1 A Report to the Law Society of Upper Canada Career Choices Study January, 008
2 Methodology and Objectives
3 Methodology The Strategic Counsel is pleased to present to the Law Society of Upper Canada this report of findings from a survey of licensing candidates and recently-called lawyers conducted in late June and July of 00. Invitations to participate in the survey were sent to,0 licensing candidates and new licensees. New licensees who were called to the bar in the past two years (n=0) Those enrolled in the Licensing Program (n=) Those enrolled in the Licensing Program (n=) The sample was provided by the Law Society. The survey employed a hybrid mail/online methodology, as while the Law Society had addresses for those enrolled in the and licensing program it did not have addresses for every new licensee called in the past two years. In the result, the, individuals for whom the Law Society had an address were sent an inviting them to complete the survey online. The remaining individuals for whom the Law Society did not have an address were sent by mail a package containing an introductory letter, a questionnaire and a business reply envelope. The survey was available in both English and French. Those who participated online were offered the choice of an English or a French version at the outset of the survey. Those who were invited to participate by mail were sent an English or French package as appropriate based on their language preference as recorded by the Law Society. Surveys were completed by 0 of those who were invited to participate in the research. This represents a response rate of.. The margin of error for the total sample of 0 is +/-. percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty. Smaller subsamples of the total sample (e.g., gender) will have a higher margin of error.
4 Objectives Broadly, the objective of the research was to investigate preferences and experiences of new licensees and those enrolled in the licensing program from their entry into law school to their entry into practice. More specifically, the principal objectives of the research were to better understand: Law school preferences and the reasons underlying those preferences; The key factors that influence the choice of an articling position; Preferences for and actual setting of articles; Preferences for and actual experience of articling, with particular reference to the areas of law in which experience was gained; Preferences for and actual practice setting; Key factors influencing choice of post-call workplace setting; Key factors influencing choice of practice areas; Preferred and actual practice areas; Sources used to pay for law school education; Debt among licensing candidates and recent graduates, and the impact of that debt; Awareness and usage of programs to address student debt loads.
5 Sample Demographics
6 Sample Demographics Gender, Age, Professional Status More women () than men () responded to the survey. As would be expected, given that only licensure candidates and lawyers in their first and second years of practice were invited to participate in the research, the largest proportion of respondents (8) fall in the - age range. About half of respondents () are between and years of age, with just less than one-third between 0 and years of age. Of the remainder, are younger (8- years of age) and are older (8 -, 0- and 0 years of age or older). Those who will be articling, currently are articling, or did article in Ontario comprise the vast majority of the sample (). A small minority () of respondents are currently practising or working in law in Ontario but didn t article in Ontario. An even smaller minority () have not begun their articles and do not intend to article in Ontario. A small group of the total sample (n=0) received their legal training outside of Canada and thus were required to meet the criteria established by the National Committee on Accreditation (NCA) in order to enter the bar admission process. These individuals are referred to in the report as NCA respondents. NCA respondents appear to be older than non-nca respondents. Slightly more than half of NCA respondents () are years or older, compared to of non-nca respondents. NCA respondents are also marginally (significant at the 0 confidence level) more likely than non-nca students to report that although they have not yet begun practising they will did not and will not be articling in Ontario.
7 Gender Male Female Q. Please indicate your gender. Base: All respondents (n=0)
8 Age n= Total Sample Q. In what year were you born? Base: All respondents 8
9 Current Status I will be articling in Ontario but have not yet begun my articles I am currently articling in Ontario I articled in Ontario but have not yet begun practising/working I articled in Ontario and am currently practising/working I have not and will not be articling in Ontario but have not begun practising/working I am currently practising/working but did not article in Ontario No answer n= Total Sample 0 8 < Q.0 Which one of the following best describes your current status? Base: All respondents
10 Sample Demographics Language Overwhelmingly, the language in which respondents feel most comfortable delivering legal services is English (). Among those who are more comfortable in a language other than English, 80 (representing of the total sample) are most comfortable delivering legal services in French. A language other than English or French is the preference of the remaining of respondents. While the majority () of those who feel most comfortable delivering legal services in a language other than English say that this did not have an impact on their articling or career choices, of these respondents say that it did have some impact. In order to investigate challenges faced by those who are more comfortable in a language other than English, those respondents were asked to explain the nature of the impact on their articling or career choices. Among the comments made, French-language concerns dominate. Just less than one-third of these respondents say that they wanted to work in a bilingual environment, with a further 8 saying that they wanted to work in a Frenchspeaking environment. 0
11 Language Preference Other French English Q. In what language do you feel most comfortable delivering legal services? Base: All respondents (n=0)
12 Language and Impact on Articling/Career Choices Preferred Language Impact on Articling/Career Choices English Other French No Yes Q. In what language do you feel most comfortable delivering legal services? Base: All respondents (n=0) Q.8 Did the language in which you are most comfortable have any impact on your articling or career choices? Base: Those who feel most comfortable in a language other than English (n=)
13 Sample Demographics Equality-Seeking Communities Reflecting the greater diversity among members of the legal profession in Ontario, findings from this research include the views of a number of equality-seeking communities. Membership in an equality-seeking community was determined by respondents themselves through a question that invited them to indicate membership in one or more equality-seeking groups. While the majority of those responding to the survey () do not self-identify with any of the characteristics tested, a significant minority does. Racialized or persons of colour comprise the largest proportion of these respondents ( of respondents overall), followed by adherents of a religion or creed that is a minority in Canada (0). Also represented in the sample are those who self-identify as: Francophone (); Gay, lesbian or bisexual (); Aboriginal (e.g., First Nations, Métis, Inuit) (); Persons with disabilities (); Transgender or transsexual (<). A majority of NCA respondents (0) self-identify with one or more equality-seeking communities, a proportion significantly higher than the proportion among non-nca respondents who do so (8). In particular, NCA respondents are more than twice as likely as non-nca respondents to self-identify as racialized/person of colour (8 and, respectively). No NCA respondents self-identify as Aboriginal, Francophone or transgender/transsexual.
