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Who We Are

Aird & Berlis is a leading Canadian law firm based in Toronto, serving clients across Canada and globally. The firm’s practice encompasses all principal areas of business law, including corporate/commercial, corporate finance, banking, insolvency and restructuring, energy, environmental, infrastructure/P3, technology and intellectual property, litigation, labour and employment, municipal and land use planning, real estate and tax. The firm’s diverse client base ranges from entrepreneurs to multinational corporations.

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"As there is no formal rotation, every day at A&B holds the possibility of working on a wide variety of files. From attending discoveries, writing memos, going to court, and drafting all kinds of transactional documents, students are given a lot of latitude in determining how their summer unfolds. Some students use this flexibility to focus their efforts on certain areas of law, however I chose to take a broader approach and managed to work with every practice group at the firm. Coming into the summer I was fairly unsure of where my interests were, but because of the nature of the summer program, I now have a much clearer idea of where I want to end up. Regardless of the type of work assigned, the common denominator throughout is the large amount of responsibility given to students. While at times this can seem daunting, having to take ownership of each task enriches the entire experience and really makes you feel like you are contributing something important to individual files. This ability to tailor my summer experience to my individual interests, along with the friendly and supportive lawyers at A&B, ensured that my summer was both extremely fulfilling and enjoyable."

Patrick Copeland (University of Western Ontario)
Associate (Litigation) and former summer and articling student.

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"I chose Aird & Berlis primarily for its collegial and friendly work environment.  I had a very rewarding summer experience at the firm. The partners and associates were welcoming and approachable. My mentors oversaw my transition into the firm’s culture, providing me with the confidence to succeed in my work. My summer experience also benefited from the relationship that I enjoyed with my student colleagues. The students were encouraged to work as a team which allowed for collaboration. Finally, I was impressed by the flexibility of the firm’s student program. The structure of the program allows students to explore different areas of practice. I took advantage of this to gain a broad exposure to the diverse opportunities offered at A&B, a fundamental first step in my legal career."

Meghan Cowan (University of Ottawa)
Associate (Litigation) and former summer and articling student.

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"Each day at Aird & Berlis brings a new and exciting experience. Due to the flexible rotation program and my interest in corporate law, I was able to obtain work assignments from both the corporate commercial and corporate finance groups. My favourite experiences included being heavily involved in a large corporate closing and drafting a number of securities related documents. I also enjoyed conducting research and preparing a memorandum on corporate governance issues. Aside from my broad corporate exposure, I thoroughly enjoyed working in the litigation and municipal practice areas. Working with these groups allowed me to attend discoveries, draft documents in preparation for trial, complete legal research memoranda, review new legislation, write articles to be published, and attend pre-trial conferences. What I enjoy most about the firm is that students are genuinely encouraged to branch out and work for each practice group. Not only does this allow for a better working knowledge and understanding of each group’s function within the firm, but it demonstrates A&B truly cares about its students and wants them to be well-rounded, knowledgeable, and comfortable with their decision regarding their future practice area." 

 

Jacqueline (Jack) Goslett (University of Windsor)
Associate (Financial Services) and former summer and articling student.

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“In three months last summer I learned more about the law than I did in my first two years of law school. And just to be clear, it’s not that I wasn’t learning a lot at school. At A&B I had the opportunity to engage with many different aspects of the law, and I did so with the guidance of great mentors who gave me a lot of responsibility over the work they assigned. These assignments ranged from attending court and different administrative tribunals to writing articles for publication, drafting legal research memos, and preparing for closings. Throughout the summer, I could tell that the partners and associates who I worked with cared about my development as a lawyer and made an effort to ensure that I had an understanding of how the work I had done fit into the bigger picture. When it was possible, I was able to continue to work on the same file as it progressed through its different stages over the course of the summer.” 

Meaghan Barrett (University of Ottawa)
Associate (Municipal & Land Use Planning) and former summer and articling student.

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“From my very first encounter with the firm, through two summers as a student, my experience at A&B has been overwhelmingly positive. At the interview stage, I reached out to students for insight on the interview process and what the firm was like. The students I spoke with were extremely helpful, and took the time to walk me through the entire process. Interviewing is always nerve-wracking, but everyone I met at the firm quickly put me at ease. As a summer student, the lawyers I worked with have been an excellent source of support and guidance. Beyond assigned mentors - who are great! - many lawyers have taken a personal interest in my development and career goals. While the responsibility given to summer students can sometimes seem daunting, I always felt well supported: in addition to explaining the task at hand, many lawyers routinely took the time to explain the file in-depth and background context. Further, the firm provides excellent support by way of topical lunch and learns, legal research training, and internal law library and staff. I’m very much looking forward to returning as an articling student!”

