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:
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.
Changhai Zhu, York University, Osgoode Hall Law School:
I cannot imagine a better a better way to be introduced to the practice of private commercial law than summering at Dentons Canada LLP. At Dentons, summer students are given the opportunity to explore a wide range of practice areas. In addition to breadth, the Dentons summering experience offers depth as well. For students who are particularly interested in specific practice areas, opportunities exist for those students to gain deep meaningful experiences in those areas. In my summer at Dentons, I became involved in a complex trial bound litigation file, which I was able to see through to completion during my articles. The lawyers at Dentons also take great pride in the professional development of their summer students. When summering at Dentons, mentorship relationships, whether formal or informal, are quick to develop between students and lawyers of all seniority levels. Regardless of where my legal practice eventually takes me, I know that my experiences and relationships from Dentons will prove to be invaluable assets to my future as a lawyer.
Joanne Lui, University of Windsor and University of Detroit Mercy:
I always felt that I was part of a team at Dentons, no matter which group I worked for – everyone genuinely wants you to succeed. I appreciated how easy it was to approach lawyers with questions about a file or even to just say hello. The articling students were always looked after, with principals and other lawyers always making sure to check in to see how we were doing. The mentorship (formal and informal) was extremely helpful in developing my skills throughout the year, and the experience was enhanced by lawyers entrusting us with more challenging and meaningful tasks. Lawyers were also very happy to share their perspectives on the pros and cons of the various practice areas, which was really helpful when deciding which group I wanted to join when my articling year was done.
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.
Daniel Dickey, University of Alberta, Faculty of Law:
Over the course of my articling year, I was exposed to a number of files in a wide range of practice groups and I was afforded the opportunity to do meaningful work on many of them. In doing so, I was given the chance develop the core skills needed to begin my practice as a junior lawyer, including legal writing, oral advocacy, client relationship management, and file management. I was also given the space to foster a burgeoning interest in litigation work throughout my articles, culminating in my hiring into the practice group. Since then, I have continued to grow and develop my litigation practice and have enjoyed my time with the Firm enormously.