14 Membership in an Equality-Seeking Community Racialized/Person of Colour (visible minority) Religion or creed that is minority in Canada Francophone Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual Aboriginal (e.g., First Nations, Métis, Inuit) Person with disabilities Transgender/Transsexual Other I do not identify with any of these personal characteristics n= Total Sample 0 0 < Q.0 Please check any of the following characteristics with which you self-identify. Base: All respondents Note: Multiple mentions
15 Sample Demographics Race Those who self-identified as either Aboriginal or as racialized/person of colour were invited to further self-identify their race. Findings from this question disclose diversity among those who responded to the survey. These include: South Asian (e.g., Indo-Canadian, Indian Subcontinent Canadian) (); Chinese Canadian (0); African Canadian, Black Canadian (); First Nations (); East Asian Canadian (e.g., Japanese, Korean) (); Southeast Asian Canadian (e.g., Vietnamese, Cambodian, Thailand, Philippines) (); Métis (); Arab Canadian (); Inuit (<); Latin American, Hispanic or Latino Canadian (<). Among NCA respondents who self-identified as either Aboriginal or racialized/person of colour, the largest proportion identify themselves as South Asian (). The next most highly represented race, representing more than one-third of these NCA respondents (), is African Canadian or Black Canadian. One-in-ten () identify as Southeast Asian Canadian. No NCA respondents self-identified as Chinese Canadian, First Nations, Métis, Inuit, East Asian Canadian, Arab Canadian, or Latin American Hispanic or Latino Canadian.
16 Race South Asian (e.g., Indo-Canadian, Indian Subcontinent Canadian) Chinese Canadian African Canadian, Black Canadian First Nations East Asian Canadian (e.g., Japanese, Korean) Southeast Asian Canadian (e.g., Vietnamese, Cambodian, Thai, Philippine) Métis Arab Canadian Inuit Latin American, Hispanic or Latino Canadian Other n= Total Base 0 < < Q. Please specify how you identify yourself. Base: Those who self-identified as Aboriginal or Racialized/Person of Colour (n=) Note: Multiple mentions C Caution, small base size
17 Sample Demographics Financial Support Obligations The research also investigated the incidence of financial support obligations during law school. The large majority of respondents (88) report that they had no dependents who relied on me either alone or in part for financial support while they were attending law school. However, small minorities do report dependents who relied on them for some measure of financial support: report that they had shared custody of children; report that they had sole custody of children; report that they had shared support responsibilities for an adult; report that they had sole support responsibilities for an adult. Although the samples of those who report having support obligations during law school are very small and the differences should be regarded with some caution, women () are three times as likely as men () to report having sole custody of children who relied on them in whole or in part for financial support. There are no other differences by gender in the incidence of support obligations.
