The Alberta Rural Law Opportunities site is a virtual meeting place for:
- Students seeking summer positions and articles.
- Rural law firms and solo practitioners looking to hire students looking for summer work or articles.
- Young lawyers looking for legal opportunities outside of Edmonton and Calgary.
By creating a site where students can connect with law firms in small and regional communities the Alberta Rural Development Network, the Law Society of Alberta, Canadian Bar Association – Alberta Branch, and the Law School of the University of Calgary and the Faculty of Law at the University of Alberta are working to improve local communities and support for smaller law firms and solo practitioners across Alberta.
For various reasons, most, if not all recruitment of young lawyers is done on University campuses and is conducted by large firms located in Edmonton or Calgary. This website is designed to connect rural firms and students looking to practice law outside of Alberta’s two major urban settings.
Foundation for the Future
Alberta’s legal community is aging and shrinking, and this is exacerbated in communities with already limited access to justice. By providing a resource to rural lawyers to recruit students, those looking for successors or potential partners, we can ensure that rural communities continue to be well served by the legal community.
Alberta Rural Law Opportunities started as CERLI, or Community Engaged Rural Learning Initiative. The idea for CERLI occurred at an Alberta Rural Development Network (ARDN) conference when a small group of people realized that there was value in working together to bring students into Alberta’s rural communities. The key to the idea was the potential for students to mine experience and knowledge from rural communities.
But the value is a two-way street; work placements are opportunities for both Alberta’s students and rural communities — this is a chance for rural communities to benefit from new energy and maybe even find a new community member once a placement is finished.
More information on the ARDN can be found here.