We understand that it is not easy to get the lay of the law firm landscape in downtown and Metro Vancouver. Firms come in all sizes, from micro to massive. They may have one office or many – across BC, the West, Canada, or the globe. They may focus on one area of law, or many. And while they may seem similar before you cross their doorstep, each firm has its own personality and approach.

To help get the conversation started, here are ten things to know about Clark Wilson.

  1. We are big  Our single office in downtown Vancouver houses about 115 lawyers, 190 staff, and is one of the largest in the city—as big as or bigger than many Vancouver offices of the national and international firms.
  2. We have a long and storied history  Clark Wilson began in 1911 when General John Clark opened his firm Clark & Clark. In 1952, General John Clark and Alexander Wilson merged their neighbouring firms to create Clark Wilson. To learn more about our firm’s distinct history and roots dating back to World War I and World War II, visit our About Us page.
  3. We stand tall in the heart of the city  Our office is located in the centre of downtown Vancouver’s business district in the HSBC building, situated on the traditional and unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and sə̓lílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh).
  4. We work to make a difference  Our clients are entrepreneurs, multinationals, family-owned enterprises, publicly traded companies, First Nations, and public institutions. Tangible evidence of our work is all around us – Vancouver’s skyline, transit line and airport, and many of the companies and brands we encounter every day. We are proud to be involved with core sectors of the business community, from tech to infrastructure, universities to consumer goods and services, real estate to natural resources, our lawyers are regularly called upon by top local, national and international companies and highly sought-after by media for their expertise. This year, 35 of Clark Wilson’s lawyers were named to the 2024 Best Lawyers In Canada List, and 10 of our associates were peer-selected as Ones to Watch for their outstanding professional excellence in private practice.
  5. Bring your whole self to work and thrive  Our lawyers are from small towns and big cities, with a wide range of socioeconomic backgrounds and life experiences. Seven of the last 10 lawyers appointed as equity partners at Clark Wilson identify as women (three of whom identify as BIPOC). About 25% of our lawyers identify as BIPOC, and more than half of those are Partners. About 5% of our lawyers identify as LGBTQ2S+. Overall, about 40% of our lawyers are women, 50% of our Equity Partners are women, one-third of whom have taken parental leave in the last three years. One was appointed during parental leave. Our DEI initiatives include in-house learning on topics as diverse as implicit biases, LGBTQ2S+ inclusiveness, Indigenous perspectives on legal practice, and recognizing and managing mental health issues.
  6. We have alumni from all Canadian law schools except for Lakehead and Toronto Metropolitan University, as well as schools in the US, the UK, and elsewhere in the Commonwealth.
  7. We are passionate about our Pro Bono Program  At Clark Wilson, we believe in giving back to our community. We have always supported our lawyers’ pro bono work, and encourage more people to get involved. We are currently on the rosters for Access Pro Bono and the BC Court of Appeal.
  8. We have strong values. Caring, excellence, service, teamwork, trust and integrity. These values inform the way we recruit, make decisions and work with our clients and each other.
  9. We have fun together  We team up at charity and pro-bono events, host holiday and summer parties, and provide our students with plenty of team building opportunities with lawyers and staff. Our most frequent touchpoint is our weekly Friday Social for the whole firm.
  10. We are a Great Place to Work®. In 2023, Clark Wilson ranked 9th in Canada and were the only law firm in the Top 50. In addition, we are consistently awarded more specialized certifications, some of which include:

Student Program Contacts

How we will recruit for 2025

Summer students   We expect to hire six to eight summer students for 2025, with the goal that each of those students will return for their regular articles.

Articling students   We do not participate in the Vancouver Bar Association Articling Student Recruitment Cycle. If we recruit for additional 2025/26 students, we will post that on our website and communicate through the Canadian CSO law network.

Who we are looking for  When getting to know applicants, we don’t focus on where they go to law school or how well they network. Instead, we focus on five criteria:

  1. Work ethic and resilience – has worked hard, overcome adversity, persevered, shown grit
  2. Teamwork/collaboration skills – has worked well with others, shown ability to act in the greater interest
  3. Self-awareness/growth mindset– understands what they bring to the table, has shown ability to learn from mistakes and act on feedback
  4. Professionalism/client-centricity – mature, with an aptitude for serving clients in private practice
  5. Strong academic performance

Watch short videos of ImrozJessica and Jimmy talking about their recruitment experience.

How to apply  Clark Wilson is preparing for the Vancouver Bar Association 2025 Summer Student Recruitment Cycle. We accept applications for summer articles through viLaw Portal.

Our recruiting approach  Our Student Recruiting Committee has been thinking a lot about the law school recruiting process over the last few years.  We want students to know about some important changes in our approach and our continuous improvement based on student feedback.