18 Sample Demographics Financial Support Obligations Differences are also found on this issue by membership in an equality-seeking community, although sample sizes are again very small and the findings should be regarded with caution. Those who self-identify with any of the equality-seeking characteristics () are three times as likely as those who do not () to report both having sole custody of children and sole support responsibilities for an adult, and twice as likely to report shared responsibility for an adult ( and, respectively). 8
19 Financial Support Obligations I had sole custody of children who relied on me alone or in part for financial support I had shared custody of children who relied on me alone or in part for financial support I had sole support of an adult who relied on me alone or in part for financial support I had shared support of an adult who relied on me alone or in part for financial support I had no dependents who relied on me alone or in part for financial support n= Total Sample 0 88 Q. Please check any of the following that applied to you when you were attending law school. Base: Total sample Note: Multiple mentions
20 Pre-Law Educational Background and Law School Preferences
21 Pre-Law Educational Background The vast majority of respondents () had completed at least a year undergraduate degree before entering law school, with the largest single proportion having obtained a year undergraduate degree had obtained a year undergraduate degree; had obtained a year undergraduate degree; had completed at least one year of a post-graduate degree; had completed a post-graduate degree. Among the remaining 8: had completed years of undergraduate study without obtaining a degree; had completed years of undergraduate study; and, had completed fewer than years of undergraduate study. Although the sample sizes are small, NCA respondents appear to have completed fewer years of undergraduate study at the time they entered law school than had non-nca respondents. Among NCA respondents, 8 had completed fewer than two years of undergraduate studies compared to just among non- NCA respondents. Conversely, non-nca respondents are almost twice as likely as NCA respondents to have obtained a four year undergraduate degree ( and, respectively). However, NCA respondents are marginally (significant at the 0 level) more likely than non-nca respondents to have obtained a post-graduate degree ( and ), which may in part explain the slightly older profile of NCA respondents.
22 Level of Education Completed When Entered Law School Completed fewer than two years undergraduate studies Completed two years without obtaining an undergraduate degree Completed three years without obtaining an undergraduate degree Obtained a three year undergraduate degree Obtained a four year undergraduate degree Completed at least one year of a post-graduate degree Obtained a post-graduate degree n= Total Sample 0 Q. How far had your studies progressed at the time you entered law school? Base: All respondents
23 Mature Students Just fewer than one-quarter of respondents () attended law school as a mature student. The length of time mature students spent in the workforce prior to attending law school varies widely: were in the workforce for fewer than years; for - years; for 0 years or more. Consistent with their slightly older age profile, NCA respondents (8) are significantly more likely than non-nca respondents () to have attended law school as a mature student. However, there do not appear to be any consistent differences between NCA respondents and non-nca respondents in length of time spent in the workforce prior to attending law school.
24 Number of Years in the Workforce Prior to Entering Law School - years - years - years 0- years - years 0 or more years I did not attend law school as a mature student n= Total Sample 0 8 Q. If you attended law school as a mature student, please indicate how many years, if any, you were in the workforce prior to entering law school. Base: All respondents
25 Law School Preferences When examining respondents first choice of law school to attend, the schools are ranked as follows: University of Toronto was the first choice of of respondents; Osgoode Hall ( of respondents); University of Ottawa English Common Law Section (0); University of Western Ontario (8); Queen s University (); University of Windsor (); University of Ottawa French Common Law Section (); University of Ottawa Droit Civil (). Interestingly, and suggesting that students are looking beyond Ontario for their legal education, for about one-in-four respondents () a law school outside of Ontario was their preferred choice: 0 selected a Canadian law school outside of Ontario first; selected a law school outside of Canada first. Among those who selected a Canadian law school outside of Ontario as their first choice, McGill University leads at. McGill is followed by Dalhousie University (), the University of British Columbia and the University of Victoria (each the first choice of of respondents). About of respondents selected a law school in the United States as their first choice, while slightly less than of respondents selected a law school in the United Kingdom first.
26 Law School Preferences It is worth noting that respondents who self-identify as Francophone are disproportionately likely to have made either the French Common Law Section or the Droit Civil program at the University of Ottawa their first choice, and are also significantly more likely to have included those programs in their top three choices. Women () are somewhat more likely than men () to have made Osgoode Hall their first choice. Men (), by contrast, are somewhat more likely than women () to have made the University of Toronto their first choice, and are twice as likely to have made the University of Windsor their first choice ( and, respectively). As might be expected, 0 of NCA respondents made a law school outside of Canada their first choice. However, about one-in-four NCA respondents () made an Ontario law school their first choice, suggesting that attending a law school outside of Canada may have been more of a necessity than a preference.
