Summer program in Calgary

Thank you for your interest in the summer program at Dentons in Calgary.

Our program

The summer program at Dentons’ Calgary office has been an integral part of our professional development for more than 25 years. The program was designed to give you unparalleled exposure to a variety of work and facilitate your transition from student to lawyer.

As part of the summer program, students are assigned a mentor, usually a mid-level associate who remembers what it feels like to be a student. Your mentor will give you work, provide feedback and offer guidance on everything; from how to write a client letter to who to ask for assistance with our technology.

Our goal is to provide you with varied professional opportunities and proactively integrate you into our daily practice. To that end, we don’t run a formal rotation for summer students. Most of our summer students return to article with us, and in turn, stay on as associates, so we want to ensure that from the moment you walk in the door you become part of our team. This means working with many different lawyers, meeting our clients and maybe even learning to two-step at our Stampede party.

Evaluation

Feedback is fundamental to your summering experience. While you can expect to receive informal evaluations from the lawyers you will be working with regularly, you will also be more formally evaluated. Before you return to school in the fall, you will receive individual feedback during a formal interview. Hopefully, this feedback will aid you as you return to your studies and assist in preparing you for articles. The interview also provides you with an opportunity to share any comments or suggestions you may have to improve our summer program.

What it’s like to summer at Dentons in Calgary

What our students say:

Joshua Mamdani, University of Calgary, Faculty of Law: At Dentons, summer students are part of the team from day one. During my first few weeks of summer, I was entrusted with meaningful tasks and assignments as part of a large corporate transaction. As a student, you will have an opportunity to further develop and apply the foundational skill set from law school to a breadth of work. Though many of the files are large and complex, summer students are provided with clear instructions and expectations. In terms of student support and development, Dentons truly promotes collegiality, creating an exceptional environment to develop your career as a lawyer. This collegial environment is hallmarked by the opportunity to engage in valuable work early on as well as the open-door policy and eagerness of lawyers to assist and guide in student development. In addition to quality work and mentorship opportunities, Dentons summer program also provides unique social experiences such as First Thursdays, hosting clients at the chuckwagon races during the Calgary Stampede and the legendary Dentons Student Bullpen.

Seema Pandher, University of Calgary, Faculty of Law: The summer program at Dentons is robust, allowing students to develop practical skills while being immersed in the firm’s collegial culture. Students are given meaningful work and are treated as members of the team from the moment they start. Without a formal rotation system, summer students are able to work with multiple practice groups simultaneously and quickly gain exposure to different areas of law. Integral to the summer program is mentorship, not only from an assigned mentor but also from articling students, associates and partners who are eager to share their knowledge and help students succeed. The summer program also provides students with opportunities to connect with their colleagues and have fun, from First Thursdays and firm-wide parties to the Calgary Stampede. The summer program was an excellent introduction to Dentons and I am excited to return as an articling student.

Chelsea Young, University of British Columbia, Peter A. Allard School of Law: At Dentons I was made a member of the team from the very beginning. Students are given work from various practice groups, which allowed me to get exposure to the different areas of the law and determine what I am most interested in. Students are also encouraged to attend Court and participate in programs like Civil Claims Duty Counsel or the Queen’s Bench Amicus Program. Students are matched with a mentor at the beginning of the summer, who act as a support person and assist in student development. Even though Dentons is a larger firm, students will quickly become familiar with most of the associates and partners. This is because Dentons has an open-door policy and holds a number of firm social events throughout the summer. I am finishing my summer at Dentons with many new colleagues and friends and I am eager to return for articling.

Adam Palmer, University of Calgary, Faculty of Law: At Dentons, the people and culture of the firm create a remarkable summer experience. At the very beginning, Dentons encourages growth in students with exciting work opportunities that engage the individual’s interests and abilities. This growth is fostered by a formal mentorship program, coupled with exceptional support services that are designed to help students succeed. I am thankful for the mentorship program and practical legal skills that I gained through the Dentons summer program. Also, Dentons is a socially active firm, which commits students and lawyers to working on several important pro bono initiatives. Aside from work, Dentons hosts fun Stampede events that allow students to connect with industry. I am very excited to have the opportunity to return to Dentons as an articling student.

Alexandria Proctor, University of Toronto, Faculty of Law: The summer student experience at Dentons far exceeded my expectations. The collegiality that permeates the firm can be felt through warm interactions with not only the associates, articling students, and staff, but also with partners. The accessibility of the lawyers at the firm and their willingness to spend the time to explain not only the assignment instructions but also background details allow summer students to feel like an integral part of the team. The mentorship system at Dentons ensures that summer students receive a solid foundation from which they can grow, both personally and professionally. Students are not limited to their assigned mentor, as everyone at the firm truly has an open door policy. Moreover, lawyers frequently check in with the students throughout the summer to ensure they feel supported during their time at the firm. Dentons prides itself on implementing various events and seminars throughout the year to support women in law and diversity within the firm; these initiatives are unique to the firm and function to provide an enhanced summer student experience. The lack of a formal rotation system allows students to obtain work in every practice area so that they are able to make an informed choice when they come back to article. Social events throughout the summer, including two themed parties organized by the students themselves, First Thursdays, Stampede parties, and events hosted by each department to welcome the summer students provide students with the opportunity to get to know the firm in a fun and casual setting. My experience as a summer student has left me excited be back at the firm for articling!

Kristi Wong, University of Alberta, Faculty of Law: The summer student experience at Dentons is phenomenal — from the day you arrive at the famous Bullpen, you are welcomed into the family. Everyone at the firm is eager and excited to help you succeed, and the associates and partners are always happy to answer questions and chat. Summer students have the opportunity to work with all different practice groups and gain experience practicing law in the real world. You will form valuable friendships with your fellow summer students, gain many great mentors, and have the chance to tackle exciting and challenging assignments. The summer student program is a great way to learn how a law firm operates, and a remarkable way to start your legal career. I can’t wait to come back as an articling student.

Brian Catalano, University of Alberta, Faculty of Law: Summering at Dentons is everything you would expect from a leading national firm. The summer begins with a week of orientation that leaves students confident and well integrated in the firm. Students are given real work and responsibility from the outset and are trusted with important matters. The Bullpen setup fosters teamwork and collegiality, as fellow students become a valuable resource. Students are routinely invited to social events, such as brewery tours, golf tournaments, dinners, mixers, and various Stampede events. This provides the opportunity to become part of the team and have some fun throughout the summer. By the end, you will be excited and proud to return for articling.