Frequently Asked Questions and Other Things We've Missed

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Why should I article at Shibley Righton LLP?
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Shibley Righton LLP provides a hands on articling experience that is often difficult to find. You work directly with Partners, manage files and become an integral part of our team. Browse through our website, look up our lawyers, ask around, you'll find many different responses to this question.

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Summer Students
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Oops, you're in the wrong place. We don't hire summer students. But please, please, do keep reading. We have a great articling program.

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Application Process
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I am thinking about applying to your firm, can I schedule a time to meet with some lawyers before I apply?

We follow the LSUC guidelines for the application and interview process. In order to be fair to all applicants, we cannot offer individual tours in advance of the application/interview process.

When are applications due?

We follow the LSUC guidelines for articling interviews in Toronto. The most up to date information is on their website: http://www.lsuc.on.ca/ArticlingRecruitmentProcedures/.

When is a good time to submit my application?

When it is complete, and in advance of the LSUC deadline. Applications are not reviewed until the LSUC's deadline has arrived, so anytime in the weeks before the deadline is perfect. Don't be tardy! Submitting them months in advance does not speed up the process, nor does it put you at an advantage. Your resume will be considered at the same time as everyone else's.

How many students are you hiring?

We will be hiring 2 articling students for our Toronto office during articling interview week this coming August, to commence their articles with us the following August.

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Interview Process
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How many applicants are granted interviews?

Our goal is to interview between 10 to 12 students for each position we are looking to fill. You can do the math to figure out how many interviews we grant.

Should I call/email to find out if you received my application?

There's no need. Within one business day of receiving your application, we will send an acknowledgement to you confirming that we have received it. No acknowledgement email means that we haven't received it (or our acknowledgment email is in your junk mail folder).

Which applicants receive an interview?

Ah, the $500,000 question. The answer to this question is similar to the answer to the $1,000,000 question – see below – but in 2D of course, as there is only so much information we can derive from a paper application.

How do I know if I will receive an interview?

You will only be granted an interview if you receive a telephone call on Call Day. Interview dates and times are not scheduled by email, but we do confirm them by email once we have spoken with you and you have agreed to an interview date and time.

I would like to interview with your firm but will be away on the interview dates. The LSUC has granted me permission to interview with your firm ahead of time, can you accommodate my request?

We cannot interview anyone until we have reviewed all applications and selected the interview candidates. If you have been selected for an interview and you have the LSUC's written permission to interview for an articling position in advance of the interview dates, our interview team will make all reasonable efforts to find a mutually convenient date to conduct the interview. To be frank though, if you are interviewed a week or more ahead of the other candidates, our memory of your interview, and the impression you make on us, will likely not be as fresh as the impressions of the other candidates we interview.

Oops, it's 8:45 a.m. on Call Day, my phone has stopped ringing, and I am looking at my schedule. To my horror, I realize that I have booked myself in for two interviews at the same time, one of which is an interview with Shibley Righton LLP, which I don't want to give up. What should I do?

Figure out which interview you need to reschedule. For geographical reasons (or because you like us better), you may prefer to keep our interview as scheduled, in which case, you need to contact the other firm. However, should you wish to change your interview time with us, please call Stacey as soon as possible, and we will do our best to accommodate you.

When are the articling interviews?

We conduct first interviews of students on the Monday and Tuesday of week designated by the LSUC for articling interviews in Toronto. We may (but not always) call candidates back to meet more members of our interviewing team on Wednesday morning. Wednesday morning interviews are generally shorter as we appreciate students' schedules are busy, and our team needs to meet before 5:00 pm.

I received an Articling Interview, can I meet with lawyers in your firm ahead of time to discuss my application and find out more about the firm?

No. We consider scheduling meetings with lawyers during the application and interview process to amount to an unfair advantage over the other applicants. If you really want to find out information about our firm, contact our students well ahead of the application and interview process. They will have more time to answer genuine questions about the firm, and will not immediately perceive that you are trying to get a 'leg up' on the competition.

I received an interview, can you tell me who I will be meeting with prior to my interview?

We could tell you, but between Call Day and the scheduled interview days, the interview schedule continuously evolves due to changes in both the schedules of the applicants and interviewers. Sometimes the schedule changes on the fly if, for example, there is a delay in the public transit system, or someone shows up a half hour early or late for their interview. We try our best to accommodate everyone's schedules, but in doing so, we sacrifice the ability to predict with 100 % accuracy who will be interviewing which candidate.

How should I prepare for my interview?

Only you have the answer to this one. Some people need to prepare down to the last detail, others do not. We want to get to know you during your interview, and that entails chatting with you about you, without it being only about you. Be prepared to talk about what you have included in your application, such as your work and academic experiences, why you excelled in certain courses and not others, and what may not be in your application, such as what interests you about a career in law, why you think you are a good fit with our firm, what your expectations of articling are, what book you are reading, what you observed on the street coming to the interview, or what you heard on the news the night before. Most importantly however, be yourself. Prepare yourself in whatever way possible to ensure that we get to see the real you and what working with you will be like.

How do I successfully secure an offer for an articling position?

This is the $1,000,000 question. The answer is different every year, as we hire individuals with varying backgrounds, life and work experiences, personalities and academic histories. We look for students who will seek to get the most out of their articles rather than ones who only see their articling year as a job. Potential students should be able to convey that they are willing and enthusiastic enough to take on work and responsibility, handle multi-tasking and stress well, identify their own limits and weaknesses as well as strengths, and present themselves in a professional manner. We look for candidates who will fit in well with our diverse group of lawyers and staff. How's that for skirting the question?

