What will I be doing as an Articling Student?
Our student program is designed to provide students with what they most want:
- To learn and then apply the law in real life challenging experiences
- To be guided by top professionals along the way
- To make a difference to the clients they serve
- To be able to stretch their legal minds as far as they are comfortable
- To receive feedback on their performance
- To see the end result of something they started
What are the three main practice areas?
The Real Estate Group, in addition to purchases and sales of real estate, is also involved in loan transactions on behalf of financial institutions, the development of residential and industrial subdivisions from the planning stage through to eventual sale of the fully developed lands, and the development of condominiums. The Real Estate Group also includes lawyers who specialize exclusively in commercial leasing, acting primarily on behalf of owners of shopping centres and major retail chains.
Our Business Law Group includes a Financial Services Group that acts on behalf of financial institutions and a Bankruptcy and Insolvency Group that is involved in, among other things, advising trustees, receivers and secured creditors. The Business Law Group handles mergers and acquisitions, as well as financings and other work required by our corporate clients. Our Tax Group is much more than an accessory to the other arms of the firm. Students who want to work in this area will be exposed to dynamic leading edge tax planning that brings in a diverse client base ranging from multinationals to prominent Canadian entrepreneurs.
The Litigation Group includes a civil litigation practice dealing with commercial disputes, mortgage remedies, construction lien claims, and matters relating to negligence, professional and otherwise. The group also includes lawyers specializing in intellectual property and labour and employment law. Litigation students do not spend their rotation in the library. Student work in this group includes arguing small claims trials; attending at contested motions in Toronto and in other cities; writing facta and pleadings; preparing witnesses; and attending with our litigators on discoveries, mediations, and court appearances in the Ontario Superior Court, Divisional Court, and the Court of Appeal.
How fast does a cheetah run?
Student Seminar Program
In addition to being an excellent source of a free meal, the Minden Gross LLP continuing education program is extremely diverse. All areas of the bar are covered. Student seminars are conducted on a regular basis on various topics by different members of the firm who specialize in those areas.
Student Seminar Program 2016-2017
- Shareholders’ Agreement
- Real Estate Related Drafting Exercise
- Personal Property Security Act
- Wills and Estates
- Incorporations, Amalgamations & Dissolutions
- Commercial Leases
- Corporate Related Drafting Exercise
- Carnivores of the Central Kalahari and Western Sahara
- Employment Law
- Mortgage Financing & Remedies
- Basic Tax Issues
- Minute Book Review
- Ethical Considerations Involved in Litigation
- Bankruptcy and Insolvency
- Ethical Considerations in Real Estate Transactions
- Drafting Pleadings/Affidavits
P.S. A cheetah runs as fast as 95 km an hour.
How will I know what to do?
Mentoring is critical to success. We know that you have probably never worked in a law firm before and that you may have many questions. That is why we assign a mentor to each student in each practice group. The mentor will provide an orientation of the department, oversee the student’s workload, and be a go-to person to answer general questions about files and the practice. Of course, we also pride ourselves on an open-door policy where students are comfortable approaching any member of the firm for clarification or guidance on their file work.
What we expect of you – General Responsibility
We rely on our students to develop an accurate sense of their capabilities. Students' workload and the level of responsibility are, to a large extent, theirs to determine and develop. Independence is encouraged but at the same time students take advantage of our "open door" policy. This policy means that if the student is experiencing problems with a file or wishes to bounce ideas off the lawyers, associates, or partners, he or she can feel free to do so. In general, capable students can expect to eventually have responsibilities similar to lawyers in their first years of practice.
Can I give back during the year?
Minden Gross LLP is committed to our community and all lawyers are involved in community work that is meaningful to them. Our students may become involved in some of these projects during their time with the firm. Our students have also brought charities and events to our attention and we have supported them and their wish to participate. Our students are also involved in special projects each year that articling students across the city organize including our November United Way fundraiser, a winter clothing drive, and a holiday season food bank drive to name a few.
What kind of support can I expect?
Students will have access to all of the following support networks of the firm:
- complete orientation program where students are trained on office practices, legal practices, and our computer and operating systems
- top notch legal team of lawyers, clerks, and assistants who are willing to share knowledge
- mentors in each practice group
- information technology support through our department of highly trained professionals - 24/7
- assigned administrative support for file work and practice administration
- photocopy centre that is responsible for copying, binding, and faxing (so you don’t have to)
- complete library system with a full-time librarian and online search resources
How will I know how I am doing? – Evaluations
In the unfamiliar working environment where students' legal skills are being tested for the first time, students often feel as though they are trying to find their way in the dark. We have found that a regular system of evaluations, both formal and informal, provide the feedback that is needed to alleviate such insecurity. The supervising lawyer on each file is available to provide informal feedback at any time during the rotation. We encourage students to always ask for feedback on specific work.
Prior to the end of the articling year, an evaluation is undertaken in order to review the student's progress during the year and, of course, to discuss employment prospects.
Will we have any fun?
We all know the practice of law carries a certain weight and so we make sure to take opportunities to have some fun. Our standard fare includes Friday night drinks and Thursday lunches. In the past, special student events have included an afternoon baseball game, a scavenger hunt on Centre Island, wine tasting, bowling, ping pong, and impromptu dinners and lunches out.
Firm CPD lunch seminars are held every Thursday for all legal personnel. Each session has an education component that rotates from general to practice-specific topics, the business of law, and current developments in the law. The luncheons also provide an opportunity for firm members to learn more about each other by discussing each lawyer’s type of practice, area of expertise, areas that they are interested in pursuing, and clients and industries served. In addition, the three major practice groups have meetings to address any department-specific issues.