27 Law School Preferences Total Sample Osgoode Hall Law School (York University) n= First Choice 0 Second Choice 0 0 Third Choice 0 NET 0 Queen s University University of Ottawa English Common Law Section University of Ottawa French Common Law Section University of Ottawa Droit civil < University of Toronto University of Western Ontario 8 0 University of Windsor Out of province 0 8 Out of country None/ No answer Q. Please indicate which law schools were your first, second and third choice. If you applied more than one year, please base your answer on your most recent application. Base: All respondents
28 Reasons for First Preference A wide variety of considerations have a bearing on the selection of a law school as a first choice. Those cited by at least one-in-five respondents are: Strong academic reputation was cited by nearly two-thirds of respondents (); Location of law school where respondent wanted to practise/work (); Location of law school affordable (); Curriculum strongly linked to areas respondent wanted to study or practise (); Tuition costs (0); Availability of family support (). However, when respondents were asked to select the two most important of these reasons, strong academic reputation emerges by a significant margin as the most important consideration with nearly half of respondents (8) selecting it. There are virtually no differences by demographic sub-group in the importance assigned to a strong academic reputation in determining the first choice of law school to attend, suggesting that this is widely viewed as the most critical attribute of a law school by prospective students. Interestingly, mature students are the one exception. Mature students (8) are significantly less likely than younger students () to cite strong academic reputation as one of the two most important factors bearing on their top preference for a law school to attend. The research suggests that academic reputation was a particularly important consideration for those who attended either the University of Toronto or Osgoode Hall. Fully 8 of those who attended the University of Toronto, and over half of those who attended Osgoode Hall (8), cite strong academic reputation as one of the two key factors bearing on their first choice of law school. 8
29 Reasons for First Preference Location of law school where respondent wanted to practise/work is next in importance, having been cited by 8 of respondents. Once again, differences by demographic sub-group in the importance assigned to the law school s proximity to where respondents would like to practise are limited. However, some interesting findings do emerge when this issue is examined by law school attended. Those who attended law school at the University of Toronto in particular (), and to a lesser extent those who attended Osgoode Hall (), are significantly more likely than respondents overall (8) to cite this as one of their two most important reasons, suggesting that the proximity of these schools to the Toronto legal market is an attractive feature. Selected by smaller proportions of respondents as one of their two most important reasons are: Location of law school affordable (); Curriculum strongly linked to areas respondent wanted to study/practise (); Tuition costs (); Availability of family support (). Perhaps related to their lower emphasis on strong academic reputation, mature students (0) are significantly less likely than younger students () to cite a curriculum that is strongly linked to the areas they want to study or practise. However, mature students () are significantly more likely than younger students () to include the proximity of the law school to where they want to practise or work in their two most important reasons for their first choice law school selection. Not surprisingly, perhaps, those who incurred debt prior to entering law school () are more likely than those who did not () to include tuition costs as one of the two most important factors bearing on their first choice of law school. None of the other reasons tested was selected by more than of respondents as one of the two most important.
30 Reasons for First Preference Strong academic reputation Location of law school where I wanted to practise/work Location of law school affordable Curriculum strongly linked to areas I wanted to study/practise Tuition costs Availability of family support Availability of joint programs Financial aid available Attractive extra-curricular law school activities Opportunities to develop skills relevant to the practice of law Language of program My undergraduate academic standing Availability of flexible/part-time program Availability of community support Availability of student support programs Services offered by law school career development officers Other No answer n= Had a Bearing on Choice 0 Q. Which, if any, of the following reasons had a bearing on your first choice of law school to attend? (Please select all that apply). Q. Which two of these reasons were the most important? Base: All respondents < Total Sample Two Most Important Reasons < < < 0
31 Law School From Which Degree Obtained Findings concerning the law school from which respondents obtained a law degree follow generally findings concerning law school preferences: Osgoode Hall (); University of Ottawa English Common Law Section (); University of Toronto (); Queen s University (0); University of Western Ontario (); University of Windsor (); University of Ottawa French Common Law Section (); University of Ottawa Droit Civil (). Nearly one-quarter of respondents obtained a law degree from an institution outside Ontario: 8 obtained a law degree from a Canadian law school outside of Ontario; obtained a law degree from a law school outside of Canada.
32 Law School From Which Degree Obtained Osgoode Hall Law School (York University) Queen s University University of Ottawa English Common Law Section University of Ottawa French Common Law Section University of Ottawa Droit Civil University of Toronto University of Western Ontario University of Windsor Out of province Out of country n= Total Sample Q. From which institution(s) did you obtain a law degree? Base: All respondents Note: The sum of proportions is greater than 00 as some respondents have more than one law degree.
33 Call to the Bar Consistent with the sample for this research, 8 of respondents have been called to the bar in Ontario while a further 0 have not yet been called to the bar. Membership in a Canadian bar outside of Ontario is limited to or fewer respondents in each case. As might be expected given the proportion of respondents who have obtained a degree from a law school outside of Canada, of respondents have been called to a bar outside Canada and about three-quarters of them () have practised at that bar. Among NCA respondents, however, the proportion called to a bar outside of Canada is much higher at 0. Just over half of NCA respondents have been called to the bar in Ontario (). About half of those who have practised outside of Canada did so for or fewer years (). However, some of these respondents practised outside of Canada for significantly longer than that, with having practised for 0 or more years.
