Arguably, there is nothing more central or important to the self-regulation of the Legal Profession than Articling Student mentorship. Great articles are the bridge between the substantive legal training we receive in Law School and the practical application of that knowledge in the delivery of client-centered legal services to the public. To better support lawyers who choose to take on the important role of Principal in the articling relationship, the Law Society is proud to provide the Principal Training Course.
Co-created with Dr. Annie Rochette, Law Foundation of Saskatchewan Robert Arscott Chair at the College of Law for 2022, this program aspires to better prepare lawyers who take on students by presenting resources which provide the building blocks for successful articles. This course covers such topics as: principal/student obligations and responsibilities, effective mentorship, setting and managing expectations, providing feedback, the principal/student relationship, and communicating in a culturally safe manner. This resource is intended to support all lawyers entering the Principal/Student relationship, regardless of their level of experience. Ultimately, this program seeks to increase the consistency of articles across the board, ensuring that aspiring professionals receive similar opportunities to experience the best start possible.
Hello! I am Dr. Annie Rochette and along with the wonderful people at the Law Society, I created the content of this training. I am a francophone from Québec (you will hear my Québécois accent in the video lessons!), where I reside on the traditional territory of the Nitaskinan (Atikamekw/Nehirowisi Aski), although I currently live on Treaty 6 territory and the Homeland of the Métis.
I currently hold the Law Foundation of Saskatchewan H. Robert Arscott Chair at the College of Law at the University of Saskatchewan for the year 2022. From 2016-2020, I directed the Professional Legal Training Course for the Law Society of BC. Before that, I was a law professor at Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) from 2006-2016 and at UBC from 1998-2004. I have been passionate about legal education for over 20 years and have devoted much of my scholarly endeavours in this field. My doctorate degree, which I finished in 2011, conducted an empirical study of teaching and learning in Canadian law schools, I have facilitated numerous workshops about teaching with legal academics, co-founded a journal on legal education in Canada, and I love curriculum reform (I really really do!).
I took a scholarly approach to building this course. That means I conducted a pretty extensive literature review in many disciplines for each of the topics in this course and then synthesized all of the literature into something that you can easily understand and put into practice. I have included a list of Selected References and additional resources for each of the Lessons if you are interested in learning more. I hope I have successfully managed to make this content interesting and informative to help you in your principal role.
I invite you to fill out the evaluation at the end of this course so we can have this feedback in improving and continuously revising the course.
This course is the result of a true collaborative effort involving many people.
Thank you to the amazing and collaborative people at the Law Society who co-created this training with me, more specifically Andrea Johnston, Christine Johnston, Kiran Mand, Sydney Young and Madeline Bates. Thank you to Paul Westgate for his invaluable assistance in creating the course on LearnDash and for his patience and grace when I created work for him.
Thank you to Craig Zawada for transforming slide shows and video recordings into engaging video lessons and for creating video clips from the interview recordings, which required technological know-how, pedagogical insight, creativity and availability.
Thank you Carl Swenson, Joanne Moser, Leslie Belloc-Pinder, Adam Touet, Lauren Wihak, Foluke Laosebikan and Justice Neal Caldwell, who gave their time to speak with me about their experience as principals and freely shared their views and wisdom. We could only use a small portion of the interviews we conducted as video clips in the course, but we integrated their perspectives and advice throughout the entire course, and the course is much richer because of it.