Articling program in Calgary

The high quality articling program at Dentons’ Calgary office will equip you with the tools you will need to become an accomplished lawyer. We invest heavily in technology, training and development, and we are constantly striving to improve our processes to ensure our students get the most from their articling year and beyond.

Our program begins with an orientation week, including seminars and introductions to our lawyers, management and staff, along with various social events. Orientation will also address relevant topics such as time management, office procedures and the business of law. You will also be given an introduction to our extensive legal library and a tour of the major courthouses in the city. Finally, our dedicated Research Department will spend a great deal of time with you on the skills needed to be an effective writer and researcher, and will work closely with you on your initial research assignments.

Orientation week is also an opportune time to meet other articling students. We include social functions where you can meet members of the Firm in a more casual environment. At Dentons’ Calgary office we believe our students are more effective when working together as a group, so we work hard to foster a sense of camaraderie from the start.

The initial orientation program will be supplemented with seminars throughout your articling year that deal with issues of particular interest to new lawyers such as chambers applications, drafting pleadings, real estate transactions, the basics of corporate and securities transactions, due diligence, labour and employment law, and general practice tips.

How our rotation program works

At Dentons, we believe that your articling year provides an opportunity for you to gain valuable exposure to a wide variety of practice disciplines.

While articling in our office, you will rotate between practice areas, with half of your time focused on barrister’s work, and half on solicitor’s work. You’ll work closely with lawyers in each group and assume a variety of tasks such as: performing legal research, interviewing witnesses, meeting with clients, drafting documents, assisting with corporate transactions and liaising with members of the Firm. We encourage you to meet with clients from the outset to gain practical, firsthand experience working on their files. We treat you as a valuable member of the team from day one.

While eventually each of our lawyers will focus on specific areas, it is extremely important that you acquire a basic understanding and appreciation of all areas of practice.

The two-principal approach

To support you during your articling year, we offer you two mentors: a principal, usually a more senior partner with the Firm, and a co-principal, typically a junior partner or senior associate. Together, they ensure you are exposed to as many aspects of the practice of law as possible, and you receive formal and informal evaluations on your progress and development from the lawyers with whom you have worked. Typically, one of the principals is a solicitor and the other a barrister. If you have an interest in a particular area of practice, we will try to provide you with a principal who practices in that area.

Additionally, other senior members—including nationally-recognized leaders in their areas of practice—participate actively as informal mentors.

Our hireback policy

At Dentons’ Calgary office, we strive to only take on as many summer students as we can realistically hire back for articles, and as many articling students as we can take on as associates.

What it’s like to article at Dentons in Calgary

What our students say:

Sarah Sobieraj, University of Calgary, Faculty of Law:

Having the opportunity to summer with Dentons prior to articling was great. It allowed me to familiarize myself with “office life” and learn what was expected of us as students. When we came back for articles, the stress of the unknown was alleviated, so it was easier to focus on learning the law and on work product. The firm has many traditions that the articling students get to take part in and it was a great way to build relationships with each other and other lawyers and partners in the firm. It was also clear during articles that the firm is always finding ways to improve or make life better for associates and it is exciting to be part of a firm that is not afraid to challenge the status quo and attempt to “get right” diversity and inclusiveness. The rotation system was also great. I started my articling year thinking I wanted to be an associate in Energy Transactions, but quickly discovered my passion for Employment and Labour law when I rotated floors..

Steven Latos, University of Saskatchewan, College of Law:

I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to begin my legal career with Dentons. From the beginning of my articles, I was treated as a valued member of the Dentons’ team and presented with the opportunity to assist on many meaningful and challenging files. Dentons thrives on teamwork and its collegial atmosphere enhanced my ability to develop key legal skills throughout the year. The lawyers at Dentons were dedicated to my success and continued development, providing plenty of feedback and ensuring that I was exposed to all areas of practice. Throughout my articling year, I was provided with the opportunity to develop my writing and drafting, oral advocacy, client relationship management, and critical thinking skills. I look forward to continuing to grow and develop my career at Dentons.

Tessa MacLeod, Thompson Rivers University, Faculty of Law:

Articling at Dentons was a very rewarding experience. The lawyers and staff are all very welcoming and approachable. Through rotations I was exposed to many different areas of law which allowed me to determine what area I would like to practice in. Dentons has a great library and a wealth of resources that helped develop my research and writing skills. We have a very collegial environment which makes it easy for an articling student to find their place at the firm.

Madina Abdi, University of Calgary, Faculty of Law:

Articling at the Dentons Calgary office provided me with the ability to immerse myself in various practice groups, learn from knowledgeable and reputable lawyers, foster strong relationships with my colleagues and ultimately, to determine which area of law to practice in. Dentons Calgary enables its articling classes by providing excellent learning and business development opportunities from the outset.

Mark Elliott, Dalhousie University, Schulich School of Law:

As an Articling Student, Dentons was the ideal platform from which to begin developing the skills essential to developing a successful practice as a lawyer. I was given the opportunity to work on complex and interesting files in multiple practice groups, and later to narrow in on those groups that most interested me. The culture of teamwork at the firm is one that fosters mentorship and learning. What stood out to me from the start of my time at Dentons was the ease with which I was able to drop by a lawyer’s office to discuss a file. Whether these chats were to discuss a nuanced legal issue or to provide context on the file in general, they were insightful and I always left with a sense that I was part of the team.

Chetan Shory, University of Western Ontario, Faculty of Law:

My experience articling at Dentons was characterized by the opportunity to work on diverse files in a collegial, entrepreneurial team environment. The rotational experience provided by the firm exemplifies its commitment to ongoing professional development and allowed me to explore several interest areas. The positive team culture I got to be part of made the experience enjoyable and I would highly recommend the firm.