Are You Ready To Apply?

Thank you to everyone who submitted an application for an articling position for the 2021-2022 articling session. We are no longer accepting applications.

We received an overwhelming response for positions in both offices, and we have spent a great deal of time reviewing them. It was a difficult process this year moreso than other years, as we have cut down on the numbers of interviews being offered.

We are sending out emails the week of Feb 8, 2021 to those students whom we have selected for a virtual interview. Unfortunately, if you have not directly received one of our emails proposing an interview day/time, then we are not able to offer you an interview at this time.

For those not offered an interview, we wish you all the best in your search for an articling position.  


Frequently Asked Questions for Articling 2021-2022:

Please note that we do have a FAQ section in our Articling pages, which we encourage you to read. The pandemic has not substantially changed those answers, however, we have chosen to include a special FAQ section here to provide updated information about interviewing and working at SR during the period of restrictions related to the pandemic.   

What official/unofficial transcripts are required to be submitted?

In your application package, we expect to see official transcripts for all courses completed prior to September 2020.  Unofficial transcripts may be submitted for courses which are ongoing, or were completed subsequent to August 31, 2020.

Does the cover letter need to be signed?

Preferably. But you may use an electronic signature.

Do you have any tips for me for resume/CV?

Yes! Please have a read through the other webpages under Articling for more information.

Are there firm events / social gatherings?

Prior to the restrictions in place during the pandemic, our firm hosted official and unofficial events and get togethers. Some were firmwide such as the annual holiday party and some involved smaller gatherings like associate lunches. In 2020 we have engaged in virtual cocktail hours, virtual trivia games, a virtual scavenger hunt and virtual gift scramble, and as expected, virtual group meetings throughout. Efforts are being made to do video calls whenever possible to add a more personal touch to our work interactions.

How do partners/associates give feedback?

Feedback is provided in different ways, depending on the lawyer. Some lawyers provide feedback immediately and directly to the student, some reward good work through only the delegation of more work, and some will flag issues as they arise. Around the halfway mark of the articling term, a formal evaluation process is held in which feedback is gathered from lawyers on an anonymous basis, and conveyed to each student. Mentors/Principals are involved in this process.

Is there a formal rotation?

No. Please have a read through the other webpages under Articling for more information.

What stuck out to the current students during the application process? Why did you choose SR?

Good questions, since the process you are experiencing is going to be dramatically different from our norm. Usually during articling interviews, our central boardroom is like a bustling but welcome rest stop in a stressful day. Stocked with refreshments, and hosted by our current students and HR director, and with a variety of lawyers popping in and out to chat and fill in a few minutes of time in between interviews, we get the opportunity to convey our personality and firm culture. From an interviewer's perspective, that stands out as a great part of the process – which we will be missing this year.

That being said, one of our current students has this to say from interviewing in 2019:

I noticed from the first day of interviews that all of the lawyers and staff were very friendly and seemed to be a tight-knit community. I also noticed from the website that many of the lawyers either articled at the firm or have been with the firm for a long time, which was a sign that this is a positive and supportive work environment – all characteristics that I highly valued as a student. Although I have only articled for only a few months, I definitely feel like I am part of a great community that supports growth through both formal and informal mentorship.

How do the students get work?

During the pandemic, this is done mostly via unsolicited emails or calls (video or audio). However, work has still been assigned during impromptu chats in the hallways or the kitchen, because these days, one can't walk down a quiet office hallway and not engage in some discourse.

How do you let the firm know what area you are interested in?

If you know your interests, then that is wonderful. Tell us during your interview. If you are hired, tell the lawyer(s) in that practice area and ask for that type of work. Just keep in mind that as a student, you will also be required to work for all lawyers in any practice area. We do not hire enough students for one student to be exclusive in the type of work they want to do. We see this as a benefit though as we strive to give well rounded articling experiences!  

What is a usual day in the life of a current student like?

Every day is different and can be sidetracked with a single email. Here is one current student's response to this question:

I start the day by reviewing my emails after which I prioritize the tasks I need to get done. I spend a lot of time researching and assisting counsel on procedural issues such as reviewing and preparing documents. Other tasks in the past included drafting pleadings and letters to clients. Whenever possible I keep in touch with counsel and support staff in the office on my downtime!

What groups do the current students have most experience with?

As a student, you may have exposure to all practice groups. Our Toronto office has more litigators than corporate lawyers, whereas our Windsor office is the opposite. Certain practice groups are busier at certain times of the year, but 2020 has fiddled with all things normal. Since our students this year started about two months later than prior years, the type of work delegated to them might not reflect the experiences of those who were students last year, nor predict the work experiences of those who will be students next year.

How has Work From Home been like?

The current students started in person at the end of September to get training and become better acquainted with some lawyers and staff. As a result, they have not been working from home for long, but even in office, were dealing with lawyers working remotely. It's a shame that they have not experienced what our office is like with full attendance, but we are trying. There are positives, and negatives, to working from home and each person handles the working from home situation differently. Some of our lawyers have chosen not to work from home. Others have not set foot in the office since mid-March. There is no one answer that we can post for this question.

What is the firm culture like?

We have always prided ourselves on having a personable, collegial working environment where one can walk up to any office doorway to ask a question without hesitation. The pandemic threw a wrench in the face to face contact initially, but we have overcome that and efforts to maintain and enhance our pre-pandemic culture continue. The pandemic has ensured that we focus on the physical and mental health of all individuals who are part of our firm, and our approach to dealing with the current working environment has been to adopt a flexible and individual approach which considers each person's situation, needs and ability to adapt to the new work situation. Our mantra, now more than ever, has been to go out of our way to be nice to one another, say please and thank you, show we care, and watch out for signs that a co-worker is having difficulties.

Do students get to stay on the file throughout its carriage?

Usually lawyers like consistency in who is on their files.

What is the student-mentor relationship like?

Well, we can't speak for the current students, but their mentors like them! Mentors/principals are volunteers – they want to be involved in the student program, they like supporting the students and they are interested in them. The pandemic has put a stop to lunches and in person meetings, but we still check in with them and hopefully support them in any way they need.

Did the current students talk to lawyers before applying?

Probably not – in order to ensure a level playing field, we usually discourage lawyers who are involved in the interview process from speaking with candidates. Instead, we encourage our current students to accept calls to help candidates form an appreciation for what the articling experience might look like.

How do students convey their interest in the firm?

Well, by applying, we assume you are interested in us. But, it is always good to simply tell us what your level of interest is during your interview and then, for good measure, you can send one follow up email to confirm your continued interest or to let us know you are focussing your attention elsewhere. No need to send us a zillion emails though – even though we will be doing this virtually, we take pride in being able to ascertain a candidate's level of interest without the need for repetitive emails. 

Have you figured out the timelines and interview process yet?

No, not yet! We've been trying to take a few days off to enjoy the last days of 2020. We will have more information to post after our application deadline. In the meantime, Happy New Year!

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