34 Bar Membership Alberta British Columbia Manitoba New Brunswick Newfoundland Nova Scotia Ontario PEI Quebec Saskatchewan Yukon Northwest Territories Nunavut A Bar outside Canada I have not been called to the Bar A Bar in Canada Outside Ontario n= Total Sample 0 < < < 8 - < < < - 0 Q. To which Bar(s) have you been called? Base: All respondents Note: Multiple responses accepted. Total proportions exceed 00
35 Practice Outside Canada Practised outside of Canada? Yes No How long? year years years years years years years 8 years years 0 or more years No answer Those who have been called to a Bar outside Canada NCA Student Total Base Yes No n = 0 n = 0 C n = 0 C n = C n = C n = C Q.8 If you have been called to a Bar outside of Canada, did you practise there? Base: Among those who have been called to a Bar outside Canada Q. For how long did you practise in that country? Base: Among those who practised outside of Canada C Caution, small base size
37 Key Factors Influencing Choice of Articling Position (Unprompted) Respondents who will be or currently are articling in Ontario as well as those who did article in Ontario were asked on an open-ended (or unprompted) basis what key factors influenced their choice of articling position. (The key distinction between open-ended and closed-ended questions is that the latter present a range of answer categories from which respondents are invited to choose, whereas the former do not present any pre-selected categories and allow respondents to respond as they wish in their own words.) Four key factors are identified on an open-ended basis: Areas of interest/practice areas offered (mentioned by of these respondents); Perceived prestige/reputation (); Preferred location (0); Good remuneration/benefits (0). There are differences here by gender which, although not great, are significant statistically. Women are more likely than men to cite: Areas of interest/practice areas offered ( and, respectively); Good/nice working environment ( and ); and, Preference for a particular type of agency (e.g., NGO/government) ( and ). Men, by contrast, are more likely than women to cite: Good remuneration/salary/benefits ( and 8, respectively); Practical/court/litigation experience ( and ).
38 Key Factors Influencing Choice of Articling Position (Unprompted) Overall, those who self-identify as members of an equality-seeking community do not differ significantly from those who do not in the factors they identify as having influenced their choice of an articling position. There are some significant differences among NCA respondents. First, they are significantly less likely than non-nca respondents to cite good remuneration as a key factor influencing their choice of articling position (0 and 0, respectively). NCA respondents also ascribe less importance to the following attributes of an articling position: Perceived prestige/reputation ( among NCA respondents compared to among non-nca respondents); Good working environment ( and 8, respectively); and, Good fit with company culture (0 and, respectively). 8
39 Key Factors Influencing Choice of Articling Position (Unprompted) NCA Student Areas of interest/ practice areas offered by the firms n= Total Base 0 Yes c No 8 Perceived prestige/ reputation Preferred location 0 0 Good remuneration/ salary/ benefits Multiple practice areas/ rotation program Practical/ court/ litigation experience 0 Was offered job/ job offer Good/ nice working environment 8 8 Preferred size of firm Preferred particular type of agency public/private/ngo/ government Good friendly colleagues/helpful Potential future opportunities Good fit with company culture/ values - Preferred city/ town Good work life balance/ lifestyle Development opportunities/ learning opportunities Articling experience/ summer experience/ past experience Availability of position/ work 0 Summered at firm and was hired back/ hire back policies Q. What were the key factors that influenced your choice of articling position? Base: Respondents who will be articling, are articling currently, or did article in Ontario C Caution, small base size -
40 Key Factors Influencing Choice of Articling Position (Unprompted) (Cont d) Challenging work/ interesting work n= Total Base 0 Yes c - NCA Student No 8 Good hours/ hours of work/ flexibility Good/ experienced principal/ lawyers - Advancing social justice causes/ working for public interest - Mentorship program at firm/ organization - Don t have a position secured yet All other mentions (equal to or less than ) 0 None/ No answer < < Q. What were the key factors that influenced your choice of articling position? Base: Respondents who will be articling, are articling currently, or did article in Ontario C Caution, small base size 0
41 Key Factors Influencing Choice of Articling Position (Prompted) Respondents were then presented with a list of factors on a closed-ended (or prompted) basis and asked two questions. The first, intended to get a sense of what candidates consider important in an articling position, asked what factors influenced their choice of an articling position. The second question, intended to get at what really drives the final decision, asked respondents to identify the one factor that had the greatest influence. In response to the first of these questions, factors stand out: The practice areas offered (); Supportive environment (); Perceived prestige (); Preferred location for articling (); Good remuneration (); Having summered at the firm and been asked back (); The existence of a work/life balance policy (). Reviewing responses to the second question concerning the greatest influence, two lead: Practice areas offered (cited as the greatest influence by of respondents); Having summered and been asked back to article (also cited by ). That the practice areas offered emerges as one of the top two factors chosen on a prompted basis is not surprising given that it was by a significant margin also the factor cited most frequently on an unprompted basis. Although having received an articling offer following a summer placement was not mentioned by a significant proportion of respondents on an unprompted basis, it is when presented on a prompted basis. Clearly this was not top-of-mind unprompted, but logically it would be a significant influencing factor on the choice of an articling position given the importance attached to, and competition for, summer placements.
