The City of Edmonton offers students a unique opportunity to experience municipal law and assist in shaping the future of our great City. As the arena district grows and takes shape, and light rail transit continues to expand each year, the lawyers in our branch become involved in these major projects, as well as the day to day legal requirements of a large municipality.
The Legal Services Branch acts as a full service law firm for the City of Edmonton which has over 13,000 full time employees and a total budget in excess of $3.2 billion. Virtually all legal work for the City of Edmonton is handled in-house by Legal Services Branch lawyers. As a result, there is a significant volume and great variety of work.
A sample of some of the work that our lawyers are involved in include:
- Finance and investment advising
- Procurement and Construction Law
- Planning and Development
- Bylaw Prosecutions
- Bylaw and Legislative Drafting
- Real Estate and Leasing
- Environmental Issues
- Corporate Structure and Governance Issues
- Privacy Issues
- Labor Relations and Human Rights
- Tax and Assessment
- Personal Injury and other General Litigation
- Construction Litigation
- Public Private Partnerships
- Animal Protection
- Occupational Health and Safety
As a student who articles with the City, you will be drawn into a wide variety of this work. Students will have a principal from either our solicitor or litigation section, and a mentor assigned from the other section, to ensure that you are able to receive a wide range of work throughout your articling year. We believe in a hands on learning environment, so we give our students experience in conducting bylaw prosecutions and handling small claims files from start to finish; however, we also want our students to experience a taste of the various larger projects that are going on in the City at any given point in time.
In addition the City is currently working with Edmonton Police Service and Edmonton Power Corporation with the idea of allowing students secondments to these organizations. This will give students an even broader exposure to various types of work.
Your choice of articles can impact the decisions you will be faced with for the remainder of your career. The City of Edmonton encourages you to both ask yourself, and the firms that you are interested in, the tough questions to make sure that you find a fit that works for you. From the perspective of the City of Edmonton we attempt to find the right person that will not only excel during their year of articles, but will have a desire to serve the public, and may end up having a long career with the City.
From articling student through to City Solicitor, the Legal Services Branch has created a system that gives its lawyers the tools and support to learn, grow and succeed. In fact, a number of Legal Services Branch lawyers articled with the City. Like any firm in private practice, we cannot guarantee that students will be offered a continuing position at the end of their articling year, however, in the past, there have typically been opportunities available for qualified students who wished to continue their practise in the public sector.
Students are entitled to two weeks’ paid vacation during their articling year and may participate in the City’s benefits package three months after they start employment. The benefits package includes extended health and dental, short-term and long-term disability, and group life insurance. We also allow our students to take advantage of our earned day off program to give them additional time to relax or work on bar admission requirements. The City covers the cost of CPLED and the law society memberships, and students are paid their salary while attending face to face CPLED modules.
Positions for articles are typically posted in mid April and run through mid May. Applications are accepted online after the position is posted on the City of Edmonton website at edmonton.ca. The City of Edmonton follows all timelines for the interview week and offer period as set out in the Rules of the Law Society. The Law Society generally announces the dates for the recruitment period in January.
Further information on the rules for student hiring can be found in sections 49.1 and 49.2 of the Rules of the Law Society of Alberta.
Alberta Law Society Survey
In 2019, two surveys done by the Alberta Law Society, in conjunction with the Saskatchewan and Manitoba Law Societies, revealed that nearly one in three articling students and new lawyers have experienced discrimination or harassment during recruitment or articling. We understand students are likely concerned about how these results are being addressed in the workplaces they are considering.
The City of Edmonton Legal Services Branch has chosen to be transparent with these results, and has developed this document to answer students' questions and concerns. Read about the City's Response to Law Society Survey.
Response to Law Society Survey.
Articling Committee Members
You can learn more about the City of Edmonton, and the area of practise of the lawyers that work there, on the City of Edmonton website. You can also feel free to contact members of our articling committee with your questions.