Program Information

Whether you want to specialize in a unique area of the law or have the opportunity to explore multiple practice areas, the Ministry of the Attorney General (MAG) Articling, Summer Law and Aboriginal Law Summer Student Programs will give you an opportunity to engage in meaningful work that serves the interests of the public.

As an articling, summer law or Aboriginal law summer student with MAG, you will be exposed to the workings of government and the process of law reform. You will have access to mentoring and professional support, and opportunities to liaise with multiple practice areas and professionals as you refine your skills and interests.

Our articling, summer law and Aboriginal law summer student programs offer various opportunities to work with experienced counsel on a range of legal matters, in addition to the opportunity to work independently on files assigned to you.

The MAG Articling, Summer Law and Aboriginal Law Summer Student Programs will help prepare you for a successful legal career in your chosen area of practice.

Summer Law Program

Summer law students, employed from May until August, are an integral part of an expert legal team. As a summer law student with the Ministry of the Attorney General, you will have the opportunity to develop practical legal skills and to make a significant contribution to the projects you work on.

Whether you find yourself doing legal research, drafting pleadings or facta, assisting in the preparation of court cases, or assisting with the development of new legislation, you will have the opportunity to learn from some of the country's best legal minds, be challenged, and make a difference.

Your summer placement will provide you with a window into future employment possibilities as a Ministry of the Attorney General articling student and as counsel. Your experience will help you in your journey to become a successful and contributing member of the legal community.

Compensation

  • Basic salary
    • First year: $16.40 per hour ($594.50 per week)
    • Second year: $18.40 per hour ($667.00 per week)
  • Bargaining unit
    • Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

Hireback

Successful summer law students are encouraged to apply for articling positions within the Ministry of the Attorney General. Although the ministry does not offer "guaranteed" articles for summer students, many of our students successfully obtain articles with the office in which they worked, or elsewhere within the ministry.

Eligibility

The Summer Law Student Program is open to first and second year students enrolled in a law school.

Aboriginal Law Summer Program

The Ministry of the Attorney General’s Aboriginal Law Summer Program provides first and second year law students who are knowledgeable and experienced with Aboriginal communities and who have a demonstrated interest in Aboriginal law with an opportunity to work on Aboriginal law and policy issues.

What do students do?

Depending on which office you are assigned to, you will work on an array of Aboriginal legal issues, including:

  • Aboriginal title claims
  • Aboriginal rights claims
  • Treaty claims
  • Consultation issues
  • Self-government assertions
  • Crown obligations under section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982
  • Aboriginal policy development and implementation
  • Managing relationships between the Province, the federal government, and Aboriginal peoples.

How is this program different from the Regular Summer Law Program?

The Aboriginal Law Summer Program and regular Summer Law Program are similar in that students in both programs are involved in doing legal research, drafting pleadings or facta, assisting in the preparation of court cases, or assisting with the development of new legislation. That being said, students participating in the Aboriginal Law Summer Program have the unique opportunity to work on Aboriginal law and policy related issues. Students work closely with their placement offices in supporting the government in developments in the areas of litigation, negotiation and policy initiatives.

Students participate in the government’s efforts to foster new relationships with Aboriginal peoples and to work with their offices in the implementation of the government’s mandate within the Strategic Course of Action. Students will also have the opportunity to collaborate with individuals in other offices to broaden their experiences, while meeting a network of lawyers working on Aboriginal legal issues.

Aboriginal Law Summer Program students receive the same compensation as students within the regular Summer Law Program and are included in the MAG-wide educational opportunities.

In what offices have students been placed in the past?

Aboriginal Law Summer Program students have previously been assigned to the following offices within the Ministry of the Attorney General:

  • Crown Attorney Offices
  • Crown Law Office – Civil
  • Crown Law Office – Criminal
  • Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs
  • Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
  • Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure
  • Ministry of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry
  • Ministry of the Environment
  • Ontario Victim Services Secretariat
  • Policy Division

For more information on each office, please see the office profiles in the Practice Areas section of this website.

How should students apply?

The application deadline for the Aboriginal Law Summer Program opportunities is generally in late January or early February. Aboriginal Law Summer Program positions will be posted on this website, under the Join Us section. In addition, the job posting will be sent to the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Indigenous Bar Association, and Canadian Law Schools. Interested students are asked to review the job posting to confirm the specific application requirements and to submit applications accordingly.