42 Key Factors Influencing Choice of Articling Position (Prompted) There are no differences by sub-group in selecting the practice areas offered as the key influencing factor. However, those who do not self-identify as a member of an equality-seeking community () are slightly more likely than those who do () to say that they were offered an articling position following a summer placement. This is the only factor on which members of an equality-seeking community differ. Suggesting that women are getting access to articling offers following summer placements in about the same proportions as men, there is no significant difference by gender here. There are three factors on which NCA respondents differ significantly. First, as was found among members of equality-seeking communities, NCA respondents are significantly less likely to report having been offered an articling position following a summer placement. Secondly, NCA respondents are significantly less likely to cite good remuneration. Thirdly, NCA respondents are significantly more likely to cite family members who are lawyers as the key influencing factor in their choice of articling position. Cited by less than 0 of respondents as the greatest influence on their choice of an articling position are: Perceived prestige of firm or organization (); Preferred city/town for articling (); Supportive environment (8); Firm/organization has work/life balance policies ().
43 Key Factors Influencing Choice of Articling Position (Prompted) The significantly smaller proportion of respondents who identify good remuneration as the greatest influence on their choice of articling position () is interesting, given that say that it was one of the factors influencing their choice. Of particular interest is that neither those who entered law school in debt () or those who incurred debt during law school () are significantly more likely than those who did not incur debt at either stage () to say that good remuneration was the greatest influence on their choice of an articling position. Likewise, a supportive environment at the firm or organization, the perceived prestige of the firm or organization, or a preferred geographical location (cited by, and of respondents, respectively, as an influence on their choice), are much less likely to be identified as the greatest influence. Women (), however, are more likely than men () to say that a supportive environment was the greatest influence on their choice, and they are twice as likely as men (8 and, respectively) to identify work/life balance policies as the greatest influence. Although women do not rank either a supportive environment or work/life balance policies as highly as they do practice areas offered when asked to identify the greatest influence on their choice of articling position, the findings suggest that all other things being equal a supportive environment or work/life balance policies might be sufficient to tip the balance between two competing offers.
44 Factors Influencing Choice of Articling Position/Greatest Influence (Prompted) Greatest Influence Influence of Choice of Articling Position The practice areas offered by the firm/organization I had summered at the firm/organization and was hired back Perceived prestige of firm/organization I had a preferred city/town in which I wanted to article The environment at the firm/organization is supportive Firm/organization has work life balance policies/statements/ practices Good remuneration I wanted to return home to article I worked in the area of law during law school Hire back policies The firm/organization offers a mentorship program The firm/organization has a diverse workforce The firm/organization offers internal professional development programs Firm/organization provides support for external professional development Firm/organization has policies/statements/practices about mat./parental leaves or family responsibilities Good benefits Family members who are lawyers Other None of these factors influenced my choice of articling position No answer n= Total Base 0 0 < NCA Student c Total Base 0 8 < < < < < 8 < NCA Student c Q. Did any of the following factors influence your choice of articling position? (Please select all that apply). Q. And which of these was the greatest influence in your choice of articling position? Base: Respondents who will be articling, are articling currently, or did article in Ontario C Caution, small base size
45 Preferred/Actual Areas of Practice Exposure - Articling In order to understand what respondents wanted from their articling experience, and to what extent the actual articling experience provided what they were seeking, respondents were asked to indicate both the top three areas of law in which they wanted to gain experience and the top three areas of law they actually did gain experience during their articles. Combining the top three areas in which experience was sought provides the following: Corporate/commercial ( of respondents ranked it as one of the top three areas in which they wished to gain experience) Civil litigation Plaintiff (ranked among the top three by ) Civil litigation Defendant () Administrative (8) Human rights/social justice (8) Criminal/quasi-criminal () There are a number of differences by gender in areas of experience sought during articling. Women are significantly more likely than men to have sought experience in human rights/social justice law ( and, respectively), family/matrimonial law (8 and 8), wills/estates/trusts ( and ), immigration law ( and ), and environmental law ( and ). Men are significantly more likely than women to have sought experience in corporate commercial law ( and 0), civil litigation/plaintiff ( and ), securities law ( and 8), tax law ( and ), and intellectual property law ( and ). There are also differences between those who self-identified as a member of an equality-seeking community and those who did not. Members of an equality-seeking community are significantly more likely to have sought experience in human rights/social justice law (0 and, respectively), immigration law ( and ), and Aboriginal law ( and ).
