The Legal Excellence Program – Winnipeg

Articling Opportunities Across Canada

Prairie Region - Winnipeg 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 (DOJ) maintains offices in Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, and Winnipeg.

Lawyers in the Prairie Region, Winnipeg office, represent the federal government in a wide variety of matters affecting departments and agencies of the Government of Canada and appear before all levels of Manitoba and Federal Courts, and administrative tribunals, including the Canadian Human Rights Commission, the National Energy Board and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency. DOJ counsel are also involved in challenging and interesting solicitors’ work.

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

Students in the Winnipeg office can expect to work on files within all practice areas during their DOJ rotation, and may be involved in civil litigation, tax trials, negotiations, judicial reviews, motions, examinations for discovery, legal research, drafting commercial agreements/leases. Our students are involved in all aspects of our work and are highly valued members of our team.

General Articling Information

Articling students in Winnipeg are governed by the Law Society of Manitoba. Students must successfully complete 52 weeks of full-time articles, as well as the Manitoba CPLED program. Further information on the Manitoba articling process is available on the Law Society of Manitoba website.

The Prairie Region, Winnipeg Office, is proud to offer a joint articling program with the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC). We are pleased to offer the Legal Excellence Program (LEP) to our articling students, which is a program designed to provide students and junior lawyers with experience, skills, training and knowledge essential for the successful practice of law, fostered by providing students with a varied articling experience, highlighted by the rotations through DOJ and PPSC.

While no guarantee of employment beyond articles can be made, experience confirms that many former students continue with the office.

Professional Development

Professional development forms a large component of the LEP. Students and junior lawyers receive training in many areas, including Federal Court and Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench practice, Crown law, negotiation, legal research, discoveries, ethics and written and oral advocacy. Students have an opportunity to observe Drug Court, Provincial Court, Manitoba court of Queen’s Bench and Manitoba Court of Appeal proceedings. In addition to their principals, students will have a mentor to provide professional guidance and support. All assignments are formally evaluated and feedback is provided by supervising counsel.

Articling students also attend mandatory training such as the Orientation to the Public Service Course, Orientation to the Prairie Region, and an Articling Student Orientation. They also attend classes through the Canadian Centre for Professional Legal Education (CPLED). As learning organizations DOJ and PPSC support many other opportunities throughout the year provided within and outside the department.

Articling student appointments will be made under the Justice Canada LP-01 Training and Development Program. This program provides for the progression of participants from LP-00 (articling student) to LP-02 (counsel) over approximately 5 years. As such, it is expected that an initial appointment to this program would ultimately result in an indeterminate non-advertised LP-02 appointment (subject to meeting all program requirements).

Salary and benefits

Articling Students with the Department of Justice and Public Prosecution Service of Canada in Winnipeg are entitled to:

The Application Process

We are observing the Law Society of Manitoba’s Manitoba Articling Student Recruitment Guidelines for the 2023-2024 Articling Year.

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

Applications must include the following documents:

Applications that do not contain all of the above-mentioned documents will be considered incomplete. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.

All applications and supporting documentation should be submitted by the following method:

Applicants will be assessed against the Statement of Merit Criteria.

The DOJ and PPSC are committed to employment equity and to providing employment opportunities to law students who are an Aboriginal person, a person with a disability, a member of a visible minority group and/or a woman. Students who wish to have their employment equity status considered at the time of articling interviews should self-identify in their articling position applications.

Areas of Legal Practice

The Department of Justice has approximately 100 employees, including about 50 lawyers, and enjoys the close-knit atmosphere of a relatively small office, while simultaneously working with DOJ lawyers and client departments located across the country. Our lawyers practice in the following areas of 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 Prairies Canada, among others. The scope of work is broad and challenging.
Regulatory and Public Safety Law

Our counsel provide litigation services to a wide range of federal government departments and agencies. Counsel in regulatory law 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. Counsel also represent the federal law enforcement community 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. Areas of practice include human rights, administrative, environmental, energy, access to information and constitutional law.

Tax Law

In the Prairie Region Winnipeg office, 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 country is handled by the Edmonton 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 Prosecution Service of Canada

The PPSC’s Winnipeg office has approximately 25 lawyers who appear in all levels of court in Manitoba in the conduct of prosecutions, related motions and appeals. They are responsible for:

Students are involved in all aspects of the day-to-day affairs of the group. Specific tasks include the preparation of disclosure materials and files for prosecution, interviewing witnesses, conduct of summary conviction trials, assistance in the prosecution of indictable offences, assistance in the conduct of docket courts, legal research and the preparation of pleadings.

Contact Information

For more information about student work in the Prairie Region, Winnipeg Office, please contact:

Dinh Bo-Maguire
Deputy Regional Director and Senior Counsel
Chair, Winnipeg Articling Committee
Telephone: 431-489-8654
Email address: dinh.bo-maguire@justice.gc.ca
601 – 400 St. Mary Avenue
Winnipeg, MB R3C 4K5
National Litigation Sector