Questions?

If you have general questions about the program, please contact Richard Ogden, Counsel at Crown Law Office-Civil at 416-326-4930 or Christine Perruzza, Counsel at Crown Law Office-Civil at 416-326-4144 or Alexandria Winterburn, Counsel at Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs at 416-212-2274.

Articling Program

Articling students are directly involved in important and prolific work in the public interest. It is excellent training for a career in law and the variety and quality of our work is truly unparalleled!

Articling students are employed for a 10-month period, as determined by the Law Society of Upper Canada. As an articling student with the Ministry of the Attorney General, you may have an opportunity to take an active role in court and to litigate at all levels. You will experience challenging, hands-on, meaningful work on high profile, cutting edge files.

Compensation*

  • Basic salary
    • $1,167.00 per week ($60,684 per annum)
  • Benefits
    • 4% of pay in lieu of health and insurance benefits
  • Vacation & statutory holidays
    • 10 paid vacation days
    • Paid-for statutory holidays within the articling period
  • Attendance credits (short-term sickness)
    • 1.25 credits earned each month the employee is at work
  • Educational stipend
    • $4,500 ($3,000 paid on commencement of the articling period and $1,500 paid in January of articling term)
  • Bar admission processing fee
    • $410 (paid on commencement of the articling period)
  • Bargaining agent
    • Association of Law Officers of the Crown (ALOC)

*A select number of students are excluded from the bargaining group on the basis of their employment in a confidential capacity in matters relating to labour relations. As such, the benefits, vacation and attendance credits for these students are slightly different than listed above.

Hireback

  • Following their articles, all students will be placed in the Ministry of the Attorney General Hireback Pool for a period of two years following their call to the bar date. As a member of the Hireback Pool, students will have a significant competitive advantage over applicants outside the government when applying to entry-level counsel positions.
  • Many students who article with the Ministry of the Attorney General find employment as lawyers either at the office in which they articled or elsewhere in the ministry.

Eligibility

  • To be eligible for the Articling Program, candidates must have either completed law school at the start of the articling period or have received a certificate of qualification from the National Committee of Accreditation. In all cases, candiadates must be registered with the Law Society's Licensing Process in order to be eligible to receive credit.

Articling & Summer Law Student Committee

The Ministry of the Attorney General (MAG) has an active Articling & Summer Law Student Committee made up of lawyers from various legal branches and human resources officials. The committee is involved in the recruitment efforts at all the Ontario law schools as well as McGill and Dalhousie Universities. The Committee also conducts educational training and oversees the student hire-back policy. The Committee is involved in efforts to make each student’s experience working in the public interest a meaningful one.

Educational Opportunities

The Articling & Summer Law Student Committee organizes an orientation for new articling students and hosts a series of half-day educational seminars covering a variety of topics and skills relevant to articling and practicing law within the Ontario government. More specifically, these seminars cover such topics as trial advocacy, current issues in constitutional, criminal, environmental, health, labour and family law. In addition, members of the judiciary, the Law Society of Upper Canada, and senior members of MAG speak at the various educational programs conducted by the committee. While attending these seminars students also have an opportunity to meet and socialize with their student colleagues from across the Ontario Public Service (OPS).

Summer Law students are also provided with the opportunity to attend a half-day educational seminar.

In addition to the programs run by the committee, articling and summer law students have an opportunity to participate in seminars, workshops and social activities organized by their office.

Students are also encouraged to attend educational programs conducted by outside organizations, such as the Ontario Bar Association and the Law Society of Upper Canada.

Law Library and Resources

The Ministry of the Attorney General Law Library provides law students with legal research services and supporting information. The library has an extensive print collection including ministry publications, statutes and law reports from Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. There is also a wide selection of secondary sources in the form of government documents, textbooks, loose-leaf services, and law journals.

Students also have access to:

  • A number of online databases
  • Reference services
  • Library tours
  • Legal research seminars
  • Inter-library loans/University of Toronto pick-up and return service
  • A reader/printer for both microfilm and microfiche
  • Computers with access to Quicklaw, HeinOnline and WestlaweCARSWELL.