46 Preferred/Actual Areas of Practice Exposure - Articling There are also differences between NCA respondents and non-nca respondents in areas of experience sought during articles. NCA respondents are significantly more likely than non-nca respondents to have sought experience in family law ( and, respectively), real estate law ( and ), and immigration law ( and ) Analysis of the areas of law to which those who have completed their articles actually gained experience suggests that in the main students desires are being met in most cases: Civil litigation Plaintiff () Civil litigation Defendant () Corporate Commercial () Administrative () Criminal/Quasi-Criminal (8) One area in which students do not appear to be getting the experience they are seeking is human rights/social justice: Whereas 8 of respondents indicated that this was an area in which they wished to gain experience during articling, just of students actually did so. The gap here between what was sought and what was actually obtained is likely to have had particular impact on women and members of equality-seeking communities, given that they are more likely to have been seeking experience in this practice area,
47 Preferred/Actual Areas of Practice Exposure - Articling Aboriginal Law ADR/Mediation Services Administrative Law Bankruptcy & Insolvency Law Civil Litigation - Plaintiff Civil Litigation - Defendant Construction Law Corporate/Commercial Law Criminal/Quasi Criminal Law Employment/Labour Law Environmental Law Family/Matrimonial Law Human Rights/Social Justice Immigration Law Intellectual Property Law International Law Language Rights Law Poverty Law Real Estate Law Securities Law Tax Law Wills, Estates, Trusts Law Workplace Safety & Insurance Law Other None/ No answer n= Top Areas in Which Wanted to Gain Experience Top 0 8 < 0 8 < < < nd 0 0 < 8 - rd 0 8 < NET < Total Base Top Areas in Which Actually Gained Experience Top 80 < < < < 8 < nd rd < Q. From among the following, please indicate the top three areas of law in which you wanted to gain experience during articling. Q. And which were the top three areas in which you actually gained experience during articling? Base: Q. was asked of those who will be articling, are articling currently, or will be articling in Ontario. Q. was asked only of those who completed articles in Ontario. NET < 0 0
48 Preferred Articling Setting Preferences for and actual articling setting were examined in much the same way as was practice exposure during articling. Looking first at preferences, the private practice experience in some form (and especially in Toronto) dominates: The single greatest preference was for a large private law firm in Toronto (the top preference of 8 and one of the top three of ) Medium private law firm in Toronto ( and, respectively) Government/public agency ( and ) Large private law firm outside Toronto (0 and ) Medium private law firm outside Toronto ( and ) Crown s office ( and ) Two significant differences are found when top preference for articling setting is examined by gender: Men () are significantly more likely than women () to select a large private law firm in Toronto as their top preference. Conversely, women (8) are twice as likely as men () to select government/public agency. Similar differences are found when examining top three preferences combined by gender. Men are significantly more likely than women to want to article in three types of private firm settings. Large private law firm in Toronto ( and, respectively) Medium private law firm in Toronto ( and ) Large private law firm outside Toronto (8 and 8) 8
49 Preferred Articling Setting Women, by contrast, are significantly more likely than men to include several non-firm settings among their top three preferences. Government/public agency (0 and, respectively) Legal clinic ( and ) NGO ( and ) Although the number of respondents who report wanting to article in a small private law firm outside Toronto is small, women are twice as likely as men both to make that setting their top preference ( and, respectively), and to make that setting one of their top three preferences ( and, respectively). Members of an equity seeking community do not differ greatly in their preferences for articling with the exception of government or public agency, which members of an equity seeking community () are somewhat more likely than those who are not (0) to include among their top three preferences. Although the sample sizes are extremely small, and the findings should therefore be viewed with caution, there are some interesting differences between NCA respondents and non-nca respondents in preferences for articling setting. NCA respondents are directionally more likely than non-nca respondents to include a small private law firm outside Toronto ( and, respectively) and a sole practice in Toronto (0 and ) among their top three preferences, and significantly less likely to include a large private law firm in Toronto ( and ) and a government or public agency ( and ).
