Our Edmonton office offers positions to both summer and articling students. We seek to hire summer students who will return to the firm to article, and we seek to hire articling students who will continue with the firm as associates and ultimately become partners.
With those goals in mind, we strive to provide to our students the best possible training and professional development programs. We want our summer students to develop a fundamental understanding of the practice of law before returning to law school, and we want our articling students to develop the skills to enable them, at the completion of their articles, to commence practice as highly capable professionals providing the high level of service our clients deserve and expect.
Summer Program | Articling Program | Current Students
Each year, we typically hire one outstanding law student to experience a summer with our Edmonton office. We consider all applications that we receive.
Our summer program is intended to serve as an introduction to the practice of law. Most of our summer students have little, if any, previous experience in a law firm, and our summer program is designed as the first step in the transition from the academic study of law to the practice of law.
Our summer students are treated as articling students in virtually all respects. Summer students receive the same range of work as our articling students, but do not participate in a formal rotation; we encourage our summer students to use the flexibility of the program to explore specific areas of interest – to see whether a particular type of law is as interesting in practice as in the classroom. Summer students are, of course, encouraged to participate in the firm's various social activities.
Each summer student has the benefit of a supervising lawyer who provides guidance and feedback to the student over the course of the summer.
During the summer, we present a series of weekly seminars, coordinated by our national Director of Student Programs and tailored specifically for our summer students, to discuss practice-related topics such as conflicts of interest, the business of law, professional civility and courtesy, risk management, and effective client communication. Our students are also encouraged to attend other firm-wide in-house professional development seminars.
We hope that our summer students will return to law school with a fundamental understanding of the practice of law that will serve as a solid foundation for their articling experience.
Compensation and Benefits
Summer students' salaries and benefits are competitive with those of other major Edmonton firms, and are reviewed regularly.
Offices and Administrative Support
Our summer students are provided with their own offices. All of the firm's administrative resources are available to our summer students as required.
In recent years, virtually all of our summer students have returned to article with the firm.
We intend to hire 1-2 summer students for 2020 during the recruitment period this fall. The deadline for applications is Wednesday, September 4, at 11:59 p.m.
Candidates wishing to apply for a summer student position should forward a cover letter and résumé, copies of transcripts (undergraduate and first year of law school), and a list of intended second and third-year courses, to Ms. Alexandra Bochinski, Chair, Student Committee. Reference letters may also be included, but it is not necessary to include writing samples.
We prefer to receive applications through the online portal, at vilawportal.com.
In our Edmonton office, we typically hire at least two and, in most cases, three articling students each year.
Students spend half of their articling year on the solicitors’ side of our practice, and the other half with our litigators. We introduce our articling students to as many practice areas as possible. In each area, senior practitioners offer guidance, advice, and direction.
While with our solicitors, our articling students gain experience in a wide range of commercial transactions and corporate matters and have the opportunity to develop their drafting skills by documenting various transactions, including purchases and sales of businesses and of residential and commercial real estate.
While with our litigators, our articling students learn the art of oral and written advocacy and are introduced to strategic considerations relating to the litigation process. Students become involved in the gamut of the litigation process, from briefing the law, to drafting pleadings, to assisting in the conduct of examinations for discovery and trial. Our students also gain valuable experience by appearing in court on contested and non-contested motions, and conducting trials in provincial court.
All of our firm’s administrative resources are available to our articling students as necessary.
Our firm law library is administered by a professional law librarian and experienced library professionals, who assist our students and lawyers across Canada. Online research is, of course, available and all of our students are trained in using and searching computer databases, including Quicklaw and WestlawNext.
The professional development of our students is a priority. Our national Director of Student Programs coordinates a series of seminars for our articling students designed to reinforce the training provided in our summer student seminars, and to provide instruction and guidance on other practice-related topics. We drill down on topics previously covered in our summer student seminars, such as conflicts of interest, the business of law, professional civility and courtesy, risk management, and effective client communication, and discuss additional topics such as advocacy, solicitors’ opinions, commercial closings, and drafting pleadings. Our students are also encouraged to attend other firm-wide professional development seminars and presentations.
Evaluation and Feedback
We feel that providing effective, constructive feedback to our articling students is essential. We obtain formal evaluation feedback from the lawyers for whom our students have worked, and we share the relevant feedback with each student. We also encourage our lawyers to provide informal feedback to our students about their work product and performance.
Compensation and Benefits
Our articling students’ salaries and benefits are competitive with those of other major Edmonton firms, and are reviewed regularly. Each student’s salary is paid while attending the CPLED Course, and we also pay the course fee.
The hireback ratio in our Edmonton office has been strong. Most of our recent articling students have been offered, and have accepted, positions as associates with the firm.
We have hired all of our articled students for 2020-21, and are not considering further applications at this time.
The Student Recruitment and Development Committee is responsible for hiring articled students. The hiring criteria used by the Committee are varied and flexible. While strong academic achievement is obviously important, our primary emphasis is on hiring candidates who are personable and who demonstrate, through their résumés and interviews, initiative, effective communication skills, leadership, involvement in law-related and community activities, and team spirit.
Candidates wishing to apply for an articled student position should forward a cover letter and résumé, with copies of transcripts from post-secondary institutions, to:
Alexandra Bochinski, Student Recruitment and Development Committee
DLA Piper (Canada) LLP
2700 Stantec Tower
10220 - 103 Avenue, NW
By email: [email protected]
Articling Students 2019-2020
Summer Student 2019