Foire aux questions
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Q: From which schools does Davies recruit?
We accept and consider applications from all law schools across Canada. While our attendance on campuses at some schools may vary from year to year, we consistently recruit from all six Ontario law schools, as well as McGill, Dalhousie, UBC, Victoria, Alberta and Calgary.
Q: When is the summer or articling application and interview period?
Specific dates for applications and interviews are established by the Law Society. Students should check with their school's Career Development Office or refer to the recruitment procedures at www.lsuc.on.ca. Generally, first-year summer applications are due in late January with interviews in late February, and second-year summer applications are due in early September with on-campus interviews in October. Note, while articling applications are due in mid-July with interviews in mid-August, we do not always recruit additional students for articling beyond our summer class. Please refer to the Davies profile page at www.nalpcanada.com for the most current information.
Q: How many summer or articling students does Davies recruit each year?
We have no hiring quota so the number of students hired varies slightly from year to year. Our goal is to hire approximately 15 to 16 second-year summer students, a number which is sometimes supplemented by hiring highly qualified first-year summer students. For articling, we do not always hire additional students beyond our summer students who return to article in the year following their second-year summer employment.
Q: What is it like to work at Davies?
Davies is a very dynamic, fun and rewarding place to work. Students work closely with lawyers who have a passion for everything they do, including the law. Students quickly become members of the transaction and litigation teams, working on some of the most challenging and interesting matters at the firm.
Q: How is work assigned?
We believe it is important for students to have a say in the work assignments and for students to work directly with lawyers involved on the file. Accordingly, we do not have a "dispatcher" who hands out work to students. Generally, lawyers contact students directly for assistance, but students are also encouraged to seek out work in areas of interest to them and ask their mentors for help in locating work if needed. Every Monday morning, the Student Committee also meets with students to determine availability for the week and to address any issues of being over or under utilized.
Q: Will I receive feedback?
Yes. We encourage lawyers to provide ongoing feedback during and after each assignment. In addition to informal and frequent feedback, the Student Committee oversees the formal evaluation process and meets with students on a regular basis to ensure the students' objectives are being met. Summer students typically receive two reviews during the summer months, and articling students typically receive three reviews during the articling term.
Q: On what basis are students evaluated at the Firm?
We evaluate students on a range of attributes and look for well-rounded, intelligent people with a sense of responsibility, initiative, sound judgment and a creative mind. We want team players who can be relied upon to do their best. We do not expect students to know everything there is to know about the law, but we do expect students to do the best work they can and be motivated to learn.
Q: If I have a particular interest in a specific area of law, can I focus my work in that area?
Yes. We do not have set rotations in the summer so students can focus on their practice areas of interest. We also recognize many students will not know which area of law they wish to practise, so we encourage students to try their hand at many different areas. This also ties in with our generalist approach. For articling, we encourage students to complete five months in Corporate, but otherwise offer a very flexible rotation system allowing students to customize their overall experience.
Q: Are social events mandatory?
No. While we host a number of events so students can socialize with fellow students, lawyers and mentors, we recognize the need to maintain a good work/life balance so attendance is always optional.
Q: What does Davies look for in a candidate?
In addition to strong academics, we look for students who are well-rounded and passionate about their interests and the law. Our students and lawyers have diverse education and work backgrounds, and we do not expect our lawyers to fit into any one mold. We all take our work responsibilities seriously, but many of us are also actively involved in community service, have travelled extensively or have significant personal achievements. We appreciate that everyone contributes in his or her own unique way.
Q: Will I be assigned a mentor?
Yes. In fact, we assign a mentor to students before they join the Firm. This gives incoming students access to one of our lawyers during most of law school. Students typically have one or two designated mentors, as well as having one member of the Student Committee act as an unofficial mentor to provide an additional source of guidance, advice and support.
Q: How does the mentoring program work?
Mentors are a valuable resource for advice and are available to help students set a path to success. Mentors help students become integrated into the day-to-day activities of the firm and provide career guidance and advice regarding work and managing workload. Mentors are also great resources to learn from, whether it be about the law, the Firm, our culture or our values, and mentors are key to providing students with ongoing feedback. Many students will also develop informal mentoring relationships with other lawyers in the firm who offer valuable guidance about the practice of law.
Q: What is the work/life balance like at Davies?
It is critical to maintain a balance between work, family, personal commitments and recreational activities and we are here to help students achieve that goal. However, law is not a "9-to-5" job and we all learn to manage the peaks and valleys. Ultimately, practising law is a service business, and there are times during a transaction or case where we all work late hours with the rest of the team in order to meet a deadline.
Q: How many articling students were offered associate positions last year?
We offer associate positions to all students who we believe have what it takes to ultimately become partners of the firm. Accordingly, our hireback number varies from year to year, but our foremost commitment is growing the firm from within. Our student program remains our primary source of new lawyers.
Q: How much will I be able to interact with the lawyers at the firm?
Students have ample opportunities to interact with lawyers while working on transactions and cases and during firm social events. Students work directly with lawyers at all levels of seniority allowing them to benefit from their wisdom and experience.
Q: What type of work will I be doing as a summer student?
Summer student work does not differ greatly from articling or young lawyer work. Summer students work on all types of client files and do all kinds of work, depending on their areas of interest, willingness to take on responsibility and the needs of our clients. For example, students interested in litigation may conduct research that forms a key component of litigation strategy and arguments, help draft facta and other court materials, assist in document review and discovery preparation, attend discoveries and motions or other hearings. Students interested in corporate transactions may draft agreements, participate in negotiation sessions, attend client meetings and manage closings. Summer students are likely to have sole responsibility for some smaller matters, while working as part of a larger group on bigger transactions and cases. Ultimately, we have no preconceived notions or checklists of what students can or cannot do. We encourage students to be proactive and take on whatever responsibility they are comfortable with. Naturally, we recognize this level of responsibility will increase as knowledge and confidence grows.
Q: Will I have client interaction?
Yes. We believe it is important for students to learn how to work with clients early in their careers. Students often deal directly with clients resolving day-to-day issues and attending meetings as part of the team.
Q: What opportunities are there for professional development?
We strongly believe in the value of professional development, and it is a core part of our student program. Firm-wide and student-focused substantive and business skills programs are held throughout the year. Students are also encouraged to attend our scheduled practice group meetings, which focus on current legal issues.
Q: What is different about Davies?
- Membership on the "A Team" because there is no "B Team".
- Horizontal structure where over 70% of lawyers are partners so no "them" vs. "us" mentality.
- No billable targets; merit and ability are primary criterion for advancement.
- Non-competitive firm culture where a cooperative spirit and sense of community prevails.
- Success is pride of being on a winning team, not glory derived from individual competition.
- Generalist training and lack of specialization produces well-rounded lawyers.
- Flexibility for students to customize summer or articling experience to pursue areas of interest.
- Unparalleled learning opportunities to do meaningful work immediately.
- There is no single model for success.
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