50 Actual Articling Setting Turning to the setting in which respondents actually articled or will be articling, the ranking is similar to the ranking of preferred settings. It also reflects the settings that tend to offer the greatest number of articling positions: Large private law firm in Toronto () Medium private law firm in Toronto () Large private law firm outside Toronto () Government/public agency () Medium private law firm outside Toronto () While the Crown s office was the first preference of of respondents, and one of the top three preferences of of respondents, just of respondents report actually articling there. A comparison of preferences with actual articling setting reveals some interesting findings with respect to members of equality-seeking communities. In particular, although they are not significantly less likely to express a preference for articling in a large private law firm in Toronto, they are significantly less likely to have actually done so () than are those who are not members of such a community (). Although the sample sizes are small, members of an equity seeking community are also significantly more likely to be articling in a sole practice in Toronto ( and, respectively), and directionally more likely (at the 0 confidence level) to be articling in a sole practice outside Toronto ( and ), than those who are not members of such a community. There is also an interesting finding by gender here. While for of men a large private law firm in Toronto was their top preference, just of men actually articled in that setting. The gap between the proportion of women for whom that setting was their top preference () and the proportion of women who actually articled in that setting () is much narrower, suggesting that women who want to article in such a setting have a better chance of being offered a place than do men with the same top preference. 0
51 Preferred/Actual Articling Setting Total Base Sole practice outside of Toronto Small private law firm outside of Toronto (less than lawyers) Medium private law firm outside of Toronto ( 0 lawyers) Large private law firm outside of Toronto (more than 0 lawyers) Sole practice in Toronto Small private law firm in Toronto (less than lawyers) Medium private law firm in Toronto ( 0 lawyers) Large private law firm in Toronto (more than 0 lawyers) In-house counsel for a private corporation Government or a public agency Education Crown s office Legal clinic Non-governmental organization (NGO) Some other setting n= Top 0 0 < 8 < Top Preferences for Setting Prior to Articling nd 0 < 8 0 rd NET Actual Articling Setting 0-8 No preference < No answer - - Q. From among the following, please indicate what your top three preferences were for the setting in which you wished to ARTICLE and then the setting in which you articled/are articling? Base: Respondents who will be articling, are articling currently, or did article in Ontario
52 The Practice of Law
53 Preferred Practice Setting As with preferences for articling setting, private law firms lead as the top preferred practice/work settings: Large private law firm in Toronto (selected as top preference by of respondents, and as one of the top three preferences by ); Government/public agency ( and, respectively); Medium private law firm in Toronto ( and 0); Large private law firm outside Toronto ( and ); Crown s office ( and ); Medium private law firm outside Toronto ( and 0). Also consistent with preferences for articling setting, there are differences by gender in top preferences for practice/work setting: Large private law firm in Toronto men and women ; Government/public agency women and men ; In-house counsel for a private corporation women and men ; Legal clinic women and men ; NGO women and men.
54 Preferred Practice Setting There are some differences in top preferences among members of equality-seeking communities. They are significantly less likely than those who do not belong to such a community to choose a large private law firm outside Toronto as their top preference ( and, respectively). They are also directionally less likely (at the 0 confidence interval) both to make a large private law firm in Toronto their top preference ( and, respectively) and to include it among their top three preferences ( and 0). To some extent, these findings among members of equality-seeking communities may be explained by their greater interest in human rights/social justice law and immigration law, areas of practice that are less prominent at large law firms than they are in other practice settings. The top preferences for practice setting among NCA respondents differ in some respects from those of non-nca respondents. NCA respondents are significantly less likely than non-nca respondents to select as their top preference both a large law firm in Toronto ( and, respectively) and a government or public agency setting (8 and ). A further difference emerges when top three practice setting preferences are combined. NCA respondents are significantly more likely than non-nca respondents to include among their top three preferences sole practice in Toronto (8 and, respectively), and are directionally more likely to include sole practice outside Toronto ( and ).
55 Actual Practice Setting Consistent with preferences, private law firms are the most common form of actual practice/work setting: Large private law firm in Toronto () Government/public agency () Medium private law firm in Toronto () Large private law firm outside Toronto () Medium private law firm outside Toronto () A comparison of preferences with actual practice settings reveals an interesting finding by gender concerning large private law firms in Toronto: Although men () are more likely than women () to select this practice setting as their top preference, the proportions of men and women who report working there are closer (8 of male respondents and of female respondents). This is consistent with findings concerning articling. Other differences by gender in actual practice setting are consistent with preferences. In-house counsel for a private corporation among women and among men; Government/public agency 0 among women and among men.
56 Actual Practice Setting Differences by membership in an equity seeking community are also evident. Consistent with their preferences, members of an equity-seeking community are less likely to be working either in a large private law firm outside of Toronto ( and ) or a large private law firm in Toronto ( and ). Members of an equity-seeking community are, by contrast, more likely than those who are not members of such a community to be practising in government or a public agency (0 and ). Although the sample size of NCA respondents who are currently in practice is very small, the data suggest that consistent with their preferences they are more likely than non-nca respondents to be working in sole practice in Toronto ( and, respectively) or in sole practice outside Toronto ( and ). A comparison of actual practice settings with top preferred settings suggests that in many cases respondents are working in a desired practice setting. It also, however, suggests several modest gaps: The proportions of respondents who report practising in large private law firms in Toronto () or in the Crown s office () are lower than the proportions of respondents who selected these settings as their top preference ( and, respectively); Conversely, the proportion of respondents who report practising in a small private law firm outside Toronto (8) is greater than the proportion of respondents for whom that setting was their top preference ().
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