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Uncovering Articling Opportunities in Law
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Ashna received her law degree in India, and moved to Calgary with her husband and two kids in 2006. Back in India, she practiced law in her own law firm alongside her brother and father. Currently, she is an associate lawyer in a small Calgary law firm.
After moving to Canada, Ashna learned that obtaining certification to become a Canadian lawyer is one of the most challenging, time consuming and expensive career options. It was impossible for her to pursue that career option right in the beginning due to financial difficulties. She started her career in Canada by joining an insurance company as a customer service representative. Occasionally she would get calls from very upset, disgruntled and angry customers. At times, these customers would talk disrespectfully to her making her feel angry and frustrated. After a few months of working in insurance, she found an opportunity to work in a law firm as a legal assistant, which kick-started her career in the legal field. It was at this time that she started working towards her law accreditation.
Initially she applied to the NCA to write her exams, and started planning how to find an articling position. The exams were very expensive and were offered only twice a year. After successfully passing her exams, she started to build her network through volunteering at Calgary Legal Guidance and various networking events.
In order to find articling positions, every day she would make cold calls to several lawyers to check if they have openings for articling students. She sent her resume and application to numerous lawyers hoping that someday, someone would provide her with an opportunity to work with them. It was a time consuming and frustrating process, but she eventually succeeded.
Some advice that Ashna would give to newcomers: “All professional immigrants must strive hard to achieve their goals. One needs to be focused, determined and highly motivated if they want to achieve their goals. Life is not easy, but you will need to work hard to make it easy. Dream big and channelize all your energy to fulfill your dreams. “