We match each of our students with a principal partner and associate mentor to connect with and from whom the student will learn about the practice of law and the delivery of quality legal services. Students tell us that the associate mentor is a welcome complement to the more formal mentoring offered by the principal partner.
Both levels of mentorship offer invaluable insight about firm culture, legal practice and professional development. We also encourage our students to seek out informal mentoring opportunities from other members of the firm. Given that we have many long-service employees and lawyers, there is a wealth of knowledge and information from which our students learn.
Training & Resources
We ensure that students are familiar with the lawyers, staff and systems that facilitate their work. Students are provided with subscriptions to WestlawNext, Quicklaw and other online databases, including access to the valuable resources made available by CLEBC. We also regularly present business, legal and strategy seminars for students to attend. Each student has a personal office and is assigned a legal administrative assistant.
Rotations & Feedback
Students rotate through two broad business law practice areas: litigation and solicitor-side legal practice. These rotations are flexible and students are encouraged to seek out work that they are interested in.
At the end of each rotation, we conduct a formal review process to solicit feedback from the lawyers with whom the student worked during each rotation, and the student’s principal presentsthat feedback to the student in a one-on-one meeting. A formal review process such as this is a valuable and constructive manner in which to help our students learn and discuss their work and experiences.
As professionals, students are given the responsibility of managing their own workload, preparing them for their own practice. There is no centralized system for distributing assignments. This is by design—students are encouraged to proactively develop relationships with lawyers to receive work and learning opportunities.
Although summer and articling students record their time, the focus is not on billable hours. Tracking both billable and non-billable hours allows students to get a sense of their efficiency and a more realistic view of the demands of a legal practice.
Compensation & Benefits
Our student compensation package is competitive with downtown Vancouver law firms and includes:
- $50,000/year ($4,167/month for summer articling students)
- Third year tuition up to $5,000 and book allowance of $200 (for regular articling students)
- Benefits, including medical/dental plans, extended medical plan and 10 days of paid vacation time during the regular articling period
- Professional Legal Training Course tuition fees (all salary and benefits are paid while students are at PLTC)
- Law Society of BC admission fees
We believe in hiring students who will eventually become our partners, and we only hire as many students as we hope to have associate positions available. Typically, this means we hire four summer students each year, with the goal of each of those summer students continuing on as an articling student. Occasionally, we have hired an additional articling student for the regular articling cycle to join our returning summer students.
We have one of the highest hire-back ratios among our big-firm competitors. Furthermore, we are proud of the quality and type of learning experiences that we are able to offer to our students. Our students tell us that they receive more hands-on, direct and experiential learning opportunities than many of their peers.
We will be accepting applications for 2018 articles and will be following the Vancouver Bar Association Articling Interview Guidelines.