Please note that while Aird & Berlis actively participates in recruitment for first year and second year summer positions (all in accordance with rules and timing prescribed by the Law Society of Ontario), we do not participate in articling recruitment. Our second year summer students routinely return to article at the firm.
We offer our articling students a flexible rotation system. Students do (1) a Transactional rotation (which includes Corporate/Commercial, Capital Markets, Real Estate, Lending, non-litigious IP, Tax Planning and Wills and Estates work); (2) an Advocacy rotation (which includes Bankruptcy and Insolvency, Litigation, Labour and Employment, Municipal and Land Use Planning, Tax Litigation, Estates Litigation and IP Litigation work; and (3) a Flex rotation which they can tailor to reflect their interests. They have a myriad of opportunities to explore different areas of law, including various subspecialties and industry teams in our full-service environment.
Our articling students are matched with a mentor and an articling principal (usually a member of our Student Recruitment Committee). They play a similar role to summer student mentors, assisting with day-to-day advice, goal-setting and career guidance, and helping the students build relationships across the firm. Articling principals have some additional responsibilities that are prescribed by the Law Society of Ontario.
Like our summer students, our articling students are responsible for managing their own workload. Since our articling student group is typically comprised of students who summered at the firm, the articling students are very well known to our lawyers, and work flows very naturally from those relationships. We encourage our students (with support and guidance from their mentors and articling principals), to be proactive in seeking out work in their primary areas of interest. Our lawyers make a concerted effort to “go deep” with our articling students -- to offer intellectually challenging work, opportunities for meaningful client interaction, and valuable “field experience” at courts or tribunals or on deal teams. At Aird & Berlis, we staff our files leanly, which means that our students work very closely with our lawyers and have a higher level of responsibility. As a consequence, our students are key contributors to our firm’s success.
Reviews and Feedback
We conduct reviews twice during the articling term: in December and April. We ask each reviewing lawyer to provide feedback about the student’s performance, including technical proficiency (such as research, analysis, writing and drafting), practice management skills and client skills. Our lawyers also provide informal feedback throughout the articling term, and we encourage our students to ask for feedback on an ongoing basis.
Continuing Professional Development
We offer a comprehensive professional development program for our articling students, including a week long orientation as well as bi-weekly seminars throughout the articling term. In addition to courses on fundamentals such as legal research and writing, we offer training on a range of key business law topics, including due diligence, managing a closing, financial statements, transaction opinions and drafting litigation documents. We also offer substantive training in all the firm’s main practice areas, including Corporate/Commercial, Capital Markets, Financial Services, Litigation, Municipal and Land Use Planning, Real Estate and Tax; as well as specialty areas like Energy, Infrastructure and Intellectual Property. We also provide interactive programs on ethics and professional responsibility.
Salary and Other Stuff
Our current articling student salary is $1,900 per week. Students are also included in our extended health and dental benefits program and receive two weeks paid vacation. We pay Law Society of Ontario Lawyer Licensing Process fees.
Life on Bay Street is busy, so it’s important to get out of the office and have fun. Every year is different, but past events have included dinners at some of Toronto’s best restaurants, a private cooking class and a Raptors game. One of the highlights of our social calendar is our end-of-articles celebration – our articling students choose the venue, menu and guest list. And of course our students are important participants in firm-wide events like our annual Holiday Party. It is tradition that they create a video skit for the party, and it is always a hit.