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My Articling Term with Legal Aid Saskatchewan’s Northern Area Office

April 15, 2024

Legal Aid Saskatchewan's articling students' program provides a broad hands-on experience for students-at-law interested in criminal and family law, and promotes interaction between lawyers, clients and our admin team. Morgan Blyth is one of two Legal Aid Saskatchewan articling students for the 2023-2024 fiscal year. She has been working in the Northern Area Office since July 2023. Here she recounts her articling journey with LAS as she prepares to transition into the role of Staff Lawyer!

Legal Aid Saskatchewan (LAS): What was it like to relocate and dive head-first into the front-line advocacy Legal Aid lawyers provide?

Morgan Blyth (MB): For me personally, I have always been a city girl, so relocating to La Ronge was a new challenge. I am still getting used to businesses closing so early! I am grateful I was able to get some hands-on experience from the beginning as it helped to settle my nerves and made the whole process seem less intimidating.

I believe I learn best by being thrown right into the situation and having a sink-or-swim moment. I trust the people I work with to know that they wouldn’t give me anything they didn’t think I could handle, and I appreciate them always being there to answer my hundreds (if not thousands) of questions.

LAS: What were your expectations going into your articling year, and how different/similar is your actual experience?

MB: Prior to going into my articling year, I didn’t think I would be given the opportunity to do as much as I have. I thought I would mostly be observing, but that is not the case. I am able to attend court every week and participate in the court process alongside experienced counsel.

LAS: What are some of the biggest highlights of your experience with LAS?

MB: I think my biggest highlight would be meeting and making connections with new people. The Northern office was so welcoming and made me feel comfortable instantly. From our potluck lunches to our puzzle addiction, I am always looking forward to going into the office.

I also enjoyed meeting private bar counsel and observing their different styles in court. Being able to watch someone advocate fiercely for their client is inspiring and reminds me of why I wanted to become a lawyer in the first place.

Another highlight of my year was being able to successfully run my first bail hearing. I think I was more nervous than our client. Being able to rely on my team for advice and guidance was instrumental to my success in this hearing.

LAS: Has anything surprised you?

MB: I think what surprised me the most is the resilience of our clients. No matter what they have been through they keep going and continue to work to better themselves.

LAS: What are some of the new skills/knowledge you gained from your articling experience?

MB: One thing I have gained is confidence while speaking in court. I know I still have a long way to go but I think I have built a strong base that I can continue to grow throughout my career.

I have also learned how to successfully keep a day planner for longer than a few months. Without this, and our amazing administrative staff, I would be lost.

LAS: If you could share some insight with students pursuing a career in law, what would you tell them?

MB: I would tell them to just breathe. Going through law school and finding articles can be stressful, but everything will work itself out. The legal field can be overwhelming at times but remember why you chose this career in the first place and use that to propel you forward.

LAS: What do you look forward to in your career as a champion for access to justice?

MB: I am still looking forward to running my first trial! I have a few scheduled in these upcoming months and I am hopeful that they will run.

I am also hopeful that I will be able to go on more circuits and help people from those communities.

LAS: Anything else you want to share!

MB: I am so happy to share that I will be continuing my legal career with the Legal Aid Saskatchewan Northern area office as a staff lawyer after I am done articling!