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Questions applicable to everyone, well, except two of you
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I had a strong application but was not selected for an interview, can you tell me why?

No, unfortunately we do not provide feedback on applications. Our interview team may have specific reasons why we liked one resume better than another, or enjoyed one interview more than another, however, in the grand scheme of things, whether you are offered a position often depends on your competition. Some years we are turning fantastic candidates away, and in other years, we are striving to hire those same fantastic candidates. Besides, if we provided feedback to everyone who applied for a position, we wouldn't hit our billable targets for the year (ah, finally, the businessperson comes out).

I received an articling interview, but was not offered a job, can you tell me why?

Ditto.

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Life as a student at Shibley Righton
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Describe the work / life balance of associates and students.

We want you to do good quality work, on time, and make us and our clients happy. We expect everyone to work hard to get the work done to the best of their ability. Students and lawyers are required to work some late nights and weekends when necessary. We expect students to be in the office to accept work assignments during normal work hours, except when they have been assigned work outside of the office (ie, attend court or mediations, meet with clients, interview witnesses, commission affidavits etc.). If you are assisting on a trial or a closing, you will have greater demands for your time. But we all have personal lives which we cherish. Some of us have families, some of us are avid athletes, some of us love to travel. Most of us have achieved a work/life balance suitable for our individual needs while at the same time managing successful practices. One thing is clear, with the exception of unusual, but usually predictable, circumstances, we do not expect you to be on call 24 hours a day 7 days a week (which is one of the reasons we do not provide PDAs).

Will I receive a PDA?

We do not expect you to be on call 24/7 so we do not provide PDAs (or smartphones or whatever you call them these days). The lawyers you are working with will let you know if they need you to check your email or voicemail at night or on the weekend. If you know a client will need to speak with you after hours, we expect you to make your own arrangements to accommodate them.

Will I be assigned a mentor and what do mentors really do?

Yes. Each student will be assigned a partner who will be their principal and mentor throughout their 10 month articling stint. Mentors take students to lunch from time to time, check in on the students from time to time, are available to answer questions from the students about pretty much anything the student wants to ask (although answers are not mandatory to EVERY question asked), and overall, they are generally there for the students when or if needed. We also have a non-mentor partner who is in charge of overseeing the students and associates (she doesn’t really have a formal title, but we all know what her role is).

Speaking of associates though, they are often the ones who find themselves acting as informal mentors to the students on a daily basis, having been in their shoes not so very long ago themselves. Our students always find that our associates are wonderful resources and provide great advice on a variety of issues that may arise (such as what jokes to include in the student skit for the holiday office party).

Are there formal rotations?

No. We like our students to see things through, for as long as they are with us. No dropping files or assignments onto another student’s lap just because a set number of months has expired.

How is work delegated to the students?

Work enters the student office in a similar manner as it comes into the firm from clients. Lawyers with work to delegate approach the students directly in person, by email, memo or telephone. (In the past, lawyers have tried to delegate work telepathically without success, but we’re happy to report that in recent years, that practice has been eradicated - for the most part.)

What type of work do students get throughout the year?

It really depends on what is happening in our practices when you are articling. If someone has a trial, you may be asked to junior on it, but we all know that there is a push to resolve litigation matters these days. Generally speaking though, on the litigation side of things, our students have full carriage of small claims matters, assist in document discovery, attend examinations for discovery, mediations and arbitrations with a lawyer, prepare motion materials and first drafts of statements of issues, attend assessment hearings, and of course do research and write memos. On the corporate end, students may assist in drafting contracts, agreements, minutes, resolutions, directions and policies, assist in closings, and prepare real estate documents. The work the students can get is typically determined by the student’s willingness to take on responsibility and their ultimate ability to produce good quality work on time, and keep the clients happy.

Can students seek work in areas of their interest?

Absolutely. If students have a particular interest in a practice area, we encourage them to talk to the lawyers in that area and seek work specific to that area. At no time however, can a student stop servicing the other lawyers in the firm.

Why did we choose the firm?

Whether we articled here or we were lateral transfers, we all chose to work here. We each have our own good reasons for choosing Shibley Righton, but we also have our own better reasons for staying and growing our practices. Some of our past students have provided us feedback for this website. Check out their comments: Click here. You’ll have to track down each one of us to ask us though. Some of our responses could be categorized as long winded.

I would like to hear what your articling students really have to say about your program. Can you provide me with the contact information of your current articling students?

Absolutely. Click here. You should be aware that our students finish their articling terms at the beginning of June and we do not have summer students. So, get to our students before they become lawyers and take the summer off.

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Windsor Office
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I've heard that the group of lawyers in your Windsor office is fantastic. Are you hiring Articling Students in your Windsor office?

Good question. Click here for an update on whether Windsor is hiring students this year.

Will I be required to do a rotation in the Windsor office?

We don't have rotations, so as a student in Toronto, you won't be asked to do a rotation in our Windsor office. They often engage students to do work for them, but if face to face meetings are necessary with the students, they are held in Toronto.

Do you have a question not found in our FAQ?
Please email us at articling@shibleyrighton.com

We look forward to receiving your articling application.

Contact

Stacey Chandler

Stacey D. Chandler

Director, Human Resources & Administration

250 University Ave, Suite 700
Toronto, ON M5H 3E5
T: 416.214.5280
F: 416.214.5480stacey.chandler@shibleyrighton.com