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 2019-2020 Articling Students have to say about their experience at Dentons:
Alexandra Terrell (Dalhousie University):
The Articling Program at Dentons provides incredible opportunities to build a diverse toolkit of legal and professional skills. The rotation system facilitates an immersive experience within each practice group, which bolsters strong relationships with lawyers and support staff, a thorough understanding of the day-to-day practice, and a sense of community within the larger whole. Throughout my Articling term at Dentons, I was given valuable work and was recognized as a contributing member of each team I worked with. I was exposed to a collegial and team-focused environment which encouraged me to be inquisitive, understand the bigger picture, and discover what interests me. The mentorship I received, both formal and informal, was phenomenal and helped me navigate new tasks and areas of law. I am so grateful for my experience as a student at Dentons and know that it prepared me well for beginning my career as a lawyer.
Michelle Ling (Osgoode Hall Law School):
The Firm’s rotational program enabled me to integrate into various practice groups, developing transactional and advocacy skills. Significantly, I had the pleasure of not only working alongside a supportive, diverse peer group, but also having encouraging mentors who took the initiative to identify my interests, provide feedback and welcome any questions. In addition, I truly enjoyed the various events hosted for the Articling students, ranging from painting and ping pong to axe throwing! The Firm’s emphasis on professional growth, complemented by its social engagements, resulted in a positive, fruitful Articling experience.
Ilan Levy (University of Windsor):
My time at Dentons was an invaluable experience to my development as a lawyer. The rotation program allowed me to explore both transactional and advocacy practice areas, and provided me the experience I needed to determine my own interests and the legal practice I wanted to pursue. Further, the Firm’s collegial and collaborative environment fosters meaningful relationships with both formal and informal mentors who are always available to address any questions. The Firm placed my development at the forefront of the student program, ensuring I was always receiving a hands-on experience, providing constant feedback and allowing me to explore a variety of areas, both in traditional areas, such as litigation and specialized areas, such as franchise law. I am grateful for the introduction to the legal profession I was provided during my Summer and Articling terms at Dentons.
Jesse Collins-Swartz (Osgoode Hall Law School):
Dentons’ Articling Program provided me with the skills and experiences that are instrumental in building a successful legal career. From day one, the Firm gave me real responsibility and the opportunity to make meaningful contributions to numerous client files. Additionally, Dentons’ rotation program gave me substantive exposure to the Real Estate, Financial Services, and Business Law practice groups, allowing me to work closely with lawyers across the Firm. I also greatly benefitted from the fantastic mentoring I received from both Partners and Associates during my Articles. The Firm provides mentors that genuinely care about Students’ development and are an invaluable resource during Articling and beyond.