Aird & Berlis participates in two separate recruitment rounds for summer students: one for second year summer students, and one for first year summer students. Each of these recruitment rounds is subject to Law Society of Ontario summer recruitment procedures, which prescribe specific application deadlines, timing for interviews and job offers, and various guidelines for employers and students to follow. Visit the Law Society of Ontario’s website for more information. Please note that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Law Society of Ontario’s recruitment procedures have been modified.
The recruitment processes for first year positions and second year positions have many features in common, with one key difference. The recruitment process for second year positions includes on-campus interviews (“OCIs”), which typically take place in September or October, depending on the law school, and in-firm interviews, which typically take place in early November. There are no OCIs in the first year recruitment process, but there are in-firm interviews, which typically take place in late February. As noted above, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the timing of recruitment for first year and second year summer positions has been modified. OCIs will be taking place in February, and interview week for both first year and second year summer positions will be taking place in early March. Please refer to the Law Society of Ontario’s recruitment procedures for further information.
If you are interested in applying for a first year or second year summer position at Aird & Berlis, please apply via viDesktop’s online application portal (your school's Career Development Office can provide details).
Your application package should include a cover letter, resumé, copies of official undergraduate and law school transcripts (and transcripts from any other post-secondary education), as well as a list of upper year courses you intend to take. Letters of reference are welcome, but not required. Please do not include a writing sample.
Your cover letter should not exceed one page. Explain why you are interested in our firm and how you could contribute as a member of our team. If you have met people from our firm, let us know. If you are developing an interest in a particular practice area, tell us (it helps us match you with prospective interviewers). If you don’t yet have a particular area of interest, that’s fine, too. For more tips on preparing an effective cover letter, check out Ari Blicker’s presentation on our “Resources” page.
Your resumé should not exceed two pages.
Be thoughtful in preparing your materials. Attention to detail is key.
Your law school’s Career Development office organizes helpful sessions about recruitment, including workshops on cover letters and resumés. We encourage you to attend.
Ari Blicker (our Director of Student and Associate Programs) and Reena Kotecha (Chair of our Student Recruitment Committee) oversee the selection process. Ari, Reena and other members of our Student Recruitment Committee review the applications and make the interview selections. We review the applications holistically. Law school grades are an important factor, but we also place considerable weight on work experience and life experience.
In the second year summer student recruitment process: (1) if you are granted an OCI with Aird & Berlis, your school will notify you and provide you with your OCI schedule; and (2) if you are granted an in-firm interview with Aird & Berlis, we will advise you via email that we will be calling you on “call day” to schedule an interview during interview week.
In the first year summer student recruitment process, if you are granted an in-firm interview with Aird & Berlis, we will advise you via email that we will be calling you on “call day” to schedule an interview during interview week.
In the Second Year Recruitment Process, we participate in On-Campus Interviews (“OCIs”) at Ontario law schools.
During the OCI, you will meet with two lawyers from our firm, typically members of our Student Recruitment Committee. The OCI lasts 17 minutes. The interview will be informal, but substantive. Our interviewers will want to learn more about you (your work experience, your life experience and your time at law school). They will be keen to “talk shop” with you. Engage with them. Don’t be shy about asking questions about the firm. You are interviewing us, too.
The Law Society of Ontario’s Recruitment Procedures provide that employers are not to communicate with applicants for the purpose of scheduling interviews for summer positions in Toronto, until 8 a.m. EST on a specified date. On this prescribed date, colloquially referred to as “call day”, employers contact candidates by phone to schedule interviews during interview week. At Aird & Berlis, we email students ahead of time to advise them we will be calling them on call day. However, we do keep a very short waiting list, so it is conceivable for a candidate to receive a call on call day from us without having received an email in advance.
The firm schedules “in-firm interviews” at the firm during interview week. During the second year recruitment process, interview week takes place in early November, following on-campus interviews. During the first year recruitment process, interview week takes place in late February. We conduct first interviews on the first day of Interview Week, and follow-up interviews on the second and third days of interview week. If you receive any in-firm interviews, you should plan to be in Toronto at least until the end of the third day of interview week.
At Aird & Berlis, your in-firm interview will last about an hour. When you arrive at our reception area, our receptionist will direct you to our main boardroom, where some of our articling students will be waiting to meet you. Your first interviewer will come and greet you in the main boardroom. Your interviewer will take you to your interviewer’s office, where you will chat for about 15 minutes. After that initial conversation you will, at varying stages of the interview, meet several other lawyers from our firm, including members of our Student Recruitment Committee. And one of our articling students will take you on a brief tour and answer any questions you have about being a student at Aird & Berlis. The in-firm interview will be informal, but substantive. Our interviewers will be eager to delve more deeply into your work experience and life experience, and to learn why you are interested in our firm. The in-firm interview is your opportunity to go beyond our website and learn what makes our firm such a great place to build a career. Make sure to ask us the tough questions!
Top 10 Interview Tips
Here are Ari Blicker’s Top 10 Interview Tips, to help you put your best foot forward during your interviews.
- Prepare, don’t rehearse. Scripted interviews generally fall flat.
- Research the firm. Go beyond the firm’s website. Learn its strengths. And talk to its students.
- Be yourself (the professional version). Candidates who come across as authentic fare best in the interview process.
- Approach the interview as a learning experience. Be thoughtful (not mechanical) in the questions you ask and the responses you offer.
- Engage in a dialogue, not a speech. Listen. Get your interviewers to “talk shop” with you.
- Ask questions that are meaningful to you. Ask questions that demonstrate that you are thinking about a long-term future at the firm. Don’t ask questions that are designed to impress. They usually come across as “canned.”
- Pay attention to body language (your own and the interviewer’s). Be generous with eye contact. Make an effort to remember the names of your interviewers.
- Treat everyone with respect. Don’t make assumptions about the level of influence a representative of the firm may have or about their position within the firm’s hierarchy.
- Convey interest and enthusiasm; stay in touch.
- Reflect on what is important to you and your long term goals. Choose the place that feels best for you over the long term, professionally and personally. Don’t underestimate the importance of firm culture and working relationships.
Lunches, Dinners and Cocktail Parties
At Aird & Berlis, we do not hold cocktail or dinner parties during interview week. We occasionally invite students for lunch on the second or third day of interview week, but we do not schedule these lunches prior to interview week. And don’t worry if you don’t receive a lunch invitation – our firm is filled with students and lawyers who did not have a meal with us during interview week!