Our summer program provides students an opportunity to experience the practice of law in action. The program, although structured, is designed in a flexible manner to ensure each student’s needs and interests are met. As a student at our office, you’ll work under the guidance of experienced lawyers on interesting files for our clients. You’ll be given real responsibilities and gain real experience. You will also form many professional relationships and friendships—in fact, that will likely be your greatest reward.
The program is structured around a two-rotation schedule based on the following options:
- Corporate and Securities
- Financial Services and Insolvency
- Employment and Pensions
- Commercial Real Estate
Second-year students may wish to expand their experience with a secondment. Opportunities will be matched with your specific interest and may include working at the office of one of our clients, or at a government or quasi-governmental agency, such as the Ontario Securities Commission.
Our in-house shadowing program allows our students to spend the day with one of our clients, or with Dentons alumni currently working as in-house counsel. The program is effective in allowing students to understand the important role played by in-house lawyers and the dynamic business environment in which they work. Understanding our clients is vital to the services we provide to them. As such, opportunities like these are important as you begin your career.
Evaluations are fundamental to your summering experience. While you can expect to receive informal evaluations from the lawyers you will be working with, you will also be formally evaluated on your various assignments. Completed evaluations will be submitted to our Student Committee, followed by a formal evaluation meeting.
We have a number of social events for our students and lawyers, so you have lots of opportunities to get to know your colleagues on an informal basis. Our lawyers enjoy getting to know the students and look forward to these events. We attend sporting and cultural events, play laser tag and Whirlyball, go curling and skating, try different restaurants and much more!
What it’s like to summer at Dentons
What our students say:
Josh Shneer, University of Western Ontario, 2016-2017 Articling Student:
Dentons provides its students with exemplary training, mentorship and opportunity. Students are respected, valued members of the firm and each ‘team’, be it for a large transaction or a litigation file. Summers and articles at a large firm can be overwhelming but lawyers and staff are patient and provide the necessary support, structure, and guidance to help you succeed.
Lawyers are genuinely interested in your professional development but also take an interest in your personality and interests outside the office. My fellow students are exceptionally talented, hardworking and fun and contribute to the laid back, but professional firm culture. Students often spend time outside the office with one another for activities, meals or celebrations and I am proud to work with such a dynamic group.
Bethany McKoy, Osgoode Hall Law School, 2016-2017 Articling Student:
The rotation system at Dentons gave me a chance to hone my legal skills in fresh and interesting ways. By trying out different rotations, I had the opportunity to figure out what type of law was the best fit for me, while creating relationships with interesting lawyers in different groups. Most importantly, the rotation system gave me invaluable insight into how diverse departments can work cooperatively and seamlessly within a big firm environment.
Ethan Yijuin Chang, University of Windsor, 2016 Summer Student:
Dentons has provided me with an incredible number of opportunities to explore and better understand what it means to practice corporate law. The breadth and depth of my exposure to high-quality work has been both challenging and rewarding. My experiences have ranged from conducting client meetings to drafting various legal documents and to co-authoring nationally published articles. Being a student at Dentons is a truly enriching experience. The culture at the Firm has fostered meaningful learning opportunities, which have resulted in long-lasting friendships. My experience at Dentons has developed a strong foundation on which I hope to build my legal career.
Gloria Wang, Osgoode Hall Law School, 2016 Summer Student:
Dentons’ summer program gave me the opportunity to explore and develop an interest in different areas of the law. The rotation program gave me a breadth of exposure to the diverse legal work available in the different practice groups. From the start, students are entrusted with responsibility and given the chance to make meaningful contributions.
More importantly, the collegial environment is the highlight of the student experience. From the lawyers to the librarians to the support staff, I have found that every member of the firm is supportive of and takes a genuine interest in my professional development.
Rachael Andrew, Osgoode Hall Law School, 2016 Summer Student:
My summer experience at Dentons was amazing, especially because of the people who work there. The firm environment is very supportive of student development and incredibly collegial, emphasizing working as a team with your fellow summer students, associates, and partners. The student program successfully balances fun, work, and developing you as a future lawyer. I was given a variety of meaningful work as well as flexibility and responsibility. As such, I learned a lot about the practice of law, gained very practical skills and confidence, and insights into the direction of my career.
Eric Freilich, Osgoode Hall Law School, 2016 Summer Student:
I was blown away by my experience at Dentons. I was given challenging, meaningful work all summer, and a supportive environment to learn in. Being able to walk into a senior partner’s office and ask what they are working on, and then be given a critical assignment on the file is pretty rare on Bay Street. It is also rare to get much meaningful client interaction, and yet that is exactly what I got – numerous times.
Dentons pushed me hard to be better, but always provided the resources I needed to get there. It has an incredible mentorship program, with lawyers genuinely interested in helping students improve. It was a memorable and fun summer, and I learned more than I ever could have imagined.
Caitlin Choi, University of Toronto, 2016 Summer Student:
Dentons is an incredible place to work as a summer student. The student committee is invested in helping students pursue their areas of interest and the lawyers are enthusiastic about mentoring – both formally through the Mentorship Program and informally through the genuine relationships that are fostered throughout the summer. Not only do the lawyers entrust students with challenging and substantive work, but the culture is such that students feel like an integral part of the Dentons team, right from the start.
Stuart Ruffolo, University of Western Ontario, 2016 Summer Student:
Dentons is an exceptional place to learn and grow as a lawyer. Each day was an invaluable learning experience. Every lawyer I worked for was willing to take as much time as I needed to ensure I understood the issue and what I was being asked to do. I was most impressed by the type of work I was given and the level of responsibility it entailed. For example, I saw my work implemented directly into a factum that was sent to court, and was invited to join the lawyer in court to see my arguments heard in front of a judge. I communicated with clients directly via phone and email, and drafted a number of important documents that were sent to clients and adverse parties. I also had the opportunity to join a partner at a client networking event.
It’s incredible how much time and resources go into Dentons’ student program. Not only were we given top-notch legal research training, but the firm also organized a number of social events at popular spots around the city. This provided a great chance to get to know your fellow students and lawyers outside of the “work” context.
Rachel Kattapuram, University of Toronto, 2016-2017 Articling Student:
I could not have asked for a more rewarding articling experience at Dentons. In addition to gaining meaningful exposure to an array of practice areas, I have benefitted immensely from the guidance of the lawyers at the firm. Dentons’ greatest asset is definitely its people. The firm fosters a professional, yet supportive culture which encourages students to explore areas of interest and get involved in a meaningful way. From day one, Dentons’ students are truly considered members of the team.