How working as a research assistant landed one student a government articling job

By: December 20, 2016

Jacklyn Neborak approached her law profs for a summer job when she didn’t hear back from firms

Woman working at desk

Editor’s note: This is part two of a three-part series on how to land a second-year summer job outside the OCI process.

Jacklyn Neborak was more than ready when it was time for on-campus interviews in the fall of 2015. After all, she’d been preparing for five months. The then-second-year student at Osgoode Hall wanted to work in corporate law, and was set on summering at a Bay Street firm. So, she researched the firms she was interested in, and met with lawyers from each. Those efforts landed her several in-firm interviews. But in the end, none of the firms made her an offer.

Jacklyn Neborak, 3L, Osgoode Hall

Jacklyn Neborak, 3L, Osgoode Hall

At first, Neborak was disheartened. But she continued applying for other summer opportunities on Osgoode’s career website, and, when she didn’t hear back, undertook her own search efforts. “I approached Osgoode professors in the areas of law I was interested in,” says Neborak, “to see if they needed research assistants.” By February of 2016, her proactive approach had paid off: she had a full-time research position with a law professor studying child tax benefits.

Her job search didn’t end there, though. “After the OCIs,” she explains, “I realized I needed to put my efforts toward the upcoming articling recruitment process.” So, to become a stronger candidate, she co-authored a paper with the professor she researched for and volunteered at a legal clinic. She landed a government job articling for the legal department of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) in Toronto, which she’ll start in the fall of 2017.

Neborak was thrilled. At FSCO, Ontario’s financial services regulator, she will gain exposure to various areas of corporate law. “Students might not think they could get a taste of corporate law in a government position,” she says, “but by working at FSCO, I’ll learn how corporate law works from the regulator’s side.”

Like many law students, Neborak dreamt of landing a summer job on Bay Street. But after coming up short in the OCI process, she didn’t panic. Instead, she took a long-term look at her career goals, and did what she could in the meantime: worked on becoming a more competitive articling candidate. “Articling at FSCO will build my knowledge in corporate law,” says Neborak, “which will prepare me to work in both public and private sectors down the road.”

Read other stories in our three-part series:


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