricia VanDyke at firstname.lastname@example.org in Calgary.
In addition, the following students-at-law are available to answer your questions: