We pride ourselves on the quality of our articling program and the investment our lawyers make in our students. We have a director of Professional Development who is responsible for your orientation and ongoing training, and an active Student Committee composed of partners and associates to ensure that our students are benefiting from all of the resources and opportunities at the Firm.
Your year will start with a week-long orientation program designed to help you become familiar with your colleagues, the Firm and all of its resources. You will be provided with a sample research memo exercise and get individual one-on-one feedback on your memo prior to tackling the “real thing” so you can gain vital practice at the beginning of your articles. We have a strong Knowledge Management and Information Services team and a highly skilled Research Group who are all invested in your success. We also run a biweekly seminar series to expose you to all aspects our practice. In addition, we provide training in “soft skills” such as presentations and business etiquette.
Our articling program is composed of four rotations of approximately 2.5 months. The program is designed to give you the opportunity to work on files from various practice areas while being flexible enough to allow you to pursue your own specific interests as well. The rotation selections are as follows:
- Banking and Finance/Insolvency
- Real Estate
- Employment and Pensions
- Secondments (external rotations at clients or governmental organizations, e.g., Kraft-Heinz, Toronto Hydro, Cadillac Fairview, Ontario Securities Commission, the Royal Bank of Canada, BMO, Toronto Community Housing, etc.)
During your articles you will be exposed to a variety of interesting and challenging legal matters and you will be given increasing amounts of responsibility as you progress. You will be assigned an articling principal (a partner) and a term principal (an associate) for your articling term. In addition, you will be assigned a mentor (an associate) in each department. They’ll also ensure you meet everyone in the group and have an opportunity to work on matters you are interested in. Your principal and mentors will check in with you over lunch or coffees or informal meetings, and are a key resource to you as you embark on your career. In addition, each department has at least one lawyer who sits on the Student Committee. They will meet all of the students biweekly to ensure the work is being distributed equitably within the department. The head of the student program will also meet biweekly with all the students as a group for informal breakfasts so everyone can share ideas and information and keep abreast of news both at the Firm and within the student program.
You will work closely with the lawyers in each group on a variety of tasks, such as:
- Preparing for and attending at client meetings, mediations, arbitrations, closings, witness interviews, etc.
- Drafting contracts, legal documents, articles, presentations, precedents, etc.
- Preparing closing documents, affidavits of documents, etc.
- Due diligence (reviewing and summarizing legal and business documents)
- Conducting research and drafting legal memoranda
- Appearing or assisting at administrative tribunal hearings, examinations for discovery, motions, trials, etc.
- Sitting in on conference calls with clients, lawyers for opposing parties, etc.
- Attending internal meetings with lawyers to discuss strategy and file management
- Assisting with pro bono files and charitable activities (visit our pro bono page for more information on our program)
Evaluations and feedback
You will have a formal evaluation meeting after each rotation and will be provided with feedback on your performance. In addition, the lawyers you are working with will provide informal feedback throughout the course of your articles.
Benefits and salary
Please see our firm listing in www.nalpcanada.com for additional information regarding our benefits and compensation, as well as further detailed information regarding our program.
What it’s like to article at Dentons Toronto
What some of our 2017-2018 Articling Students have to say about their experience at Dentons:
Caitlin Choi, Corporate/Entertainment Law Associate (University of Toronto):
I truly enjoyed my articling experience at Dentons. The rotation program allowed me to develop a meaningful understanding of the dynamics and the day-to-day practices of the different groups. At the same time, I was given the flexibility and encouraged to pursue my interest in a specialized area, the Media, Entertainment and Sports law practice. Most importantly, I had numerous dedicated mentors who supported me in honing new skills and developing goals. They, along with my peers, contributed greatly to my articling experience and took a sincere interest in my professional growth.
Rachael Andrew, Banking and Finance Associate (Osgoode Hall Law School):
My articling experience at Dentons was invaluable to my growth as a lawyer. The Firm has great mentors, both formal and informal, that helped support my development throughout the articling process. I appreciated all the opportunities to try new and challenging types of work that prepared me for becoming an associate. In addition, my secondment provided me valuable insight into the role of in-house counsel legal teams and our clients’ business. My fellow articling students were an exceptionally talented group of people from diverse backgrounds. We worked effectively as a team and became quite close. I am thankful for the opportunity to work with such a great group of students and lawyers.
Stevan Manojlovic, Litigation Associate (University of Western):
Dentons offers its students a unique opportunity to obtain experience in a wide range of practice areas over the course of their summer and articling work terms. I benefitted from the Firm’s rotational program over the course of my articling term as it gave me an opportunity to work with, and be mentored by, lawyers with different approaches, experiences, and expertise. This exposure taught me a lot about the practice of law and helped me develop a variety of practical skills. Furthermore, working in different departments assisted me in making an informed decision about the type of law I wanted to pursue as a career. Throughout my time as a student at Dentons, my peers and I were treated as vital members of the team. We each built lasting relationships with one another, and with other lawyers at the Firm.