Our Montréal office is steadily growing and attracts top legal talent. Our team consists of more than 80 lawyers who share common values of excellence, teamwork and commitment to clients, vision and creativity. We consider our articling program an invaluable way to fuel such growth.
Type of Work
Articling students are an integral part of the team and have the opportunity to work in all practice areas during their time at Blakes. We work with our articling students to help them get the experience they wish to gain and will need to develop in order to move to the next stage of their careers. The major areas of practice in the Montréal office include:
- Mergers & Acquisitions
- Corporate & Commercial
- Capital Markets
- Financial Services
- Information Technology
- Intellectual Property
- Litigation & Dispute Resolution
- Pensions, Benefits & Executive Compensation
- Employment & Labour
- Restructuring & Insolvency
Examples of mandates articling students may be been involved in are:
- Participating in major transactions from due diligence to closing
- Drafting agreements and ancillary documents
- Performing legal research and analysis
- Drafting proceedings, memos and opinions
- Participating in out-of-court examinations, and in negotiations
- Attending and pleading before administrative and judicial courts
- Preparing and/or drafting articles, publications and conferences
At Blakes, we aim to ensure that articling students gain experience in as many different areas of law as possible, all under the individual guidance and supervision of experienced lawyers in each of these areas.
The articling program is divided into three rotations, each lasting two months. These rotations are divided between the Corporate and Financial Services groups as well as the Litigation & Dispute Resolution and Employment & Labour groups. Because there are three rotations divided between two main groups, students obtain broad exposure to the principal areas of our practice and also have the ability to tailor their articles to suit their individual interests.
Compensation and Hire Back
As part of our commitment to attract and retain top legal talent, our compensation and benefits package is among the most competitive in the Montréal market and is reviewed on an annual basis.
The current annual salary for articling students is C$78,000, which includes 10 days of paid vacation. Furthermore, the Montréal office pays all fees to the École du Barreau du Québec on behalf of the articling student. Articling students also receive a salary during the regular program of the École du Barreau du Québec.
Articling students also benefit from a comprehensive group insurance plan that includes extended medical coverage, a dental plan, an employee assistance program and a group accident plan. Articling students are provided with cellular phone services, and also benefit from a subsidized membership at the health club of the articling student’s choosing.
Due to our continued and steady growth, we are typically able to offer associate positions to the vast majority of our articling students who wish to pursue a career at Blakes after the completion of their articles. We are very proud that our hire-back ratios have been consistently high in past years.
Training and Mentoring
Articling students are encouraged to attend our regular in-house seminars which provide substantive training on an array of topics, as well as information on the recent developments in various areas of law. Certain seminars offer an in-depth look at the legal and economic impacts of current events. Training has also been offered to enhance our mentorship programs. Lawyers, students and articling students are invited to all of our legal education seminars.
Moreover, Blakes Montreal is unique in having a “Special Advisor,” Paul Martel, eminent author and expert in business law. Paul plays an active role in professional development at the Firm for lawyers and students.
Blakes is committed to mentoring and accompanying young talent every step of the way, while ensuring an appropriate level of freedom and independence to grow and learn from hands-on experience. Careful thought and consideration are put into our programs to ensure that articling students benefit from a strong support system during their articles.
The mentor and “buddy” that were assigned to each student during their first summer continue to support the student until the completion of their articles.
Articling students also meet with the lawyer responsible for students, associates and professional development on a weekly basis for career guidance and in order to ensure their development is progressing well. Such meetings also ensure that articling students are consistently working on interesting and varied mandates with as many lawyers as possible.
Finally, articling students are also assigned a principal (“maître de stage”) who assists them in their development throughout their articling period.
Feedback and Evaluations
Lawyers, including mentors, are encouraged to provide regular and constructive feedback to articling students. In turn, articling students are also encouraged to actively seek out feedback. In addition, the Montréal office uses an automated system to solicit feedback from lawyers each time an articling student completes a mandate.
Formal evaluations of each articling student are conducted towards the end of each rotation. In addition to providing useful and constructive feedback to articling students, these formal evaluations also afford them an opportunity to express their views on the opportunities given to them and the direction they would like to take for the balance of their articles.
Life at Blakes and Social Activities
It is very important to Blakes that articling students have fun during their time at the Firm and have opportunities to bond with each other and our lawyers in a more informal setting.
As such, articling students are invited to all of the Firm’s various social events held throughout the year. Such events may include casual lunches, dinners, cocktail parties, sporting events and activities, among others. All lawyers, students and articling students also get together each Thursday evening in the lounge of the Montréal office for an informal “5 à 7.”
Moreover, a special calendar of social activities is set up during the summer months. These activities include BBQs, food truck lunches, ice cream breaks, karaoke, a day at the beach, and movie night, to name a few.
Because teamwork is one of the fundamental values of Blakes, we recruit articling students that are team players and who are seeking to develop meaningful relationships with their peers. As such, articling students also organize many of their own social activities on a regular basis, in addition to those organized by the Firm.
Finally, as an integral part of the Montréal office team, articling students are invited to participate in many client events and charitable functions.