Legal Excellence Program - Calgary

Articling Opportunities Across Canada

Prairie Region - Calgary Office

The Prairie Region is one of six regional bases of operation in the Department of Justice Canada. Within our region, the Department of Justice maintains offices in Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, and Winnipeg.

In Calgary, DOJ lawyers represent the federal government in a wide variety of matters affecting departments and agencies of the Government of Canada. Although our counsel regularly appear before the federal courts (Federal Court, Federal Court of Appeal, and the Tax Court of Canada) and the provincial superior courts (Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta, Court of Appeal of Alberta), DOJ counsel are also involved in challenging and interesting solicitors’ work.

A career in the Prairie Region, Calgary office, means working alongside experienced counsel doing groundbreaking, important work on a variety of interesting files. Some examples include:

Students in the Calgary office can expect to work on files within all practice areas during their DOJ rotations, and may be involved in civil litigation, tax trials, negotiations, or judicial agreements/leases. Our students are involved in all aspects of our work and are highly valued members of our team.

General Articling Information

The Calgary office takes its commitment to its articling students seriously by providing an exceptional articling experience, which promotes legal excellence.

In Alberta, lawyers are regulated by the Law Society of Alberta (LSA). For further information and rules, refer to the LSA’s website.

During the articling year, students in Calgary rotate through the two main sections: Tax Law and Aboriginal Law, and are seconded to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada for a third rotation.

Students receive feedback on assignments from counsel throughout each rotation. As well, a supervising lawyer is assigned for each rotation to monitor the students’ work and provide a written evaluation at the end of the rotation.

Pursuant to the rules of the LSA, one lawyer is assigned as the articling student’s principal throughout their articles. Alberta is the only jurisdiction in Canada in which articling students are admitted to the bar individually. The student’s principal typically makes the application to the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta seeking an order admitting the student as a member of the Alberta bar.

Students also have access to and are encouraged to participate in the National Mentoring Program.

Professional Development

Articling students attend mandatory training such as the Orientation to the Public Service Course, Orientation to the Prairie Region and an Articling Student Orientation. As part of Law Society of Alberta requirements for admission to the bar as lawyers, students also attend classes through the Canadian Centre for Professional Legal Education (CPLED) consisting of three week periods during their articling year. As a learning organization, the Department of Justice supports students in many other learning opportunities throughout the year within and outside the department.

Salary and Benefits

Articling Students with the Department of Justice in Calgary are entitled to:

How to Apply

All articling positions for the 2022 – 2023 period have been filled.

The Calgary office intends to hire articling students for the 2023 – 2024 articling year. All applications for 2023 – 2024 positions must be received by our office before 5:00 p.m. MDT Friday, May 13, 2022. Interviews will be conducted at a time prescribed by the LSA.

This posting is open to persons residing in Canada and Canadian citizens residing abroad.

All applicants must include the following documents:

Applications that neglect to include all of the above items will be considered incomplete. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.

All applications should be submitted by the following method:

The Department of Justice is committed to employment equity and encourages applications from students who are members of the following groups: Aboriginal persons, visible minorities, persons with disabilities and women. Students who wish to have their employment equity status considered at the time of articling interviews should self-identify in their applications.

Applicants must demonstrate in their application that they meet the following qualifications: Statement of merit criteria and conditions of employment

Areas of Practice

The counsel employed in Calgary practice in the following areas of law:

Tax Law

Counsel in the tax practice area provide litigation and advisory services to the Minister of National Revenue (MNR); represent the Crown in tax – related civil proceedings; and act for Employment and Social Development Canada in Old Age Security hearings before the Tax Court throughout western Canada. Our Region is recognized for its in-depth expertise in resource taxation matters, and much of the oil and gas work in the county is handled by the Calgary office.

Litigation accounts for 80% of our work. Counsel deal with disputes concerning the assessments and reassessments of taxes by Canada Revenue Agency under the Income Tax Act, the Excise Tax Act (GST) and the Employment Insurance Act, and appear before the Tax Court of Canada; the Federal Courts of Canada in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba; and, before the Supreme Court of Canada. Counsel also provide legal services with respect to the collection of debts owing to the MNR and represent the federal Crown’s interest in bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings in the superior courts of the provinces.

