The Legal Excellence Program for Articling Students - Ottawa-Gatineau

Articling Opportunities Across Canada

National Capital Region (Ottawa - Gatineau)

How to apply for an articling position

The Department of Justice in the National Capital Region (Ottawa-Gatineau) offers both Common Law and Civil Law students the opportunity to develop the basic legal skills of advocacy, negotiation, research, and legal writing and drafting in a variety of areas of law. In addition, they are confronted with the unique problems associated with the conduct of government affairs: the complexities of maintaining efficient and fair administrative systems and the considerations which must be taken into account in policy formulation.


Students can choose among a variety of types of litigation, depending upon their interests. While all sections share the common features of conducting research and providing other types of assistance to litigating lawyers, students will assume responsibility for conducting their own litigation in various forums, according to the nature of the litigation involved. In Criminal Prosecutions, for example, students are responsible for weekly traffic court, which deals with all federal traffic violations and other contraventions. They are also encouraged to prosecute summary conviction matters under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and other federal statutes.

Students also appear before the Tax Court of Canada in tax litigation and before the Umpire in cases dealing with unemployment insurance. Students articling in the Civil Litigation Section may have the opportunity to conduct examinations for discovery, judgment debtor examinations and Small Claims Court trials. They may also appear before the Canadian International Trade Tribunal.

Although not normally classified as a litigation service for the purposes of the articling program, Treasury Board Legal Services offers an opportunity to gain solid litigation experience in the area of disciplinary hearings.

Legal Services

The Department of Justice provides a variety of in-house legal services to approximately 40 other departments and agencies through legal services units located in each client department. Most of the legal services units are located in the National Capital Region. Specialized legal advice on property, commercial, access to information and privacy law is also provided through units located at Justice Headquarters.

Students articling within a legal services unit are given the opportunity to develop basic legal skills such as legal research and writing, advocacy and drafting. In general, the role of legal services units is to provide advice and other technical legal assistance to client departments and agencies on all matters of law that affect the clients’ activities. In addition, legal services lawyers are involved in developing policy for client departments and agencies. Since the legal services units have a primary responsibility for responding to their clients’ needs, the articling student can develop professional skills which emanate from the traditional solicitor-client relationships with the departments and agencies they serve.

In addition, since the responsibilities of legal services units cover a very broad range of legal work, articling students can expect to have the opportunity to work in more general or specialized areas, depending upon their particular interests.

Public Law Advisory Services

The Department of Justice provides advice on legal and policy issues in the public law field. In particular, the Department advises on constitutional law, including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and on international, native, human rights and administrative law, as well as on official languages and judicial affairs. It also examines proposed regulations to ensure they comply with the Statutory Instruments Act. The Department works closely with many other government departments and agencies, since few government initiatives do not have important public law implications. Students will help conduct research and develop policies in this area.

Training and Development Program for Counsels

Articling students will be considered participant under Justice Canada LP-01 Training and Development Program. This Program provides the progression of participants from articling student (LP-00) to counsel (LP-02) over approximately 5 years. The Program is a structured, competency-based development program designed to ensure the training, development and management of LP-00 and LP-01 employees. Once the LP-01 employee has met all the requirements of the Program, they will be eligible for a LP-02 appointment.

Articling Rotation Summary (National Capital Region)

Salary and benefits

We offer a competitive salary and numerous benefits upon entry in the public service.

How to apply for an articling position