Is Dalhousie graduating too many law students?
As a number of Dalhousie law students struggle to find articling positions, a prominent Halifax lawyer says the market simply can’t support the number of students the school is graduating.
Simon Ross-Siegel, a third-year law student, says he has been looking for an articling position for over a year.
Ross-Siegel has written his final exam, but he can’t write the bar exam without an articling position, and he can’t practice law until he writes the bar exam.
“I don’t think enough is being done. I think that the problem is systemic,” he says.
Lawyer Ron Pink says the private market can’t keep up with the number of graduates and many students are leaving to find work elsewhere.
“Kids need to get a chance. If they don’t succeed here, they might go work someplace else,” says Pink.
Dalhousie’s Schulich School of Law was unable to comment on the matter, but a spokesperson confirms there are 171 students in the third-year class and only about 67 articling positions in Nova Scotia.
While not all students want to article in Nova Scotia, the ones that do are struggling to find positions.
“I definitely had a very strong desire to stay in Nova Scotia,” says Ross-Siegel.
But a shortage of articling positions isn’t unique to Nova Scotia. Pink says cost is a factor for some; a firm invests around $60,000 a year to take on a student. Pink says his firm takes on one or two students each year.
“It’s an obligation of lawyers to train young lawyers in the practice,” he says. “So we see that as an obligation to the bar and to the law school.”
As for Ross-Siegel, he’s still holding out hope for an articling position in Nova Scotia.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Priya Sam