Students can expect to assist with pleadings, motions, trial preparation, and collection issues. They will also have the opportunity to handle or participate in out- of- court settlement negotiations.  In addition, students will get practical courtroom experience and may have the opportunity to conduct an informal procedure hearing before the Tax Court of Canada.

Public safety, Immigration and Justice

Counsel in this practice area provide litigation services to the federal law enforcement community and the Department of Justice. Counsel represent the Attorney General of Canada in civil litigation conducted by or against various departments of the Federal Crown including RCMP, Correctional Service of Canada, and Canada Border Services Agency in civil actions; conduct Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, Firearms Act, and Extradition Act proceedings; and represent the Attorney General of Canada directly in constitutional challenges to federal legislation.

Regulatory

Counsel provide litigation services to a wide range of federal government departments and agencies. Counsel represent the Attorney General of Canada in civil litigation conducted by or against various departments of the Federal Crown in areas ranging from actions in contract and tort to judicial review of administrative decisions. Client departments include Environment and Climate Change Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Health Canada and Transport Canada. Areas of practice include human rights, administrative, environmental, energy, access to information and constitutional law. 

Indigenous Litigation and Resolution

Counsel in this practice area provide legal resolution and litigation services to Crown Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs (CIRNA) and Indigenous Services Canada (ISC). They work on complex and highly significant litigation files involving constitutional law, Aboriginal law, administrative law, property law, public law and dispute resolution processes. This area of work frequently involves novel questions of law, such as Indigenous rights and title and sensitive issues that involve multiple government departments.

In addition, counsel work on cases affecting modern and historic treaties, the reserve creation process, the Crown’s fiduciary obligations, the Crown’s duty to consult, federal/provincial division of powers, taxation exemptions, administrative, fisheries, immigration, constitutional law issues and specialized dispute resolution processes.  They work at all levels of the Courts including the Specific Claims Tribunal.

Advisory Law

The advisory practice includes areas of property and commercial law, contract, torts, environmental law, estates law, constitutional law, employment law, and information and privacy law and facilitating economic development initiatives of Indigenous groups such as on-reserve economic development for gas stations, casinos, office buildings, resource extraction and more. Our Advisory lawyers also work on initiatives that bring selected TLE land into reserve, create urban reserves and support First Nations’ self-governance initiatives.

Our counsel provide legal advisory services to federal departments like Indigenous Services Canada, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, Fisheries and Oceans, National Defense, Parks Canada, Public Services and Procurement Canada, Transport Canada, and Western Economic Diversification, among others. The scope of work is broad and challenging.

Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC)

For more information about the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, please visit its website.

The Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC) is a federal government organization, created on December 12, 2006, when the Director of Public Prosecutions Act, Part 3 of the Federal Accountability Act, came into force.

The PPSC fulfills the responsibilities of the Attorney General of Canada in the discharge of his criminal law mandate by prosecuting criminal offences under federal jurisdiction and by contributing to strengthening the criminal justice system.

In this regard, the PPSC assumes the role-played within the Department of Justice Canada by the former Federal Prosecution Service (FPS), and takes on additional responsibilities for prosecuting new fraud offences under the Financial Administration Act as well as offences under the Canada Elections Act. Unlike the FPS, which was part of the Department of Justice, the PPSC is an independent organization, reporting to Parliament through the Attorney General of Canada.

The PPSC is responsible for prosecuting offences under more than 50 federal statutes and for providing prosecution-related legal advice to law enforcement agencies. Cases prosecuted by the PPSC include those involving drugs, organized crime, terrorism, tax law, money laundering and proceeds of crime, crimes against humanity and war crimes, Criminal Code offences in the territories, and a large number of federal regulatory offences.

The PPSC employs approximately 900 full time employees, including 500 prosecutors, and retains more than 810 private-sector lawyers as agents across Canada.

Contact Information

For more information about student work at the Prairie Region, Calgary Office, please contact:

Katherine Chandler-Pillipow
Regional Director
Chair, Calgary Articling Committee
Telephone: 403-299-3558
Fax: 403-299-3507
E-mail Address: katherine.chandler-pillipow@justice.gc.ca
Prairie Regional Office (Calgary)
601, 606 – 4 Street SW
Calgary, AB  T2P 1T1