Alyssa Gebert (University of Windsor)
Associate (Financial Services) and former summer and articling student.

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"Aird & Berlis provides an ideal environment for law students who are eager to learn and start their careers. When people talk about firm culture, it isn't always clear how this really translates to day-to-day life. However, the firm culture at Aird & Berlis not only met but actually surpassed my expectations. The lawyers at the firm, whether they are senior partners or junior associates, truly want students to succeed. As a student, I found that lawyers were always more than willing to go above and beyond to offer advice and support. I always felt welcome to stop by just about anyone's office. My mentors did an incredible job of guiding me through my first summer, and I was able to really build lasting professional relationships that will continue throughout my career. There is a uniquely welcoming, positive, and laid-back attitude that prevails throughout Aird & Berlis. This not only made my experience at the firm incredibly valuable, but also enjoyable."

Amy Marcen-Gaudaur (Western University) 
Associate (Capital Markets) and former summer and articling student. 

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“From my very first interview at A&B during OCIs, I knew that there was something special about the firm. Having worked previously at smaller firms in an administrative capacity I immediately felt comfortable at A&B, which has the warm and open atmosphere of a small firm but with the incredible resources and variety of practice areas of a large firm. My experience as a summer student at the firm did not disappoint. Having no formal rotation allowed me to take on work in the many different practice areas that I was interested in. I was pleasantly surprised at the level of independence and responsibility I was given not only in searching out work in the practice areas that I found most interesting, but also in the work itself. My absolute favourite thing about A&B is the people, who are friendly and supportive. I am very much looking forward to being back at A&B for articling.” 

Danielle Muise (University of Toronto)
Associate (Litigation) and former summer and articling student.

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“My summer at A&B was more fulfilling than I anything could have imagined. From day 1, I felt like a part of the team and the transition from an inexperienced law student to a summer student at a law firm was extremely smooth. The support the firm provided students, particularly in the first few weeks, in terms of training and assistance was superb. Lawyers were always available to answer questions and Ari couldn’t have been better at helping students navigate the occasionally intimidating world of Bay Street. Students were given their choice of which practice groups they wanted to get the most exposure to and provided encouraging and engaged mentors to help us along the way. Due to the lack of a formal rotation, I was able to get a broad range of experience in different practice groups and given an array of different work opportunities, some of the highlights included: drafting articles for the corporate finance practice’s emerging “Start-Up” group, writing a variety of legal research memos for various groups, attending court on several occasions, and getting valuable experience working with senior lawyers in the firm’s “Gaming” group (which is as interesting as it sounds). I couldn’t be happier with my decision to spend the summer at A&B and can’t wait to see what new opportunities articling will hold.”

Liam Tracey-Raymont (Queens University)
Associate (Capital Markets) and former summer and articling student.

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“For me, what sets A&B apart from other Bay Street firms is its friendly and collegial work environment. I have found the lawyers and staff to be exceptionally supportive, welcoming and approachable, and I have made many good friends throughout my time at the firm. My mentors have always been available to answer questions and address my concerns, and the students are a tight-knit group. I have also been exposed to a variety of work during my summer and articles – because of A&B’s particular structure, I have worked directly with both junior and senior lawyers. At times, I have been given significant autonomy and the opportunity to get deeply involved in files. I have absolutely no regrets about my choice to work at A&B.”

Stephen Crawford (University of Toronto)
Associate (Corporate/Commercial) and former summer and articling student.

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“I have truly enjoyed my summers and articling experience at A&B and always looked forward to what each day would bring. What laws I would be researching? What factum would I be drafting? What client would I be meeting? What hearing would I be attending? What presentation would I be preparing? What joke told by a fellow student (or lawyer) would have me laughing? During my time at the firm, I have had the opportunity to write articles in collaboration with experts, prepare pleadings for hearings, participate in closings, assist lawyers at hearings, among countless other experiences. My mentors have been an integral part of my learning experience and their advice and guidance will stay with me throughout my legal career.  I feel privileged to have spent my summers and articling term at A&B and recommend the firm to any student looking to be challenged in a supportive, highly-professional environment.” 

