Our Toronto 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 quality of service that our clients deserve and expect.
Summer Program | Articling Program | Current Students | Contact Us
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. The size of our Toronto office enables our summer students to work directly with senior lawyers, as well as associates. Summer students receive the same range of work as our articling students, and we encourage our summer students to explore specific areas of interest – to see whether a particular type of law is as interesting in practice as in the classroom. Each summer student has the benefit of a supervising lawyer who acts as a mentor and provides guidance and feedback to the student over the course of the summer. Our summer students are, of course, encouraged to participate in the various social activities offered by the firm.
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 in-house professional development seminars offered firmwide.
We hope that when they return to law school, our summer students take with them 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 Toronto firms, and are reviewed regularly. Summer students who return to the firm to article receive a $4,000 contribution toward their third-year law school tuition.
Offices and Administrative Support
We endeavour to provide our summer students with their own offices. All of the firm’s administrative resources are available to our summer students as required.
All of our summer students have been offered the opportunity to return to article with the firm and, with the exception of clerks, all of our summer students have returned to article with the firm.
We intend to hire 6-7 summer students for 2018. The deadline for applications is August 21, 2017.
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 Kerry D. Sheppard, Director of Student Programs. 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.
We strive, through our articling program, to train highly capable, practice-ready lawyers who will remain with the firm as associates and ultimately become partners. Our articling program enables our students to complete the transition from the academic study of law to the practice of law. Most of our students take their first step in that transition as summer students and then return to the firm to article.
Our articling students do not follow a structured rotation during their articles. We encourage our students to work in as many practice areas as possible, with both our solicitors and our litigators.
From 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.
From our litigators, our articling students learn the art of oral and written advocacy, as well as strategic considerations relating to the litigation process. Our students become involved in the entire 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 assistants, 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. All students and lawyers have access to Quicklaw and Westlaw.
The professional development of our students is a priority. Our national Director of Student Programs coordinates a series of weekly 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 firmwide 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 Toronto firms and are reviewed regularly.
Over the past three years, the majority of our Toronto articling students have accepted offers to remain with the firm as associates.
Virtually all of our summer students have, in recent years, returned to article with us. We occasionally seek to hire articling students in addition to our returning summer students; in any given year, the number of additional articling students to be hired will vary.
We are not seeking to hire any additional articling students for 2016-2017 or for 2017-2018.
Articling Students 2016–2017
Articling Students 2017–2018
Please direct all email enquires about the Toronto student program to [email protected].
The Student Recruitment and Development Committee:
Geoff Mowatt and Adrienne Woodyard (Co-Chairs)