We are going further in 2025  We remain committed to follow the VBA Summer Recruitment Guidelines and the Best Practices for Vancouver Summer and Articling Recruitment Activities that are designed to level the playing field for participants. Here are some additional steps to help promote a professional, caring and transparent recruitment process:

  • We will not host receptions, dinners or virtual events for candidates adjacent to OCIs  We will make ourselves available throughout the summer until the VBA blackout takes effect
  • On Day One, we will schedule 75-minute timeslots for two interviews between 8.00 am and 4.15 pm, with a lunch break
  • During Interview Week, we will not interview candidates over lunches and dinners  We decided to let go of the practice of dining out with candidates. Here’s why:
    • Meals can be confusing Students tell us that the meaning and timing of meal invites can be baffling.  Is this an interview, quasi-interview, get-to-know-you-chat or celebration?! What’s the significance of Monday dinner versus Tuesday lunch? Is a pre-booked meal different from a same-day invite?
    • Meals can be awkward Fancy meals out can often make students feel unsure of how to act or what to say
    • Candidate meals are exhausting We know that squeezing in a “relaxed” lunch amid interviews is tough, and a long dinner after interviews is tougher

How will you know if you are making a great impression?  We’ll tell you.  And we will show you by offering as many opportunities as you need to interview and chat with lawyers and students to get a real sense of who we are, how we work together, and how we develop students.

At the end of each interview day, the Clark Wilson Student Recruiting Committee gathers to debrief the day and strategize for the next. Then we head home for some restorative R&R. We hope that you can, too.

We celebrate Interview Week after the offer and acceptance process  On Thursday night, our Student Recruiting Committee invites Clark Wilson’s newest summer recruits out on the town for a celebratory feast.

We make time for networking and open houses  You don’t need a referral to network with people at Clark Wilson.  Email our Student Coordinator Nadia Sayenko at nsayenko@cwilson.com, and she will arrange a virtual or in-person meeting with a lawyer or student, or you can directly contact one of our students.

We are gearing up for lots of conversations with interested students – about law school, Clark Wilson, legal practice in general and life. If you haven’t toured Clark Wilson with your school, you can attend a 45-minute open house in-person in a small group, or by Zoom this summer.

Summer 2024 Open House Dates: 

Tuesday, June 18th at 12 pm
Thursday, June 27th at 4:30 pm
Tuesday, July 16th at 12 pm
Thursday, July 25th at 4:30 pm
Wednesday, Aug 7 at 12 pm (Virtual via Zoom)

Get in touch with Nadia Sayenko or Kathryn Schultz any time to register for an Open House or with questions about our recruiting process, our student program, or to connect with one of our lawyers or students.

The CW Student Program – the structure we have set up for summer students and articling students – is built around Clark Wilson’s five core values: Caring, Excellence, Service, Teamwork, and Trust and Integrity. We take great care to ensure that every student is welcomed with open arms and given real opportunities to develop their practice skills. We provide quality work for students with exposure to senior partners and clients. We expect students to work as a team – to have one another’s backs – and to value the trust they earned from colleagues and clients.

To get the conversation started, here are nine things to know about the CW Student Program.

  1. Work quality  Our students tell us that they receive more hands-on, direct and experiential learning opportunities than many of their peers at other firms. Clark Wilson is proud of this reputation for giving students great work. Summer students get the same work as articling students. You will be invited to sit in on meetings, attend mediations and/or court appearances, and work on deals. Watch summer students Imroz Ali, Jessica Dorfmann and Jimmy Zhang talk about the type of work they were involved in as students.
  2. Student culture  We encourage students to work as a team.  We celebrate student cohorts that collaborate, have one another’s backs, share work and lighten loads. In this short video, Kim Do talks about how she settled in.
  3. Student rotations  Summer students and articling students divide their time with us in two rotations – one in the Litigation Department, and one in the Business, or Solicitors’ Department. This offers a chance to shine in both areas and helps ensure you get a broad experience.
  4. Student support  We provide layers of support and oversight for each student, including:
    • a principal – the partner who formally supervises you for Law Society purposes;
    • an associate mentor – a more junior lawyer who is your “person” for guidance and confidential chats;
    • our Manager of Student and Junior Associate Programs, Kathryn Schultz, oversees the Student Program and regularly checks in with the students about learning progress and assists with workflow and other issues as they arrive; and
    • our Professional Development and Student Coordinator, Nadia Sayenko – Nadia takes care of all your arrangements with the Law Society of BC, arranges for your corporate photos, and helps you get set up on arrival.
  5. Transition supports  We are committed to setting students up for success. Summer students complete a comprehensive onboarding program, covering everything from research memos to client etiquette, IT systems and CW policies.  Articling students attend refresher training when they return, and students who accept an offer to continue as an associate complete the Associate Transition Program. Students are invited to almost all in-house CLE sessions covering black letter law and practice management topics.
  6. Work assignments  Some work assignments come directly from lawyers. Other work comes through knocking on doors; getting to know people and the work they assign. Students manage this flow of work among themselves so that new opportunities and more routine tasks are fairly distributed.
  7. Feedback  Progress requires great learning, and great learning requires acting on good feedback. We encourage students to seek out feedback on their work as they go. We also provide a formal review at the end of summer articles and the end of each articling rotation.
  8. Clerkships  We support them. We count several former clerks in our ranks.
  9. What we offer  Our summer student package is competitive with downtown Vancouver law firms:
    • $80,000 per annum;
    • extended medical and dental benefits, including vision;
    • $5,000 towards third year tuition and a textbook allowance for students who accept an offer to return for articles; and
    • payment of Law Society of BC fees related to temporary summer articles.

2024 Summer Students

2023-24 Articling Students

2024-25 Articling Students

Recent Hires