In May 2019 The Law Society of Manitoba together with the Law Societies in Alberta and Saskatchewan launched two surveys; one directed at articling students and new lawyers (articled in the last five years), the other directed at principals, recruiters and mentors. The surveys were designed to help the law societies better understand the experiences and supports that articling students are getting during their articling term in order to critically assess whether our existing systems are appropriately preparing lawyers for the future.
Overall, the survey provided rich data which deepened our understanding on a number of issues including workloads, compensation and retention rates, and areas where both students and mentors felt that further resources or assistance may be beneficial. The results also contained troubling reports about the incidence of discrimination and/or harassment during both the recruitment phase and the articling experience, with 24% of students in Manitoba reporting such experiences.
The Law Society of Manitoba will use this report to help identify opportunities to ensure that students and young lawyers are aware of existing resources available to support them in the early years of practice. Our Equity Committee is also engaging in work to specifically address those concerns of discrimination and/or harassment.
In Manitoba, the survey was completed by 83 articling students and 48 principals, recruiters and mentors. A detailed analysis of the results for these surveys can be found in this report, prepared by Illumina Research Partners.