Laura Dean (University of Windsor)
Associate (Municipal & Land Use Planning) and former summer and articling student. 

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“I was very fortunate to return to A&B to complete my articles after summering with the firm for two years. While at the firm, I gained valuable experience working on a variety of transactions including mergers, acquisitions, private placements, public offerings, secured lending and P3s.  Additionally, the amount of responsibility I was given was truly remarkable, especially in comparison to peers at other Bay Street firms. Substantive work-experience aside, A&B’s lawyers set a firm-wide tone of excellence, collegiality and integrity in which it was a pleasure to work. I know the experiences I gained during my articles have positioned me for success in my future professional endeavors.”

 

Daniel Everall (University of Toronto)
Associate (Capital Markets) and former summer and articling student.

Meet Some of Our People

"At A&B, students are given the opportunity to get involved in a variety of matters in various practice areas. The flexibility of the summer program allows students to learn about different areas of the law, while also developing their own areas of interest before returning to article. Students often take an active role in matters, working directly with senior members of the firm. This close connection helps students build positive mentoring relationships with highly skilled practitioners, and allows the student to learn about the law through experience. The environment at A&B is supportive and collegial among students, lawyers and staff. This provides a great work experience for those at the firm and ultimately provides A&B’s clients with superior legal services."

Chris Berrigan (Western University)
Associate (Capital Markets) and former summer and articling student.

Meet Some of Our People

Summering at a law firm with multiple and diverse practice areas was much like going to a buffet – you want to try everything. Fortunately, I was able to do just that. My assignments varied from day-to-day and by practice group. I conducted legal research, drafted legal opinions, memoranda and pleadings, attended pre-trial conferences, discoveries and motions, and helped write an article that was widely distributed to clients. One task that I particularly enjoyed was taking carriage of a small claims file and attending the settlement conference with just the client and opposing counsel. Being able to experience all of this during the summer will without a doubt allow me to set higher goals and engage in even more challenging work as an articling student. Although the transition from law school can sometimes be overwhelming, A&B encourages students to learn by doing which makes the transition much more enjoyable. 

Brian Chung (University of Windsor)
Associate (Litigation) and former summer and articling student.

 

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"Articling has a steep learning curve, however with a firm like A&B and its amazing resources the jump into becoming a young lawyer is made much easier. A&B is a large firm with the friendly environment and exposure to work that you may only find at smaller firms. During my time at A&B, I conducted research, helped draft transactional documents, met and interacted with clients on an almost daily basis, and was responsible for executing a closing alone. Throughout all of these experiences any questions I had, whether  in relation to a legal topic or working the fax machine, the lawyers and staff were always available to help. My articling principal, mentor and certain lawyers I worked closely with became invaluable learning resources for both substantive law and life skills. I am certain that the skills and relationships I have developed at A&B will remain valuable to me far into my legal career." 

Aaron Bains (Queen's University)
Associate (Capital Markets) and former summer and articling student.

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As a law student, I chose A&B for the breadth of its transactional practice and its informal culture. After two summers and completing articles at the firm, I can confidently say that I made the right decision. I have benefited greatly from mentors who have gone out of their way to provide guidance. The students worked cohesively as a group, without any hint of competition. I have had the opportunity to work on large transactions, explore a variety of legal areas, and attend trials, hearings, and client meetings with partners. I don’t think there’s a better place to work than A&B.

Aaron Baer (Western University)
Associate (Corporate/Commercial) and former summer and articling student. 

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"Thanks to Aird’s flexible summer program, there is no such thing as a “typical day” at Aird & Berlis. Students can work on small claims court pleadings, large transactions, tricky municipal law research questions and charitable initiatives – and, on one long and memorable day, I did. However, there are some features that are typical. There’s always camaraderie, laughs and teamwork – within the student team, but also with assigning lawyers. There’s always novelty – new research questions or new areas of law to figure out, quickly. There’s always a feeling of real responsibility – the assignments are never “make work” and usually end up in a client’s hands. And while the firm is a very professional environment, a day at the firm is never too formal. Even at its busiest, a typical day is fun."

Timothy Jones (University of Toronto)
Associate (Financial Services ) and former summer and articling student.